More from and about
George Washington Carver
(biographical info at bottom of page)

  

How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young,
compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant
of the
weak and strong.  Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.

   

Anything will give up its secrets if you love it enough. Not only have I found that when I talk to the little flower or to the little peanut they will give up their secrets, but I have found that when I silently commune with people they give up their secrets also if you love them enough.

      
God is going to reveal to us things He never revealed before if we put our hands in His. No books ever go into my laboratory. The thing I am to do and the way of doing it are revealed to me. I never have to grope for methods. The method is revealed to me the moment I am inspired to create something new. Without God to draw aside the curtain I would be helpless.
  
We have become ninety-nine percent money mad. The method of living at home modestly and within our income, laying a little by systematically for the proverbial rainy day which is due to come, can almost be listed among the lost arts.
  
  
It is not the style of clothes one wears, neither the kind of automobile one drives, nor the amount of money one has in the bank, that counts. These mean nothing. It is simply service that measures success.
  
  

Look about you. Take hold of the things that are here. Let them talk to you. You learn to talk to them.
   

Fear of something is at the root of hate for others, and hate within will eventually destroy the hater. Keep your thoughts free from hate, and you need have no fear from those who hate you.

     

When you do the common things in life in an uncommon
way, you will command the attention of the world.

   

welcome page - contents - gallery - obstacles - quotations - the people behind the words
our current e-zine - articles and excerpts - Daily Meditations, Year Two - Year Three
     

Sign up for your free daily spiritual or general quotation
~ ~ Sign up for your free daily meditation

  

It is simply service that measures success.

   

Learn to do common things uncommonly well; we must always
keep in mind that anything that helps fill the dinner pail is valuable.

   

Ninety-nine percent of all failures come from
people who have a habit of making excuses.

   
    
It is rare to find a man of the caliber of George Washington Carver, a man who would decline an invitation to work for a salary of more than $100,000 a year (almost a million today) to continue his research on behalf of his countrymen.

Agricultural chemist, Carver discovered three hundred uses for peanuts and hundreds more uses for soybeans, pecans and sweet potatoes. Among the listed items that he suggested to southern farmers to help them economically were his recipes and improvements to/for:  adhesives, axle grease, bleach, buttermilk, chili sauce, fuel briquettes, ink, instant coffee, linoleum, mayonnaise, meat tenderizer, metal polish, paper, plastic, pavement, shaving cream, shoe polish, synthetic rubber, talcum powder and wood stain.  Only three patents were every issued to Carver.

George Washington Carver was born in 1864 near Diamond Grove, Missouri, on the farm of Moses Carver.  He was born into difficult and changing times near the end of the Civil War.  The infant George and his mother kidnapped by Confederate night-raiders and possibly sent away to Arkansas.  Moses Carver found and reclaimed George after the war but his mother had disappeared forever.  The identity of Carver's father remains unknown, although he believed his father was a slave from a neighboring farm.  Moses and Susan Carver reared George and his brother as their own children.  It was on the Moses' farm where George first fell in love with nature, where he earned the nickname 'The Plant Doctor' and collected in earnest all manner of rocks and plants.

He began his formal education at the age of twelve, which required him to leave the home of his adopted parents.  Schools were segregated by race at that time with no school available for black students near Carver's home.  He moved to Newton County in southwest Missouri, where he worked as a farm hand and studied in a one-room schoolhouse. He went on to attend Minneapolis High School in Kansas.  College entrance was a struggle, again because of racial barriers.  At the age of thirty, Carver gained acceptance to Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa, where he was the first black student.  Carver had to study piano and art and the college did not offer science classes.  Intent on a science career, he later transferred to Iowa Agricultural College (now Iowa State University) in 1891, where he gained a Bachelor of Science degree in 1894 and a Master of Science degree in bacterial botany and agriculture in 1897.  Carver became a member of the faculty of the Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanics (the first black faculty member for Iowa College), teaching classes about soil conservation and chemurgy.

In 1897, Booker T. Washington, founder of the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute for Negroes, convinced Carver to come south and serve as the school's Director of Agriculture.  Carver remained on the faculty until his death in 1943.  (Read the pamphlet - "Help For Hard Times" - written by Carver and forwarded by Booker T. Washington as an example of the educational material provided to farmers by Carver.)

At Tuskegee Carver developed his crop rotation method, which revolutionized southern agriculture.  He educated the farmers to alternate the soil-depleting cotton crops with soil-enriching crops such as peanuts, peas, soybeans, sweet potato, and pecans.  America's economy was heavily dependent upon agriculture during this era, making Carver's achievements very significant.  Decades of growing only cotton and tobacco had depleted the soils of the southern area of the United States.  The economy of the farming south had been devastated by
years of civil war and the fact that the cotton and tobacco plantations could no longer use slave labor.  Carver convinced the southern farmers to follow his suggestions and helped the region to recover.

Carver also worked at developing industrial applications from agricultural crops.  During World War I, he found a way to replace the textile dyes formerly imported from Europe.  He produced dyes of 500 different shades and he was responsible for the invention in 1927 of a process for producing paints and stains from soybeans.  For that he received three separate patents.

Carver did not patent or profit from most of his products.  He freely gave his discoveries to humankind.  Most important was the fact that he changed the South from being a one-crop land of cotton, to being multi-crop farmlands, with farmers having hundreds of profitable uses for their new crops.  "God gave them to me," he would say about his ideas, "How can I sell them to someone else?"  In 1940, Carver donated his life savings to the establishment of the Carver Research Foundation at Tuskegee, for continuing research in agriculture.  George Washington Carver was bestowed an honorary doctorate from Simpson College in 1928.  He was an honorary member of the Royal Society of Arts in London, England.  In 1923, he received the Spingarn Medal given every year by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. In 1939, he received the Roosevelt medal for restoring southern agriculture.  On July 14, 1943, U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt honored Carver with a national monument dedicated to his accomplishments.  The area of Carver's childhood near Diamond Grove, Missouri preserved as a park, this park was the first designated national monument to an African American in the United States.

"He could have added fortune to fame, but caring for neither, he found happiness and honor in being helpful to the world." - Epitaph on the grave of George Washington Carver.
  

  

About our people pages:
Because many visitors have asked for more information about particular people whose words
appear on the site, we'll try to give you as much information as we can about individuals.
The Amazon links should give you access to works by the author, though at times they'll
display other books if the author has written an essay or introduction for those books.

    

We have some inspiring and motivational books that may interest you.  Our main way of supporting this site is through the sale of books, either physical copies or digital copies for your Amazon Kindle (including the online reader).  All of the money that we earn through them comes back to the site in one way or another.  Just click on the picture to the left to visit our page of books, both fiction and non-fiction!

  

Other people:  Alan Watts - Albert Einstein - Albert Schweitzer - Andy Rooney - Anne Frank - Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Anne Wilson Schaef
- Annie Dillard - Anthony Robbins - Ari Kiev - Artur Rubenstein - Barbara Johnson - Benjamin Disraeli
Benjamin Franklin
- Benjamin Hoff - Bernie Siegel - Bertrand Russell - Betty Eadie - Booker T. Washington
Charlotte Davis Kasl
- Cheryl Richardson - Cristina Feldman - C.S. Lewis - the Dalai Lama - Dale Carnegie - Deepak Chopra
Don Miguel Ruiz
- Earl Nightingale - Elaine St. James - Eleanor Roosevelt - Elisabeth Kuebler-Ross - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Emmet Fox
- Frederick Buechner - George Bernard Shaw - George Santayana - George Washington Carver - Gerald Jampolsky
Harold Kushner
- Harry Emerson Fosdick - Helen Keller - Henry David Thoreau - Henry James - Henry Van Dyke
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
- Henry Ward Beecher - Hugh Prather - Immanuel Kant - Iyanla Vanzant - Jack Canfield
James Allen
- Jennifer James - Jim Rohn - Joan Borysenko - Joan Chittister - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe - John Izzo
John Ruskin
- Joni Eareckson Tada - Joseph M. Marshall III - Julia Cameron - Kent Nerburn - Khalil Gibran
Leo Buscaglia
- Leonard Jacobson - Leslie Levine - Lucinda Bassett - Lydia Maria Child - Lynn Grabhorn - Marcus Aurelius
Marianne Williamson
- Martin Luther King, Jr. - Maya Angelou - Melody Beattie - Michael Goddart - Mitch Albom
Mohandas Gandhi
- Morrie Schwartz - Mother Teresa - M. Scott Peck - Nathaniel Branden - Nikos Kazantzakis - Norman Cousins
Norman Vincent Peale
- Og Mandino - Oprah Winfrey - Oriah - Orison Swett Marden - Pau Casals - Peace Pilgrim - Phillips Brooks
Rabindranath Tagore
- Rachel Carson - Rachel Naomi Remen - Rainer Maria Rilke - Ralph Waldo Trine - Richard Bach
Richard Carlson
- Robert Frost - Robert Fulghum - Robert Louis Stevenson - Russell Baker - Sarah Ban Breathnach
Shakti Gawain
- Soren Kierkegaard - Stephen Covey - Stephen C. Paul - Sue Patton Thoele - Susan L. Taylor
Sylvia Boorstein
- Thich Nhat Hanh - Thomas Carlyle - Thomas Kinkade - Thomas Merton - Tom Walsh - Victor Cherbuliez
Wayne Dyer
- Wilferd A. Peterson - Willa Cather - William James - William Wordsworth - Zig Ziglar