This Black Man Invented Hundreds Of Products We Still Use Today

photo of george washington carver
Alyssa Guznik
January 25, 2023

Each year America produces $240 billion worth of crops. Over half of that is generated from corn and soybeans alone. But none of this would be possible if it weren't for the pioneering efforts of one man.

Coined the "peanut man," George Washington Carver had an innate understanding and respect for agriculture. This understanding set him on his life's mission; to help Black sharecroppers break free from white run farms and sustain themselves in the agricultural system.

Carver's career took root at Tuskegee institute, where he taught the formerly enslaved how to grow crops. For him, healthy land was as important as crops. He used rotating crops like peanuts, soybeans, and sweet potatoes to replenish the ground and increase crop yields.

Yields were so high that Carver had to find new uses for peanuts and sweet potatoes. Hundreds of items we use today, like papers, soaps, milk, antiseptics, and medicine, came from his over 300 industrial food and commercial products inventions.

George Washington Carver has been reduced to "the peanut" man because history loves to whitewash and downplay Black people's contributions to society. If it weren't for Carver's pioneering efforts and inventions, farming wouldn't be where it is today, and America wouldn't produce a fraction of the money it does.

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