Dr. George Washington Carver was born into slavery in Diamond, Missouri in the 1860s (the exact day and year of his birth are unknown) and he died on January 5, 1943.
For more than 40 years, Dr. George Washington Carver, a prominent scientist and inventor, labored at Tuskegee Institute, now Tuskegee University, in a ceaseless effort to improve the living conditions and surroundings of rural and farm people – particularly those Blacks who lived in the South – and to extract from nature through scientific research those elements and resources which could be made useful for the benefit of mankind in general.
At a time when farmers were growing more sweet potatoes than they could sell, Dr. Carver discovered, in his laboratory at Tuskegee, where he labored most of his life, 158 different things that could be made from the sweet potato. Among the products he made are: chocolate, dry coffee, dried potatoes, dry paste, egg yolk, four types of flour, instant coffee, lemon drops, molasses, sugar, vinegar, yeast, alcohol, 73 kinds of dyes, 14 wood fillers, paint, show blacking, synthetic cotton, synthetic silk and writing ink.
And it was Dr. Carver, who from a simple peanut, also made 11 types of beverages, 20 types of cosmetics, 68 dyes, paints and stains, 9 livestock feeds, 113 kinds of food products, 59 general use products and 11 different medicines.
All totaled, his discoveries revolutionized agricultural science and helped diversity the economy of the entire nation.
Although at rest, just a few yards from his mentor, Booker T. Washington, Carver and his legacy live on today at the George Washington Carver Museum at Tuskegee University. The museum is now a national historic site, open to the public and maintained by the National Park Service.