Plant World

Introduction and Historical Background

What were some of the accomplishments of Dr. George Washington Carver?

Because of the work of Dr. George Washington Carver (1864–1943) in plant diseases, soil analysis, and crop management, many southern farmers who adopted his methods increased their crop yields and profits. Carver developed recipes using cowpeas, sweet potatoes, and peanuts. He eventually made 118 products from sweet potatoes, 325 from peanuts, and 75 from pecans. He promoted soil diversification and the adoption of peanuts, soybeans, and other soil-enriching crops. His other work included developing plastic material from soybeans, which Henry Ford (1863–1947) later used in part of his automobile. Carver also extracted dyes and paints from the Alabama red clay and worked with hybrid cotton. He was a widely talented man who became an almost mythical American folk hero.


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