George Washington Carver Would Obsessively Post about Peanuts
“George Washington Carver: All of his statuses would be about some d*mn peanuts.” George Washington Carver (circa 1864 – 1963) was undoubtedly the King of Peanuts. But he was so much more than that and many points of misinformation about this brilliant scientist. Some of George Washington Carver’s best-known inventions include crop rotation, or planting different crops to restore soil instead of single-crop farming, and creating 300 different uses for peanuts (which actually weren’t classified as a crop until Carver’s work). George Washington Carver created more than 300 products from the peanut plant but is often remembered for the one he didn’t invent: peanut butter. The agricultural scientist is often given credit for “discovering” something that was already there. In 1884, Marcellus Gilmore Edson of Canada patented peanut paste.
At a young age, Carver took a keen interest in plants and experimented with natural pesticides, fungicides and soil conditioners. He became known as “the plant doctor” to local farmers due to his ability to discern how to improve the health of their gardens, fields and orchards. Through his work on soil chemistry, Carver learned that years of growing cotton had depleted the nutrients from soil, resulting in low yields. But by growing nitrogen-fixing plants like peanuts, soybeans and sweet potatoes, the soil could be restored, allowing yield to increase dramatically when the land was reverted to cotton use a few years later. All of this success in crop rotation had an unexpected consequence: the overproduction of peanuts. Which caused Carver to look into the possibilities of peanut’s uses. In all, he developed more than 300 food, industrial and commercial products from peanuts, including milk, Worcestershire sauce, punches, cooking oils and salad oil, paper, cosmetics, soaps and wood stains. He also experimented with peanut-based medicines, such as antiseptics, laxatives and goiter medications.