First published in 1917 by prominent agricultural scientist and educator Dr. George Washington Carver, this bulletin on growing and preparing peanuts speaks to Carver’s larger mission throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Witnessing how decades of cotton and tobacco farming had depleted soil in the rural South, Dr. Carver encouraged farmers to grow alternative crops, like peanuts and soybeans, using bulletins such as this one.
Dr. Carver was born into slavery on the Moses Carver farm in Diamond, Missouri, toward the end of the Civil War. He pursued his education in Missouri, Kansas, and Iowa throughout his early life, becoming the first Black faculty member at Iowa College before receiving an invitation to lead the Agriculture Department at Booker T. Washington’s renowned Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute. In addition to writing his bulletins there, Dr. Carver discovered over 300 uses for the peanut. One of the most prominent scientists of the early twentieth century, Carver’s work had a profound impact on the improvement of the rural Southern economy and increased nutrition in the American diet. Many of his discoveries remain widely used today.
Creator: Carver, George Washington
Subject: Agriculture, Cooking, African Americans
Contributing Institution: Missouri Historical Society
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