32¢ George Washington Carver
Celebrate the Century – 1910s
Issue Date: February 3, 1998
City: Washington, DC
Printed By: Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed
George Washington Carver was born in 1864. His parents were slaves working for the Carvers on a small farm in Missouri. When he lost both of his parents, the Carvers raised him as their own son. By the age of 11, he was supporting himself and pursuing an education.
Carver earned a master’s degree from Iowa State Agricultural College. After that, he joined the faculty at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. He taught classes, ran an agricultural experiment station, and began to focus his research on soil conservation and crop production.
Carver’s research was inspired by a desire to help poor Southern farmers, especially black sharecroppers. He promoted methods of alternating soybean and peanut crops with cotton to improve the fertility of the soil. He also developed a variety of uses for these crops to make them more appealing. In 1914, he began to focus his research on peanuts. George Washington Carver has been called the “Peanut Man,” and indeed, he made over 300 products from peanuts, including ink and soap.
Carver also worked to promote the interests of Blacks and to improve race relations. He earned awards for his contributions to science but had other successes as well. His work inspired the achievement of black Americans and enriched the lives of poor farmers.