Friday, November 28, 2008

George Washington Carver (1864-1943). Carver was an agricultural chemist of international fame and prestige. He introduced hundreds of uses for the peanut, soybean, pecan and sweet potatoe. His research revolutionized the Southern economy with crops that replenished the soil. His mother was kidnapped when he was an infant. Carver was raised by his Uncle Moses and Aunt Sue Carver. The poor boy spent much time around the house and in the woods. Carver went to school in Neosho, Missouri, then in Kansas. He graduated from Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts. He became an accomplished artist and his painting The Yucca received an Honorable Mention at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. He gave up his faculty position at Iowa State College of Agricultural to join Booker T Washington, President of Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.

Carver made many medical discoveries which include a cure for infantile paralysis and Penol. George Washington Carver made over 300 discoveries from peanuts and 118 discoveries from sweet potatoes. His discoveries included cosmetics, face powder, shaving cream, vinegar, cold cream, printer’s ink, salad oil, rubbing oil, infant coffee, leather stains from mahogany to blue, synthetic tapioca and egg yolk, flour, paints, non-toxic colors (from which crayons were created).

George W Carver was personal friends with Henry Ford. He was fascinated with Carver’s method of deriving rubber from milkweed. Ford tried several times to persuade Carver to work with him in business. Carver was committed to helping the poor of the South. Henry Ford built a duplicate of Dr. Carver’s birthplace at his Dearborn Village and a school named George Washington Carver School.

Carver was visited at Tuskegee Institute by Vice President Calvin Coolidge and by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He became confidant and advisors to leaders and scientists throughout the world. Thomas Edison offered him a position with a six figure number but was turned down.

In the summer of 1920, The Young Men’s Christian Association of Blue Ridge, North Carolina invited him to speak at their summer school for southern states. Dr. Willis D. Weatherford, President of Blue Ridge introduced Mr. Carver. George Carver, with his high voice, exclaimed:

“I always look forward to introductions as opportunities to learn something about myself.”

He continued:

“Years ago I went into my laboratory and said, ‘Dear Mr. Creator, please tell me what the universe was made for?’”
“The Great Creator answered, ‘You want to know too much for that little mind of yours. Ask for something more your size, little man.”
“Then I asked, ‘Please Mr. Creator, tell me what man was made for?’”
“Again the Great Creator replied, ‘You are still asking too much. Cut down on the extent and improve the intent.’”
“So then I asked, ‘Please, Mr. Creator, will you tell me why the peanut was made?’”
“That’s better, but even then it’s infinite. What do you want to know about the peanut?”
“Mr. Creator, can I make milk out of the peanut?”
“What kind of milk do you want? Good Jersey milk or just plain boarding house milk.”
Good Jersey Milk.”
“And then the Great Creator taught me to take the peanut apart and put it together again. And out of the process have come forth all these products!”

A bottle of good Jersey milk was among the things on the table. Three-and-a-half ounces of peanuts produce a pint of milk or one quart of boardinghouse blue John! In 1921, he accepted the invitation to address the United States Senate Ways and Means Committee in Washington, D.C. concerning the potential uses of peanuts and other new crops. He was initially given ten minutes to speak but enthralled his audience. The chairman declared: “Go ahead Brother. Your time is unlimited.” Carver spoke for an hour and forty-five minutes. At the end of the address, the Chairman of the Committee asked Mr. Carver:

“Dr. Carver, how did you learn all of these things?”
Carver answered:
“From an old book”
“What book?” asked the Senator.
Carver replied, “The Bible.”
The Senator inquired, “Does the Bible tell about peanuts?”
“No, Sir” Dr. Carver replied, “Does the Bible tell about peanuts?”
“No, Sir” Dr. Carter replied. ‘But it tells about the God who made the peanut. I asked Him to show me what to do with the peanut, and He did.”

George Washington Carver named his laboratory God’s Little Workshop and never took a textbook into God’s Workshop. He merely asked God how to perform his experiments. He accepted the invitation of the Women’s Board of Domestic Missions on November 19, 1924 to speak to an audience of 500 people in New York City’s Marble Collegiate Church.

“God is going to reveal to use things He never revealed before if we put our hands in His. No books ever go into my laboratory. The thing I am to do and the way of doing it are revealed to me. I never have to grope for methods. The method is revealed to me the moment I am inspired to create something new. Without God to draw aside the curtain I would be helpless.”

George Carver would lock the door behind him whenever he entered God’s Little Workshop.

“Only alone can I draw close enough to God to discover His secrets.”

George Washington Carver developed a lifelong friendship with Jim Hardwick from Virginia Polytechnic Institute. Harry Hardwick was Jim’s brother was the head football coach of the U.S. Naval Academy. Jim visited Tuskegee Institute in 1928 and asked Dr. Carver to share some of his observations about God. Dr. Carver responded:

"As a very small boy exploiting the almost virgin woods of the old Carver place, I had the impression someone had just been there ahead of me. Things were so orderly, so clean, so harmoniously beautiful. A few years later in the same woods I was to understand the meaning of this boyish impression. Because I was practically overwhelmed with the sense of some Great Presence. Not only had someone been there. Someone was there…"

"Years later when I read in the Scriptures, 'In Him we live and move and have our being.' I knew what the writer meant. Never since have I been without this consciousness of the Creator speaking to me…The out of doors has been to me more and more a great cathedral in which God could be continuously spoken to and heard from…"

"Man, who needed a purpose, a mission, to keep him alive, had one. He could be…God’s worker…"

"My attitude toward life was also my attitude toward science. Jesus said one must be born again, must be as a little child. He must let no laziness, no fear, no stubbornness keep him from his duty."

"If he were born again he would see life from such a plane he would have the energy not to be impeded in his duty by these various sidetrackers and inhibitions. My work, my life, must be in the spirit of a little child seeking only to know the truth and follow it."

"My purpose alone must be God’s purpose – to increase the welfare and happiness of His people. Nature will not permit a vacuum. It will be filled with something."

"Human need is really a great spiritual vacuum which God seeks to fill…"

"With one hand in the hand of a fellow man in need and the other in the hand of Christ, He could get across the vacuum and I became an agent. Then the passage, 'I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me,' came to have real meaning."

"As I worked on projects which fulfilled a real human need forces were working through me which I amazed me. I would often go to sleep with an apparently insoluble problem. When I woke the answer was there."

"Why, then, should we who believe in Christ be so surprised at what God can do with a willing man in a laboratory? Some things must be baffling to the critic who has never been born again."

"By nature I am a conserver. I have found nature to be a conserver. Nothing is wasted or permanently lost in nature. Things can change their form, but they do not cease to exist."

"After I leave this world I do not believe I am through. God would be a bigger fool than even a man if he did not conserve what seems to be the most important thing he has yet done in the universe. This kind of reasoning may aid the young."

"When you get your grip on the last rung of the ladder and took over the wall as I am now doing you don’t need their proofs. You see. You know you will not die."

George Washington Carver was awarded the Roosevelt Medal in 1939 with this declaration:

“To a scientist humbly seeking the guidance of God and a liberator to men of the white race as well as the black.”

George Washington Carver remarked:

“The secret of my success? It is simple. It is found in the Bible. ‘In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.’”

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