George Washington Carver: A Scientist You Can Go Nutty Over!

by Mariah Smith on November 24, 2017
George Washington Carver

Original photo restored by Adam Cuerden (Tuskegee University Archives/Museum) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

George Washington Carver, circa 1910

George Washington Carver was an incredible inventor and a man of God. He is most famous for the invention of peanut products and for teaching farmers the concept of crop rotation.

Carver was born a slave, but he was adopted by the couple who ran the plantation. Certain colleges would not accept him since he was African American, so God guided him to Simpson College in Iowa. From there he went to Iowa State University and obtained a bachelor of science and his master’s degree in botany. After getting his master’s degree, he returned to the South to teach and help the farmers there. The farmers at the time had a big problem: the main crop they produced was cotton, but planting cotton over the years had removed important nutrients from the soil. Carver taught the farmers how to use crop rotation, telling them that they should plant cotton one year and plants like soybeans, peanuts, or sweet potatoes the next. This helped the soil keep the nutrients it needed.

Because the farmers were planting new crops, Carver invented hundreds of new uses for those crops. He discovered sweet potatoes could be used to make glue, vinegar, shoe polish, and many other things. While Carver was thinking up uses for the peanut, he popularized the use of peanut butter! He found many other uses for the peanut, such as ink, shampoo, car fuel, peanut oil, shaving cream, and more.

Carver wasn’t interested in making money. He didn’t even patent most of his inventions because he wanted the glory to go to God and because he believed that everyone should be able to use the products he developed. Carver once said, “The Lord has guided me. He has shown me the way, just as He will show everyone who turns to Him.” George Washington Carver is a shining example of a Christian scientist who changed the world for the better.

Fast Facts about George Washington Carver

  • Carver kept a Bible by his desk and called his laboratory “God’s Little Workshop.”
  • When Carver was in school, he thought he wanted to be an artist since he liked drawing plants, but after his teacher told him about botany (the study of plants), he became a scientist.
  • He was offered a scholarship to a college in Kansas, but he was refused entry when it was discovered he was African American. He later enrolled in a college in Iowa where he received his degree.
  • Carver moved to Ames, Iowa, and began his botanical studies the following year as the first African American student at Iowa State University.


  1. Henry M. Morris, Men of Science, Men of God (Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 1998), 81–83.
  2. Ann Lamont, 21 Great Scientists Who Believed the Bible (Queensland, Australia: Creation Science Foundation, 1995), 220–228.