A Brief History
On January 5, 1943, African American agricultural scientist George Washington Carver died at the age of 79 after a fall. Carver was a professor at Tuskegee Institute and developed methods of increased crop production through soil management and crop choices, while also advocating for the environment.
Although Carver was a keen advocate of foods such as sweet potatoes and the peanut, he did not “invent” peanut butter as is often believed. Other people have also been given credit for inventions they did not really invent, including but not limited to:
Thomas Edison, did not invent the light bulb, although he did make it practical.
Henry Ford, did not invent the automobile, and the true inventor is disputed.
Al Gore, did not invent the internet, and he never claimed to have done so, although he did take credit for helping pass the legislation that made it possible.
Bonus: North Korea’s former dictator, Kim Jong-il, falsely claimed to have invented the burrito and the hamburger, waterproof liquid, a cure for AIDS, and best of all, hangover free alcohol!
Question for students (and subscribers): Who would you add to this list? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
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For more information, please see…
Federer, William. George Washington Carver. Amerisearch, Inc, 2002.
Wonder House Books. World’s Greatest Scientists & Inventors. Wonder House Books, 2019.
The featured image in this article, “One of America’s great scientists” – one of several Carver-centric posters by C. H. Alston, this one referencing the World War II effort (circa 1943), is a work of the United States Department of the Treasury, taken or made as part of an employee’s official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain in the United States.
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