|George Washington Carver|
George Washington Carver, from Martian Dreams
George Washington Carver (1860-1943)
Born to slave parents, Carver fought the odds and turned a lifelong affinity for plants into a career. In 1896, he became head of agricultural research for the Normal and Industrial Institute for Negroes at Tuskagee, Alabama. There, he pioneered multi-crop farming and crop rotation, and synthesized over 400 substances from peanuts and sweet potatoes (including dyes, milk, linoleum, glue, soap, flour, oil, pain, ink, butter, coffee, and even synthetic rubber. Thomas Edison once offered Carver a salary of $100,000 to join him at his lab in New Jersey, but Carver turned him down, saying he was needed at Tuskagee. Remarkable, remarkable man.