George Washington Carver And Henry Ford Worked On Experimental Projects Together

By | July 19, 2020

test article image
George Washington Carver and Henry Ford had a lot in common. (Getty Images)

George Washington Carver, a renowned botanist, educator, and agriculturalist, was nearing the end of his life on July 19, 1942 when he partnered with his friend, famed industrialist Henry Ford. Carver is known for his work with peanut plants (though, contrary to popular belief, he did not invent peanut butter), while Ford is best remembered for creating the assembly line that made the mass production of the automobile possible. It may seem like an odd and unlikely friendship, but it led the two leaders of their respective fields to collaborate on joint projects.

test article image
George Washington Carver was the son of freed slaves. (History Channel)

Who Was George Washington Carver?

George Washington Carver was born around 1864 on the Missouri farm of Moses Carver. His parents were slaves owned by Carver, but after they were kidnapped and sold several states away, Carver adopted George and his brother, James. Moses Carver's wife, Susan, proved an able tutor, and George developed into a curious student, but he struggled to secure a good education as a black boy in post–Civil War America. Initially denied admission to a university in Kansas, he became the first black student at Iowa State Agricultural College. From there, he helped found the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama and devoted his life to promoting the peanut industry in the South.