Talk:George Washington Carver

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Eddie Murphy on George Washington Carver[edit]

The article should mention the Saturday Night Live "Black History Minute" skit featuring Eddie Murphy as Shabazz K. Morton dealing with George Washington Carver. A transcript follows:

Shabazz K. Morton: Hello, my name is Professor Shabazz K. Morton. In 1895, at the Tuskagee Institute in Alabama, a black man named George Washington Carver developed a new method of soul.. soil.. improvement through crop rotation.. [ a couple of audience members snicker at Murphy's blooper, causing him to break character ] So I messed up - SHUT UP! [ adjusting his shades so he can read the cue cards ] Stop clapping before y'all make me smile! [ back in character ] ..to end the South African cultural dependence on cotton alone. As a result, Carver came up with hundreds of industrial uses for the peanut. Sure, industrial uses.

Meanwhile, one night, he's having a few friends over to his house for dinner. And one of them leans over and says to Dr. Carver, "Excuse me, George? What's that your putting on your bread?" Carver says, "Oh, that's nothing but a butter substitute that I made from peanuts. I can't digest all that animal fat, you know." So the other fellow tasted it, and he says, "Hmm.. this pastes pretty.. this tastes.." [ the audience again laughs at Murphy's blooper, causing him to break character again ] Yeah? Keep on smiling. [ back in character ] "This tastes pretty good, man. Mind if we take a peek at the recipe?" And Dr. Carver says, "Take a peek? Man, you can have it. Who's gonna eat butter made out of peanuts? No, I'm working on a method to compress peanuts into phonograph needles."

So, Professor Carver's two dinner guests.. [ Murphy removes his shades for better cue card reading ] ..Edward "Skippy" Williamson and Frederick "Jif" Armstrong - two white men - stole George Washington Carver's recipe for peanut butter, copyrighted it, and reaped untold fortunes from it. While Dr. Carver died penniless and insane, still trying to play a phonograph record with a peanut.

This has been "Black History Minute". I'm Professor Shabazz K. Morton. Good night.[1]

Adding pictures of the commemorative coin mentioned in the article.[edit]

I'm new at this and feel a bit lost as to how to add content to a protected article.

I noticed that this article mentioned a commemorative coin but there was no image of it available. I own one of these coins and would like to add the front and back images of the coin to the article but have no idea of how to do it.

The above images were taken by myself and I release them for use in the George Washington Carver and the Booker T. Washington Wiki articles.

Semi-protected edit request on 7 April 2015 (broken link)[edit]

The link to the George Washington Carver Correspondence Collection under Other is broken. Currently, it is:

George Washington Carver Correspondence Collection

It should be

George Washington Carver Correspondence Collection

(collection.php should be collection2.php) Sheepeeh (talk) 14:08, 7 April 2015 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Kharkiv07Talk 14:55, 7 April 2015 (UTC)

Dr. Austin Curtis (d) 2003, circumstances of Jan 1943 death, legacy,[edit]

The situation with Dr. Curtis was that Dr. Carver had selected him over other candidates to continue his research at Tuskegee when he died. Dr. Curtis had been a college teacher and his salary at Tuskegee was paid out of a grant. Before he died, Mr. Holt published a biography of Dr. Carver, and the royalties contract specified that 50% of the author's royalties would go to Mr./Mrs. Holt, 25% to Dr. Carver and 25% to Dr. Curtis. Dr. Curtis, being Dr. Carver's assistant since 1935 and being paid more than Dr. Carver by the Institute, kept this contract and it's terms a secret from the administration of Tuskegee Institute, who handled affairs for and supported Dr. Carver. Later Dr. Carver had a white attorney in town handle his business affairs, including companies promoting products from his research. When Dr. Carver died in January of 1943, the executor of his estate was Dr. Frederick Douglas Patterson, who was also the President of Tuskegee Institute at the time, and also the head of the Board of Trustees. He hit the ceiling when he saw this contract because he had no knowledge of it: Dr. Curtis had intentionally kept it secret. Dr. Curtis had already received $7,000.00 in royalties from the book (which at that time amounted to several years' salary for him) and was set to receive more, and if the book was made into a movie, his share of the movie rights would be a lot higher. Dr. Patterson felt that Dr. Curtis did absolutely nothing to merit or deserve this 25% of the royalties under the contract - there was no consideration given, he did not help write the book and he was on salary to be the assistant to Dr. Carver. Dr. Patterson admitted that perhalps Dr. Carver was aware and consented in his old age to the split in the royalties, but that for Dr. Curtis to accept it was against all the principles for which Dr. Carver had worked all his life. In hindsight it looks like Dr. Curtis was just taking advantage of a senior citizen. A similar situation happened recently with Harper Lee, author of "To Kill A Mockingbird". Nowadays we would refer such a situation to Protective Services, and Dr. Curtis would have to show why he should get this income of Dr. Carver's. Dr. Patterson's action was swift and sure: Dr. Austin Curtis was immediately fired from Tuskegee Institute for unethical behavior. Dr. Curtis countered saying that he was offered to stay if he turned over the money or he could resign, but Dr. Patterson clarified the situation: Dr. Curtis was fired and there was no negotiation or possiblity of remediation. Dr. Curtis moved to Detroit and continued to manufacture Carver's peanut oil creations. He took Dr. Carver's Underwood typewriter and his microscope to Detroit with him in 1944. Dr. Patterson gave him until April 1, 1944 to leave Tuskegee's campus. Dr. Patterson in later years went to on found the United Negro College Fund, work at the Phelps-Stokes Fund, and achieved many other notable accomplishments for higher education of his minority race.

As to the comment that Dr. Carver made no laboratory notes, he kept a typewriter to record lab and research notes - he did not hand write them; and also one of his notebooks is visible behind glass in the GWC Museum. It is open to a page so you can see his handwriting. Dr. Carver was a multi-faceted diamond and it will take many more years/decades to comprehend the scope of his work in science, art, civil rights, social sciences and religion. He told a friend of his, who had an unpublished memoir about him, Mr. Milholland, that she should publish her book because some of the information and details about his life and work would be helpful if known after his death. 97.76.210.2 (talk)francois f etienne — Preceding undated comment added 22:13, 14 July 2015 (UTC)

Dr. Carver's death circumstances - outline for further research[edit]

In the fall of 1941, Dr. Carver, through his Foundation, finally opened his Museum. He knew his health was deteriorating. In late 1942 he went to Dearborn, Michigan to again hobnob with Henry Ford, who adapted a lot of his research to car manufacturing and prototypes, some of which were built but not put into full production due to the beginning of WW II and war production requiements. There are films of the cars built by Henry Ford using soybean-derived plastic which were dent-proof when hit with an axe, which he did on the film.


When Dr. Carver arrived back in Tuskegee, he was physically drained but continued trying to finish all the details of his museum, to which he had relocated all of his laboratory equipment in anticipation of a larger, modern laboatory being added to the Museum building. He was living in the dorm room at Dorothy Hall which had the elevator paid for by Henry Ford, since it was known he had trouble with steps and had even used a wheelchair for a while. He had been in the hospital for a long time in 1937, weak with anemia and heart disease.

On December 19, 1942, in the dark hours of the early winter morning, he was walking to the Museum by himself, and when he stepped off the side porch of Dorothy Hall, he slipped on some ice and fell to the ground. The maid, Mrs. McAlister, heard his cry and immediately ran out to him. Two passing boys also came and helped Dr. Carver up intending to take him back to his room in Dorothy Hall. He refused to go and told them to take him to his Museum. He leaned on them all the way, and when he got there told them he was fine. He stayed at the museum, went in his laboratory, later went to his office and dictated some letters to his secretary, handled some business with a lab assistant, and at noon returned to his room in Dorothy Hall, which had the elevator. He got in bed and never got out again. All the newspapers of Jan 1943 state Dr. Carver was in his bed the last 10 days of his life and died in his bed at home. This was attributed to heart disease and he was anemic, which could have been sickle-cell anemia.

At this point in his life, Dr. Carver never went to hospitals -- if a health crisis existed, as it did one time, the college cooking professor who prepared his meals, would call a doctor at the VA hospital to come to his room for a home visit. From his bed, one letter was written from him to C.R. Walryn on December 16, 1942; and another letter to Betsy Graves Reyneau on December 19, 1942. His secretary, Jessie Abbott, wrote a letter to H.O. Abbott on January 2, 1943, concerning Dr. Carver's condition. Mr. Abbott was another teacher at Tuskegee and was Dr. Carver's traveling companion on his many trips and lectures the last ten years. Three days later Dr. Carver passed in his bed at Dorothy Hall at 7:30 P.M., according to a telegram sent to Henry Ford.

Dr. Carver had a spectacular funeral at Tuskegee Institute in the Chapel that Friday, January 8, 1943, at 2:30 PM, with a long funeral procession which I believe included a horse drawn carriage. Many photographs were taken of this (and some are available at the Ford Museum) and of all the VIP's who attended from all over the countryItalic text. There are probably newsreels also. This was during war time after Pearl Harbor and in the segregated South, so it is understandable that media coverage was sparse or not widely distributed due to racial discrmination since Dr. Carver was classified as a "negro".


Dr. Carver had a complex system for treating polio with peanut oil or other oils. He did not just massage a patient with peanut oil. The polio patient had to be at a certain point in the disease as verified by a letter from their doctor. Dr. Carver analyzed their skin and prepared an unique oil for the individual patient. He then determined which muscles were atrophied and had a method for using the oil, which he believed was also topically absorbed, into those muscles by massaging, with full knowledge of circulatory problems and other health issues of the patient. This is what produched such great results. (Dr. Carver's first professional job was teaching college-level biology at Iowa State College.) In 1933 the Associated Press did a news story about Tuskegee Institute, Alabama looking like Lourdes, France, because so many paralyzed pilgrims were coming there in droves and being healed by Dr. Carver. Dr. Carver also received thousands of letters from people and companies and governments all over the world requesting help, not just for health problems, but also for many others types of situations. He had several secretaries who helped him with this correspondence.


Dr. Carver also treated President F.D. Roosevelt for his polio condition, but not in person. On two documented occasions he sent the President oil with instructions and President Roosevelt acknowledged this in a letter sent back to Dr. Carver. Dr. Carver also knew Henry A. Wallace, Secretary of Agriculture, and the Wallace Family, taught the son at Iowa State, so he had some respect at and access to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. 97.76.210.2 (talk)Francois F. Etienne <Sources>, AP archives, GWC Papers/microfilm, published biographies, on-site interviews, other newspaper archives. Book: "Dr. George Washington Carver - Scientist" by Shirley Graham and George D. Lipscomb, Illustrated by Elton C. Fox, (c) 1944 Simon & Schuster.