Photo Above: Dr. George Washington Carver (1864-1943)
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Looking at pages and pages of inventions, cures and creations listed on the website blackinventions.org gave me goosebumps. To think that MY people...African Americans ignored their oppressed conditions to create some of the greatest inventions this country has ever known is simply miraculous. The player piano. the Golf Tee. The Door Knob and the Gas Mask....all the handiwork or Black people.
And let’s now forget the countless inventions and patents of Dr. George Washington Carver. Simply astounding!!
On today’s show we’ll explore the countless innovations of a people brought to the shores of America in chains, only to rise above their circumstances with creativity and talent so abundant in the Black community.
If you want some inspiration so that YOU can discover your personal levels of innovation, today’s show is for YOU.
Dr. George Washington Carver
George Washington Carver (by January 1864 – January 5, 1943), was an American scientist, botanist, educator, and inventor. The exact day and year of his birth are unknown; he is believed to have been born into slavery in Missouri in January 1864.
Carver's reputation is based on his research into and promotion of alternative crops to cotton, such as peanuts, soybeans and sweet potatoes, which also aided nutrition for farm families. He wanted poor farmers to grow alternative crops both as a source of their own food and as a source of other products to improve their quality of life. The most popular of his 44 practical bulletins for farmers contained 105 food recipes using peanuts. He also developed and promoted about 100 products made from peanuts that were useful for the house and farm, including cosmetics, dyes, paints, plastics, gasoline, and nitroglycerin. He received numerous honors for his work, including the Spingarn Medal of the NAACP.
During the Reconstruction-era South, monoculture of cotton depleted the soil in many areas. In the early 20th century, the boll weevil destroyed much of the cotton crop, and planters and farm workers suffered. Carver's work on peanuts was intended to provide an alternative crop.
He was recognized for his many achievements and talents. In 1941, Time magazine dubbed Carver a "Black Leonardo."
A Chicago housewife during the 1940s received two patents. In May 1943, Henrietta Bradberry patented a bed rack that provided a space to hang shirts, trousers and other clothing worn so that air could freshen them after they had been worn.
Then in December 1945, Mrs. Bradberry designed a waterproof pneumatically operated way to fire torpedoes under water from either undersea installations or submarines.
Before here death on May 17, 1979, Mrs. Bradberry in an interview told that ideas just came to her and as a housewife she had time to work out the concepts to perfection and to the satisfaction of the patent office.
She made numerous attempts through the effort and support of her patent attorney to find manufacturers or buyers for her patent rights, but unfortunately, that never occurred. Disenchanted, Henrietta Bradberry abandoned all efforts to gain economic benefit from her extraordinary talent.
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Carole Copeland Thomas is a 27 year speaker, trainer and consultant specializing in global diversity, empowerment, multiculturalism and leadership issues.