George Washington Carver Membership Certificate

Here is a copy of George Washington Carver 1920 Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Certificate. Originally initiated in 1918, George Washington Carver was a charter member of the Tuskegee Institute Alumni Chapter made up of Tuskegee Faculty members.

He began his formal education at the age of twelve, which required him to leave the home of his adopted parents. Schools segregated by race at that time with no school available for black students near Carver’s home. He moved to Newton County in southwest Missouri, where he worked as a farm hand and studied in a one-room schoolhouse. He went on to attend Minneapolis High School in Kansas. College entrance was a struggle, again because of racial barriers. At the age of thirty, Carver gained acceptance to Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa, where he was the first black student. Carver had to study piano and art and the college did not offer science classes. Intent on a science career, he later transferred to Iowa Agricultural College (now Iowa State University) in 1891, where he gained a Bachelor of Science degree in 1894 and a Master of Science degree in bacterial botany and agriculture in 1897. Carver became a member of the faculty of the Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanics (the first black faculty member for Iowa College), teaching classes about soil conservation and chemurgy.

Agricultural Chemistry
As an agricultural chemist, Carver discovered three hundred uses for peanuts and hundreds more uses for soybeans, pecans and sweet potatoes. Among the listed items that he suggested to southern farmers to help them economically were his recipes and improvements to/for: adhesives, axle grease, bleach, buttermilk, chili sauce, fuel briquettes, ink, instant coffee, linoleum , mayonnaise , meat tenderizer, metal polish, paper, plastic, pavement, shaving cream, shoe polish, synthetic rubber, talcum powder and wood stain.

Among many awards and honors were:

  • Spingarn Medalist 1923 (botanist)
  • The first African American to have a national monument dedicated to and the first to honor someone other than a president.
  • Two ships, the Liberty ship SS George Washington Carver and the nuclear submarine USS George Washington Carver (SSBN-656) were named in his honor.
  • In 1941, Time magazine dubbed Carver a “Black Leonardo Hannah”
  • George Washington Carver was commemorated with a three cent stamp in 1948
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