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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index C > George Washington Carver Quotes

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George Washington Carver
(Jan 1864 - 5 Jan 1943)

American agricultural chemist and agronomist who helped revolutionize the agricultural economy of the South. Carver demonstrated diversification—planting peanuts and sweet potatoes—to replenish impoverished soil. He developed over 300 new products from peanuts


Science Quotes by George Washington Carver (8 quotes)


A life that stood out as a gospel of self-forgetting service.
He could have added fortune to fame but caring for neither he found happiness and honor in being helpful to the world.
The centre of his world was the south where he was born in slavery some 79 years ago and where he did his work as a creative scientist.
— George Washington Carver
Epitaph on tombstone at Tuskegee University Campus Cemetery, Alabama.
Science quotes on:  |  Birth (93)  |  Care (95)  |  Creativity (70)  |  Epitaph (19)  |  Fame (37)  |  Fortune (27)  |  Gospel (8)  |  Happiness (94)  |  Help (103)  |  Research (590)  |  Scientist (522)  |  Service (64)  |  Slavery (9)  |  South (10)

Fear of something is at the root of hate for others and hate within will eventually destroy the hater. Keep your thoughts free from hate, and you will have no fear from those who hate you. ...
David, though small, was filled with truth, right thinking and good will for others. Goliath represents one who let fear into his heart, and it stayed there long enough to grow into hate for others.
— George Washington Carver
In Alvin D. Smith, George Washington Carver: Man of God (1954), 43. Cited in Linda O. McMurry, George Washington Carver, Scientist and Symbol (1982), 107. Smith's book is about his recollections of G.W. Carver's Sunday School classes at Tuskegee, some 40 years earlier. Webmaster, who has not yet been able to see the original book, cautions this quote may be the gist of Carver's words, rather than a verbatim quote.
Science quotes on:  |  David (6)  |  Destruction (85)  |  Fear (142)  |  Good (345)  |  Hate (38)  |  Root (61)  |  Small (163)  |  Thought (546)  |  Truth (928)  |  Will (31)

I went to the trash pile at Tuskegee Institute and started my laboratory with bottles, old fruit jars and any other thing I found I could use. ... [The early efforts were] worked out almost wholly on top of my flat topped writing desk and with teacups, glasses, bottles and reagents I made myself.
— George Washington Carver
Manuscript fragment, no date, Box 1, George Washington Carver Papers. Cited in Linda O. McMurry, George Washington Carver, Scientist and Symbol (1982), 130.
Science quotes on:  |  Bottle (15)  |  Desk (13)  |  Glass (44)  |  Jar (9)  |  Laboratory (132)  |  Made (14)  |  Myself (36)  |  Reagent (5)  |  Research (590)  |  Teacup (2)  |  Trash (2)

In these strenuous times, we are likely to become morbid and look constantly on the dark side of life, and spend entirely too much time considering and brooding over what we can't do, rather than what we can do, and instead of growing morose and despondent over opportunities either real or imaginary that are shut from us, let us rejoice at the many unexplored fields in which there is unlimited fame and fortune to the successful explorer and upon which there is no color line; simply the survival of the fittest.
— George Washington Carver
In article urging African-Americans to engage in plant breeding to develop improved species.'A New Industry for Colored Men and Women', Colored American (Jan 1908, 14, 33. Cited in Linda O. McMurry, George Washington Carver, Scientist and Symbol (1982), 109.
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The rapid growth of industry, the ever increasing population and the imperative need for more varied, wholesome and nourishing foodstuff makes it all the more necessary to exhaust every means at our command to fill the empty dinner pail, enrich our soils, bring greater wealth and influence to our beautiful South land, which is synonymous to a healthy, happy and contented people.
— George Washington Carver
Letter to Marlin E. Penn (18 Jun 1927), Box 17, George Washington Carver Papers. Cited in Linda O. McMurry, George Washington Carver, Scientist and Symbol (1982), 264-5. Smith's book is about his recollections of G.W. Carver's Sunday School classes at Tuskegee, some 40 years earlier. Webmaster, who has not yet been able to see the original book, cautions this quote may be the gist of Carver's words, rather than an exact quote.
Science quotes on:  |  Contentment (11)  |  Dinner (14)  |  Enrichment (7)  |  Exhaustion (13)  |  Fill (61)  |  Food (154)  |  Growth (124)  |  Happiness (94)  |  Health (156)  |  Imperative (11)  |  Increase (146)  |  Industry (109)  |  Influence (140)  |  Means (176)  |  Necessity (143)  |  Need (287)  |  Nourishment (18)  |  Pail (3)  |  Population (79)  |  Rapidity (16)  |  Soil (64)  |  Variation (63)  |  Wealth (66)  |  Wholesome (7)

When I touch that flower, I am not merely touching that flower. I am touching infinity. That little flower existed long before there were human beings on this earth. It will continue to exist for thousands, yes millions of years to come.
— George Washington Carver
As quoted from a first-person conversation with the author, in Glenn Clark, The Man Who Talked With the Flowers: The Intimate Life Story of Dr. George Washington Carver (1939), 39.
Science quotes on:  |  Continue (65)  |  Earth (638)  |  Exist (148)  |  Flower (77)  |  Human Being (73)  |  Infinity (72)  |  Mere (82)  |  Million (111)  |  Thousand (152)  |  Touch (77)  |  Year (299)

When I was young, I said to God, ‘God, tell me the mystery of the universe.’ But God answered, ‘That knowledge is for me alone’. So I said, ‘God, tell me the mystery of the peanut.’ Then God said, ‘Well, George,
— George Washington Carver
John Mitchinson and John Lloyd, If Ignorance Is Bliss, Why Aren't There More Happy People?: Smart Quotes for Dumb Times (2009), 217.
Science quotes on:  |  Alone (106)  |  Answer (249)  |  God (535)  |  Knowledge (1306)  |  Mystery (153)  |  Peanut (3)  |  Say (228)  |  Tell (110)  |  Universe (686)  |  Young (100)

George Washington Carver quote: When our thoughts—which bring actions—are filled with hate against anyone, Negro or white
Image credit: Fugue cc-by-2.0 (source)
When our thoughts—which bring actions—are filled with hate against anyone, Negro or white, we are in a living hell. That is as real as hell will ever be.
While hate for our fellow man puts us in a living hell, holding good thoughts for them brings us an opposite state of living, one of happiness, success, peace. We are then in heaven.
— George Washington Carver
In Alvin D. Smith, George Washington Carver: Man of God (1954), 27-28. Cited in Linda O. McMurry, George Washington Carver, Scientist and Symbol (1982), 107. Smith's book is about his recollections of G.W. Carver's Sunday School classes at Tuskegee, some 40 years earlier. Webmaster, who has not yet been able to see the original book, cautions this quote may be the gist of Carver's words, rather than a verbatim quote.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (185)  |  Fellow (37)  |  Good (345)  |  Happiness (94)  |  Hate (38)  |  Heaven (153)  |  Hell (32)  |  Opposite (50)  |  Peace (84)  |  Success (250)  |  Thought (546)

George Washington Carver quote: When our thoughts—which bring actions—are filled with hate against anyone, Negro or white
Image credit: Fugue cc-by-2.0 (source)

See also:
  • 5 Jan - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Carver's death.

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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