Although popular belief points to George Washington Carver as the inventor of peanut butter, according to LiveScience, he developed a type of peanut butter product but did not invent peanut butter. He is responsible for 300 other peanut products, ranging from flour to laxative. Carver also developed products using sweet potatoes and pecans.
Carver was born a slave in 1864. Little is known of his father, who may have died before his birth. His foster mother had the sickly boy work in the kitchen garden, where he developed an interest in plants. He learned to read, attended school and eventually graduated from Iowa State University in 1894.
Booker T. Washington recruited Carver to teach at Tuskegee Institute, where he dedicated his work to help the poor farmers and sharecroppers in the rural south. He demonstrated soil chemistry in the experimental fields at the Tuskegee Institute and in a mobile classroom, a wagon drawn by horses.
His work on crop rotation helped farmers increase cotton production by rotating cotton and peanut crops. The farmers' complaints of the large stocks of peanuts they were unable to sell led to his development of peanut products. Some of the products that he made from peanuts included insulation, wood stains, soap, skin lotion and medicines. .