We took a trip to Tuskegee University at the end of February, and the highlight of our trip was the George Washington Carver Museum. As you can tell, it was a very cloudy, overcast day, and all of my pictures indoors were taken without a flash. These murky pictures really don’t do justice to how wonderful the museum is, but I wanted to share them here anyway, as well as my enthusiasm for this little bit of Alabama and American history.
On the right side of this bust of Carver is a “listening station” of a recording of Carver reciting the poem “Equipment” by Edgar A. Guest. It was taken the last time Carver spoke publicly. The girls loved this and had to listen to it several times while we were there. We’re working on memorizing “Equipment” now for part of our memory work, thanks to George W. Carver!
This very dark photo is of a mini-gallery of Carver’s artwork. Did you know he was an artist? I didn’t, before we began this study. When he moved to Alabama, he studied the clay-dirt and discovered many uses for it, including the making of paint.
When he came to Tuskegee, Carver had no laboratory. In fact, when Booker T. Washington invited him to come, he told Carver that his only laboratory would have to be “in his mind.” Carver, ever the pragmatist, went out into the community and collected household items that could be used for his experiments and research. He even scoured the local dump!
The girls even did a bit of bookwork while we were at the museum. They participated in the National Junior Ranger program and earned their badges.
There is a lot more to the museum than this, including a whole side devoted to Booker T. Washington and the founding of Tuskegee, as well as an interactive exhibit about farming practices and research that is still going on today. Obviously, the legacies of Carver and Washington live on.