Fertilizer Experiments on Cotton

Tuskegee, Ala. Tuskegee Steam Print, 1900.

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Educating Black farmers on new, sustainable techniques in cotton growing that complemented their generational knowledge of the Southern soil and its crops

(Item #5997) Fertilizer Experiments on Cotton. BIPOC, Carver, Agricultural Innovation, eorge, ashington.

Fertilizer Experiments on Cotton

Tuskegee, Ala. Tuskegee Steam Print, 1900. First edition. Bulletin No. 3. 1899 of this scarce series on agricultural and culinary innovation. Original printed wraps stapled at spine. Measuring 200 x 130mm and complete in 16 pages. A Near Fine example, with a touch of rust to staples and light offsetting to wrap edges. Internally unmarked and fresh. One of the rare Tuskegee Institute Experiment Station Bulletins printed in the author's lifetime, OCLC reports only 2 surviving copies in libraries. It does not appear in the modern auction record. The present is the only example on the market.

"As a botany and agriculture teacher to the children of the formerly enslaved, Dr. George Washington Carver wanted to improve the lot of 'the man farthest down,' the poor, one-horse farmer at the mercy of the market and chained to land exhausted by cotton. Unlike other agricultural researchers of his time, Dr. Carver saw the need to devise practical farming methods for this kind of farmer. He wanted to coax them away from cotton to such soil-enhancing, protein-rich crops as soybeans and peanuts and to teach them self-sufficiency and conservation. Dr. Carver achieved this through an innovative series of free, simply-written brochures that included information on crops, cultivation techniques, and recipes for nutritious meals" (Tuskegee). Though peanuts are the crop he is most famous for developing, his work on cotton was some of the most forward thinking in the field. "Cotton was still 'king' in the South, and Carver like other agricultural researchers of the day tried to find wats to help farmers increase the quantity and quality of their cotton production" (USDA). Yet Carver also recognized the dangers of Southern reliance on cotton -- that the crop was one debilitating to Black workers as well as to the soil that it leached upon. For this reason, the turn of the century was a period Carver spend finding fertilizer methods as well as alternative crops "that would both build up the depleted soil and be attractive to farmers" (USDA). Sugar beets, cowpeas, sweet potatoes, and peanuts were key to this mission. "Carver realized that while Black farmers were desperate for help, they were also reluctant to try new things" and venture beyond what they knew (USDA). Pamphlets like this were released to assist on two fronts: sharing information and methods, and convincing farmers to engage with new techniques. Through these pamphlets, Carver urged Black farmers to reap the benefits of their generational knowledge about the Southern land and its products while adding new methods that were more efficient and profitable long term.
(Item #5997)

Price: $2,500 save 20% $2,000

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Fertilizer Experiments on Cotton
Fertilizer Experiments on Cotton
Fertilizer Experiments on Cotton
Fertilizer Experiments on Cotton
Fertilizer Experiments on Cotton