Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Unlikely friends you would think, Geroge Washington Carver and Henry Ford

With all that has been written about Henry Ford's Anti Semitism, you would assume that he is a biggot right? Wrong, his Anti Semitism aside and possibly discussed another time, Henry Ford was actually a very open minded, forward thinking and liberal man. This painting shows Henry Ford with George Washington Carver, the famous Agricultural Scientist and inventor of among other things Peanut Butter. Born the son of slaves the year after Henry Ford, Dr. Carver shared many interests and a friendship with Henry Ford. Both were keenly interested in agricultural chemistry, including bio fuels and alternative sources for rubber and plastic.
George Washinton Carver passed away in 1943 and Henry Ford in 1947, but until the end of their days, they remained friends and both worked in a field that we are revisiting today.
The Ford Family and Company still to this day donate to Tuskegee University where Dr. Carver did much of his research and taught.

Henry Ford, was a proponent of African American workers, never allowing segregation in his plants and always having the same pay and benefits regardless of race. I was also surprised to learn that ol' Henry was a supporter of the Sufrage movement for women's equality. It is my belief that despite his almost self destructive ego, at heart Henry Ford was a good man. His Anti Semitism, may have been born more from ignorance and frustration than actual experience.

But in the end, Henry Ford was one of the best friends African Americans had in the Industrial world.

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