Two early African American scientists, namely mathematician and astronomer Benjamin Banneker and agricultural chemist George Washington Carver, have become legendary for their intellect and ingenuity.
Born free in Maryland, Banneker was largely self-taught. He constructed the first striking clock to be made in America, helped survey the boundaries for Washington, D.C., and published an almanac, which he compiled based on his own astronomical observations and calculations.
Carver was born into slavery at the very end of the Civil War. He attended Iowa State College of Agriculture, where he received degrees in agricultural science. During his career as a researcher and educator, he advocated innovative agricultural methods and developed hundreds of applications for certain agricultural products, such as the peanut.
Although Banneker and Carver are probably the best-known black scientists, they were not the only ones. The achievements of a selection of pioneering black scientists, including Banneker and Carver, are outlined in the list of African American Scientists.
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