Before the 1800s, the peanut was considered difficult to grow and mostly used for food for animals. Peanuts gained popularity when they were grown for oil and food, and became even more popular when soldiers liked them and took them home. PT Barnum’s circus began advertising hot roasted peanuts, and they also became popular at baseball games. Peanuts were still being harvested by hand until farming equipment was invented in 1900 for planting, harvesting, and picking the peanuts.
George Washington Carver is known as the “plant doctor” and the “grandfather of peanuts.” He discovered over 300 valuable uses for the peanut including shampoo, glue, shaving cream, mayonnaise, paints, coffee, and chili sauce. However, George Washington Carver was not the inventor of peanut butter although he did help make it popular.
Dr. John Harvey Kellogg invented peanut butter in 1895 as a food for people who had difficulty chewing. Peanut butter was also sold at the World Fair in St. Louis in 1904. Soldiers in the U.S. Army helped make peanut butter and jelly popular during World War II.
Peanut, peanut butter, and peanut candy are some of the most popular products each year. More than 2 billion dollars of peanuts are sold each year.
It takes 540 peanuts to make a 12-ounce jar of peanut butter.
George Washington Carver was the first African American to have a national park named after him. It is located in Missouri.