Black Innovators in the Americas

Ralph Gilles
Ralph Gilles

In celebration of Black History Month in the USA we salute two innovators, Ralph Gilles now CEO of Dodge and George Washington Carver famous for his work with peanuts. This is our opportunity to highlight some achievements made by African-Americans that helped shape our very existence.

Ralph Gilles

Ralph Gilles is currently President and Chief Executive Officer – SRT Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC. He is a modern day innovator whose influence on the Chrysler 300 literally brought the Chrysler brand back from the grave. He was born to Haitian immigrants in New York City. Gilles holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Michigan State University (2002) and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Industrial Design from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit (1992).

Gilles is credited for leading the team of designers behind some of the most award-winning vehicle ever such as the 2005 Chrysler 300, the 2005 Dodge Magnum, 2006 Dodge Charger, 2006 Dodge Viper Coupe, and the all new 2008 Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Caravan.

In the spirit of innovation we also celebrate George Washington Carver best known for discovering over 300 uses for peanuts. It is black history month in the United States and we thought to use this opportunity to highlight some achievements made by African-Americans that helped shape our very existence.

chrysler 300


George Washington Carver

George Carver
George Carver

Upon completion of his B.S., professors Joseph Budd and Louis Pammel convinced Carver to continue at Iowa State for his master’s degree. In addition he did research at the Iowa Experiment Station for two years. His work at the experiment station in plant pathology and mycology gained him national recognition as a botanist. In 1896, Booker T. Washington, the President of the Tuskegee Institute, invited Carver to head its Agriculture Department. He taught there for 47 years, developing the department into a strong research center and working with two additional college presidents during his tenure. He taught methods of crop rotation, introduced several alternative cash crops for farmers that would also improve the soil of areas heavily cultivated in cotton, initiated research into crop products, and taught generations of black students farming techniques for self-sufficiency.

The list below showcases the functional use of peanuts in various products that George Washington Carver discovered:


Foods Butterscotch Medicines
Salted Peanuts Lard Compound Rubbing Oil
Peanut Butter, regular (3) Evaporated Milk Iron Tonic
Breakfast Food #1 Sweet Pickle Tannic Acid
Butter from Peanut Milk Golden Nuts Medicine similar to Castor Oil
Breakfast Food #2 Cheese Cream Emulsion for Bronchitis
Pancake Flour Substitute Asparagus Castor Substitute
Breakfast Food #3 Cheese Pimento Goiter Treatment
Peanut Flour (11) Cheese Nut Sage Oils, Emulsified w/mercury for Venereal Disease (2)
Breakfast Food #4 Cheese Tutti Frutti Quinine
Peanut Surprise CheeseSandwich Laxatives
Breakfast Food #5 White Pepper, from Vines
Malted Peanuts Pickle, Plain Cosmetics
Bisque Powder Cocoa Hand Lotion
Peanut Meal, brown Peanut Dainties Face Lotion
Peanut Meal #1 and #2 Peanut Kisses Face Cream
Meat Substitutes Bar Candy Vanishing Cream
Chocolate Coated Peanuts Peanut Wafers Face Bleach and Tan Remover
Chili Sauce Stock Foods Baby Massage Cream
Peanut Cake #1 and #2 Peanut Stock Food #1,#2, and #3 Shampoo
Peanut Brittle Peanut HullMeal Oil for Hair and Scalp
Dry Coffee Peanut Hull Stock Food Shaving Cream
Cream Candy Molasses Feed Pomade for Scalp
Instant Coffee Peanut HullBran Face Ointment
Peanut Flakes (2) Peanut Hay Meal Glycerine
Peanut Hearts Hen Food for laying (peanut hearts) Face Powder
Chop Suey Sauce Peanut Meal (3) All Purpose Cream
Mock Oysters Fat Producing Cream
Mayonnaise Household  Products Tetter and Dandruff Cure
Worcestershire Sauce Laundry Soap Toilet Soap
Peanut Meat Loaf Sweeping Compound Antiseptic Soap
Peanut Food #1 Pomade for Skin
Shredded Peanuts Beverages Peanut Oil Shampoo
Peanut Sprouts Peanut Orange Punch #1
Peanut Bisque Powder Peanut Lemon Punch
Peanut Tofu Sauce Peanut Koumiss Beverage
Cooking Oil Peanut Punch #2
Cream for Milk Normal Peanut Beverage
Salad Oil Beverage for Ice Cream
Buttermilk Peanut Beverage Flakes
Mock Meat Blackberry Punch
Mock Goose Plum Punch
Mock Duck Evaporated Peanut Beverage
Mock Chicken Cherry Punch
Mock Veal Cut Pineapple Punch
Milks (32)
Crystallized Peanuts
Peanut Relish #1
Peanut Sausage
Peanut Relish #2
Flavoring Paste
Peanut Chocolate Fudge
Peanut and Pop Corn Bars
Dehydrated Milk Flakes
Peanut Bar #1
Peanut Tutti Frutti Bars