Thomas Jefferson Carver

“And the final use for peanuts!?!… Murder!”

-Thomas Jefferson Carver, the last line of his “Peanuts, Peanuts, Peanuts!” expo, circa 1934; originally named Wilfred J. Carver, Thomas Jefferson Carver adopted his new moniker to capitalize on the then famous George Washington Carver.  Like his G.W. Carver counterpart, T.J. Carver earned moderate fame for creating new uses for the common peanut, though T.J.’s were much less scientific (i.e. packing peanuts were originally just peanuts before the invention of styrofoam).  In March of 1934, as the grand finale in his keynote speech at the “Peanuts, Peanuts, Peanuts!” expo in New York City, Thomas Jefferson Carver confessed to a full crowd that he had murdered his estranged wife, who had a documented peanut allergy.  Carver was arrested on the spot and was soon sentenced to life in prison.  As a result of his brash confession and his signature top hat, monocle and cane, Carver became somewhat of a celebrity inside the walls of Sing Sing Prison and earned the nickname, Mr. Peanut.  After his death in 1942 (ironically choked on a cashew), the Planters Nut Company capitalized on his odd image with their new cartoon mascot.-

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