1938 Popular Mechanics on Hemp

So, in my thirst for learning all there is to know about Industrial Hemp, I came across a reproduced article at  Well, I wanted to see it for myself.  Super Cool!

Popular Mechanics Magazine 1938

The article was first published in Popular Mechanics of 1938.  What caught my attention is that for most part it reads same as hemp articles and economic concerns of today.

Here are a few excerpts:

“Hemp is the standard fiber of the world. It has great tensile strength and durability. It is used to produce more than 5,000 textile products, ranging from rope to fine laces, and the woody "hurds" remaining after the fiber has been removed contain more than seventy-seven per cent cellulose, and can be used to produce more than 25,000 products, ranging from dynamite to Cellophane.”

Oops, you don’t hear anything about it being used in dynamite any more.  

”From the farmers' point of view, hemp is an easy crop to grow and will yield from three to six tons per acre on any land that will grow corn, wheat, or oats. It can be grown in any state of the union. It has a short growing season, so that it can be planted after other crops are in. The long roots penetrate and break the soil to leave it in perfect condition for the next year's crop. The dense shock of leaves, eight to twelve feet above the ground, chokes out weeds. Two successive crops are enough to reclaim land that has been abandoned because of Canadian thistles or quack grass.”

In 1938 cutting trees down was not as much of a concern, today however promoters of hemp cannot over emphasize the value of this high producing plant.  It is estimated that one acre of hemp produces as much cellulose fiber pulp as 4.1 acres of trees.  How many trees would that save?  Trees take 20 years to grow; hemp takes 12 weeks from seed to harvest.

“All of these products, now imported, can be produced from home-grown hemp. Fish nets, bow strings, canvas, strong rope, overalls, damask tablecloths, fine linen garments, towels, bed linen and thousands of other everyday items can be grown on American farms. Our imports of foreign fabrics and fibers average about $200,000,000 per year; in raw fibers alone we imported over $50,000,000 in the first six months of 1937. All of this income can be made available for Americans.”

Today US annual retail sales for hemp products are estimated at $580 million.  As the country is in need of creating more domestic jobs, well, as the Popular Mechanics says, all of these products can be produced from home-grown hemp.  All of this income can be made available for Americans.  This still makes sense.  Maybe too much?  Is that the problem?

“From this point on, almost anything can happen. The raw fiber can be used to produce strong twine or rope, woven into burlap, used for carpet warp or linoleum backing or it may be bleached and refined, with resinous by-products of high commercial value. It can, in fact, be used to replace foreign fibers which now flood our markets.”

If foreign fibers flooded the market in 1938, what about today?  From that point on, Industrial Hemp- Cannabis Sativa, the fiber-type hemp was criminalized alongside psychoactive marijuana type Cannabis Indica.

From this point on, ----- almost anything can happen!   

Most people are not aware of Industrial Hemp.  Education movement is gaining, you can help!