Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Let's Talk About Hemp...!

There is so much history concerning hemp in the history of our great nation, you'd be surprised!

Of course I'm talking about industrial cannabis and not the smoking kind! Most folks don't know what a large part this plant played in nearly all aspects of early America! Hang on...'cause I'm about to rock your world (in a good, informational way)!

1. All schoolbooks were made from hemp or flax paper until the 1880s. (Jack Frazier. Hemp Paper Reconsidered. 1974.)

2. It was legal to pay taxes with hemp in America from 1631 until the early 1800s. (LA Times. Aug. 12, 1981.)

3. Refusing to grow hemp in America during the 17th and 18th centuries was against the law! You could be jailed in Virginia for refusing to grow hemp from 1763 to 1769 (G. M. Herdon. Hemp in Colonial Virginia).

4. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and other founding fathers grew hemp. (Washington and Jefferson Diaries. Jefferson smuggled hemp seeds from China to France then to America.)

5. Benjamin Franklin owned one of the first paper mills in America, and it processed hemp. Also, the War of 1812 was fought over hemp. Napoleon wanted to cut off Moscow’s export to England. (Jack Herer. Emperor Wears No Clothes.)

6. For thousands of years, 90% of all ships’ sails and rope were made from hemp. The word ‘canvas’ comes from the Middle English word “canevas” which comes from the Latin word cannabis. (Webster’s New World Dictionary.)

7. 80% of all textiles, fabrics, clothes, linen, drapes, bed sheets, etc., were made from hemp until the 1820s, with the introduction of the cotton gin.

8. The first Bibles, maps, charts, Betsy Ross’s flag, the first drafts of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were made from hemp. (U.S. Government Archives.)

9. The first crop grown in many states was hemp. 1850 was a peak year for Kentucky producing 40,000 tons. Hemp was the largest cash crop until the 20th century. (State Archives.)

10. Oldest known records of hemp farming go back 5000 years in China, although hemp industrialization probably goes back to ancient Egypt.

11. Rembrandt’s, Van Gogh’s, Gainsborough’s, as well as most early canvas paintings, were principally painted on hemp linen.

12. In 1916, the U.S. Government predicted that by the 1940s all paper would come from hemp and that no more trees need to be cut down. Government studies report that 1 acre of hemp equals 4.1 acres of trees. Plans were in the works to implement such programs. (U.S. Department of Agriculture Archives.)

13. Quality paints and varnishes were made from hemp seed oil until 1937. 58,000 tons of hemp seeds were used in America for paint products in 1935. (Sherman Williams Paint Co. testimony before the U.S.Congress against the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act.)

14. Henry Ford’s first Model-T was built to run on hemp gasoline and the car itself was constructed from hemp! On his large estate, Ford was photographed among his hemp fields. The car, ‘grown from the soil,’ had hemp plastic panels whose impact strength was 10 times stronger than steel. (Popular Mechanics, 1941.)

15. In 1938, hemp was called ‘Billion Dollar Crop.’ It was the first time a cash crop had a business potential to exceed a billion dollars. (Popular Mechanics, Feb. 1938.)

That's enough food for thought for today! Maybe you already knew this stuff, but I didn't know it all! Of course, I knew about rope and all, but the rest...not no much!

Coffee out on the patio this morning, if that's OK with you!


Gorges Smythe said...

I've heard that even "industrial" hemp has a small "kick" when it's smoked. I've also heard that it was the government's fear of not being able to tax all of its "recreational" use that was the REAL reason that its growth became illegal.

dakotas5 said...

The real reason was the the petroleum,foresty,cotton and pharmaceutical lobbies bribed to many congressmen.

Sixbears said...

Pretty stupid of us to outlaw one of nature's most useful plants. Think how much richer we'd be -and maybe happier too!

Ben in Texas said...

Oh Good Grief Charlie Brown , How stupid was that law that stopped it's production.

Anonymous said...

I had no idea that hemp was that important or had such a long history. Thank you for pointing this out HermitJim.

linda m said...

WOW, what fantastic uses it has. I only knew about the rope part. It is a shame that we stopped using it. I agree with what Sixbears said. Thank you for a great lesson learned today.

JOJO said...

Lots of interesting information on hemp. I knew some but not all. You can still buy clothes made from hemp, unfortunatly not made in USA.

Coffee on the patio is fine with me.

edifice rex said...

And to top all that off, hemp requires virtually no pesticides or fertilizers, unlike cotton, which is inundated with the stuff. This just goes to demonstrate the utter stupidity and corruption that plaques our government.

HermitJim said...

Hey Gorges...
Could be! I think it was and is a very useful plant and we should reconsider the many uses of the plant! Biofuels certainly comes to mind!

Thanks for coming by today!

Hey Dakotas5...
That certainly sounds about right to me!

Thanks for dropping by today!

Hey Sixbears...
Wasn't the first time and certainly won't be the last!

Sometimes the PTB are very short sighted!

Thanks for coming over today!

Hey Ben...
The boys on the hill have made some stupid decisions in the past and will continue to do so in the future, I'm afraid! Par for the course!

Thanks, buddy, for coming by today!

Hey Anon 6:32...
Probably the most widely known use was all the ropes for the big sailing ships!

Pretty useful stuff, if you ask me!

Thanks for coming by today!

Hey Linda...
So many plants out there that we could make better use of than we do!

I sure do appreciate you coming by today!

Hey JoJo...
I've seen some of the shirts advertised on line before! Pretty cool!

Thanks, sweetie, for coming by today!

Hey Anne...
Very good point! Wonder how the chickens would like it?

Thanks for dropping by this morning, my talented friend!

Flier389 said...

Back in the 1800's the rail road had hemp growing along the railroad right of way. My Great grand father, had a rail line that was on the boarder of his farm. They paid him to keep growing the hemp along the right of way. He bailed it, and the rail line would pay for the bails. He said that that's how he made a little money during the depression.

HermitJim said...

Hey Flier389...
Sounds to me that your Great grand father had a good deal there!

Wonder why we don't hear more about this sort of thing? I think it was a win-win plan!

Hey, thanks for coming over today!

Ted Webb said...

What he didn't sell he made in to rope.Then smoked it.You know that old saying let smoke some rope!

Flier389 said...

Hermit, the rail road grew it on the right of way, to keep the rail bed from washing away. And I guess the rail road sold the bails to be made into rope. Po-pa said it would come up every year. And his cows refused to ever eat any of it.

HermitJim said...

Hey Ted...
Could be...could be!

Thanks for the visit today!

Hey Flier389...
I can see where that would be a good use for the growing plants.

Probably a good thing that the cows wouldn't eat any of it.

Thanks for coming by today!

vlad said...

more info on hemp