In the mid-1930s, when the new mechanical hemp fiber stripping machines and machines to conserve hemps high-cellulose pulp finally became state-of-the-art, available, and affordable, the enormous timber acreage and businesses of the Hearst Paper Manufacturing Division, Kimberly Clark (USA), St. Regisand virtually all other timber, paper, and large newspaper holding companiesstood to lose billions of dollars and perhaps go bankrupt.
Coincidentally, in 1937, DuPont had just patented processes to make plastics from oil and coal, as well as new sulfate/sulfite processes to make paper from wood pulp. According to DuPonts own corporate records and historians,* these processes accounted for more than 80% of all the companys railroad carloadings for the next 60 years into the 1990s.
* Authors research & communications with DuPont, 1985-1996.
If hemp had not been made illegal, 80% of DuPonts business would never have materialized and the great majority of the pollution which has poisoned our Northwestern and Southeastern rivers would not have occurred.
illustration © Michael M
In an open marketplace, hemp would have saved the majority of Americas vital family farms and would probably have boosted their numbers, despite the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Competing against the environmentally-sane hemp-paper and natural plastic technology would have jeopardized the lucrative financial schemes of Hearst, DuPont, and DuPonts chief financial backer, Andrew Mellon of the Mellon Bank of Pittsburgh.
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