Kentucky was once the heartland of the American hemp industry, as this evocative turn-of-the-century postcard shows. It depicts a man’s world: hemp, horses, beautiful women, tobacco, and bourbon. It draws a nostalgic picture of quiet rural roads, guarded by leafy stands of hemp waving in the warm wind, sitting on the front porch in the rocking chair with a tall glass of iced tea, the coon dogs keeping you company, a Winchester rifle on your lap, and wafting out the window is the sweet aroma of fresh apple pie!
At this point, sixteen states have passed legislation allowing them to take immediate advantage of the industrial hemp research and pilot program provision, Section 7606 of the 2014 US Farm Bill. But there are only two states which were really ready this year: Colorado and Kentucky. They make for an odd couple and have taken apposite approaches. Kentucky is by the book, by the rules, with a methodical, rational, planned, and scientific approach. Colorado is freewheeling, entrepreneurial, risk taking, and hyped up. Together they make a compelling story. If they were people on a TV sitcom, they could share an apartment.
The US Farm Bill passed Wednesday, January 29th by a 251-166 vote in the US House of Representatives.The Senate is expected to vote on this bill on Monday, February 3rd. The new legislation allows colleges, universities, and state agriculture departments to grow hemp. Because of a notwithstanding clause, this research is not to subject to the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) or the oversight of the DEA. Federal hemp licenses would not be required.
The task of providing cloth for an entire community was an integral part of daily work at Pleasant Hill. Coats, bed sheets, socks, blankets, feed sacks, dresses, towels, rope — all of these were a necessary part of everyday life. Until it became practical to purchase textile goods, they were produced within the community. In addition to providing for their own needs, Shaker textile items were manufactured for sale.
This collection contains 10 postcards from the early 1900’s. Hemp flourished in the Bluegrass region of Kentucky and was grown primarily for bailing cotton. Henry Clay encouraged the US Navy to use Kentucky hemp over Russian hemp for cordage used on sailing ships. Scenes include cutting hemp by hand and machine, shocks of hemp, and manually breaking hemp in the field.