"In 1918, virtually all stages of hemp growing and processing in the U.S. still relied on hand labor. In Nebraska, a mechanical fiber-processing machine had been tried, but the resulting fiber was not of the quality desired by the growers, so they imported laborers to process it the age-old way: by hand. In 1919, G.W. Schlichten was awarded a patent for a fiber-processing machine called a decorticator. This machine looked promising but, for unknown reasons, never went into production."
"Ultimately, hemp’s use as a fiber crop was crippled by politics. In 1937, the federal government passed the Marijuana Tax Act, aimed at regulating the narcotic varieties of cannabis. Interestingly, this law turned over the regulation of hemp production to the Department of Revenue, which was then responsible for licensing all hemp growers. “(The Marijuana Tax Act) didn’t really affect us as growers, other than we had to pay a small tax and sign a paper stating that we wouldn’t use the plant as a drug,” explains hemp farmer and Matt’s nephew, Junior Prange. “What really killed the hemp industry in the 1950s was the availability of cheap synthetic fibers." (My note: with the price of oil & gas those cheap synthetic fibers aren't so cheap anymore!)
Jack Herer, the "Emporer of Hemp" (Jack's website)
General Eco-Friendly Information Sites
Inhabitat.com - a great magazine style site with eco friendly information from all over the world