First U.S.A. President and hemp farmer.
“Make the most of the hemp seed and sow it everywhere.”
George Washington grew hemp on his plantations. Actually one could even be jailed in America for not growing hemp during several periods of shortage, e.g., in Virginia between 1763 and 1767.
An especially interesting diary post from George Washington mentions him separating the Female from the Male plants. The only reason someone might want to do this is if you want to smoke the buds. All other applications for hemp it is best to let the two grow together.
May 12-13 1765: “Sowed Hemp at Muddy hole by Swamp.”
August 7, 1765: “began to seperate the Male from the Female Hemp at Do — rather too late.”
Fourth U.S.A. President and also a hemp farmer.
Thomas Jefferson, like George Washington, grew hemp on his plantations too. Actually Jefferson, while envoy to France, went to great expense — and considerable risk to himself and his secret agents — to procure particularly good hemp seeds smuggled illegally into Turkey from China. The Chinese Mandarins (political rulers) so valued their hemp seeds that they made their exportation a capital offense.
Ben Franklin owned a mill that made hemp paper, which allowed America to have a free colonial press without having to beg or justify paper and books from England. Furthermore, the rope that was used in his famous lighting experiment was a hemp rope.
When Rudolph Diesel produced his famous engine in 1896, he assumed that the diesel engine would be powered by a variety of fuels, especially vegetable and seed oils. Rudolph Diesel, like most engineers then, believed vegetable fuels were superior to petroleum. Hemp is the most efficient vegetable.
Experimented with hemp to build cars.
In the 1930s, the Ford Motor Company saw a future in biomass fuels. Ford operated a successful biomass conversion plant that included hemp at their Iron Mountain facility in Michigan. Ford engineers extracted methanol, charcoal fuel, tar, pitch, ethyl acetate, and creosote—all fundamental ingredients for modern industry, and now supplied by oil-related industries.