Sunday, November 30, 2014
#TheEmperorWearsNoClothes by Jack Herer #Chapter2
#TheEmperorWearsNoClothes by Jack Herer
The Battle of Bulletin 404
In 1917, the world was battling World War I. In this country, industrialists, just beset with the minimum wage and graduated income tax, were sent into a tailspin. Progressive ideals were lost as the United States took its place on the world stage in the struggle for commercial supremacy. It is against this backdrop that the first 20th century hemp drama was played.
The story begins in 1916, soon after the release of USDA Bulletin 404 (see page 24). Near San Diego, California, a 50-year-old German immigrant named George Schlichten had been working on a simple yet brilliant invention. Schlichten had spent 18 years and $400,000 on the decorticator, a machine that could strip the fiber from nearly any plant, leaving the pulp behind. To build it, he had developed an encyclopedic knowledge of fibers and paper making. His desire was to stop the felling of forests for paper, which he believed to be a crime. His native Germany was well advanced in forestry and Schlichten knew that destroying forests meant destroying needed watersheds.
Henry Timken, a wealthy industrialist and inventor of the roller bearing got wind of Schlichten’s invention and went to meet the inventor in February of 1917. Timken saw the decorticator as a revolutionary discovery that would improve conditions for mankind. Timken offered Schlichten the chance to grow 100 acres of hemp on his ranch in the fertile farmlands of Imperial Valley, California, just east of San Diego, so that Schlichten could test his invention. (to be continued)