Hemp for Victory

The many uses and history of industrial Hemp

The film was made to encourage farmers to grow hemp for the war effort because the United States was facing a hemp shortage. The intended audience was probably corn farmers in Kentucky, since the narrator emphasizes that land used to grow corn could also grow hemp, and a segment from the song “My Old Kentucky Home” can be heard on the sound track. The film shows a history of hemp and hemp products, how hemp is grown, and how hemp processed into rope, cloth, cordage and other products.

As it was made by the US Government, it is public domain and is freely available for download from the Internet Archive.

Before 1989, the film was relatively unknown, and the United States Department of Agriculture library and the Library of Congress told all interested parties that no such movie was made by the USDA or any branch of the U.S. government. Two VHS copies were recovered and donated to the Library of Congress on May 19,1989 by Maria Farrow, Carl Packard, and Jack Herer.

The only known copy, at the time 1976, was a 3/4″ broadcast quality copyof the film that was originally obtained by William Conde in 1976 from a reporter for the Miami Herald and the Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church of Jamaica. It was given in trust that it would be made available to as many as possible. It was put into the hands of Jack Herer by William Conde during the 1984 OMI (Oregon Marijuana Initiative). The film 20 years later is now availableanywhere through the internet.

“A 44-gun frigate like our cherished ‘Old Ironsides’ took over 60 tons of hemp for rigging, including an anchor cable 25 inches in circumference. The Conestoga wagons and prairie schooners of pioneer days were covered with hemp canvas. Indeed the very word canvas comes from the Arabic word for hemp. In those days hemp was an important crop in Kentucky and Missouri. “Hemp For Victory,” USDA film, 1942

Hemp For Victory

Directed by Raymond Evans
Produced by U.S. Department of Agriculture
Written by Brittain B. Robinson
Starring Lee D. Vickers (Narrator)
Music by Reuben Ford (Monaural)
Release date(s) 1942
Running time 16 minutes