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Dana G. Card papers, 1913-1955

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Processed by Janice Childers in April 2008 under the supervision of Deirdre A. Scaggs, University Archivist.; machine-readable finding aid created by Janice Childers


Dana G. Card papers




University of Kentucky Libraries, Special Collections


This collection is arranged at the folder level by form and in chronological order therein.

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open to researchers by appointment.

Preferred Citation Note

1986ua020: [identification of item], Dana G. Card papers, University of Kentucky Archives.


0.18 cubic feet (1 box)


The Dana G. Card papers consist of Card's research into hemp production and appear to have been collected mostly during the 1930s until the end of World War II, although materials span from 1913-1955.


Dana George Card was born in Lincoln, Nebraska but moved east with his family as an infant. He graduated from Troy (Pennsylvania) High School in 1915 and received three degrees from Cornell University: Bachelor of Science, 1919; Master of Science, 1925; Doctor of Philosophy, 1939.

Card joined the UK College of Agriculture in 1920 as an extension specialist in marketing. During his 48 year tenure, he also served as a research assistant in agricultural marketing (1923-1929), an assistant professor of agricultural economics (1929-1939), an associate professor (1939-1947), and ended his professional career as a full professor in the department (1947-1968). While working at UK, Card did research for the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station on the pricing and marketing of crops including strawberries, bluegrass seed, poultry, tobacco, and hemp. His research led to over 50 publications for Kentucky Agricultural Experimental Station and U.S. Department of Agriculture bulletins, Kentucky Extension circulars, and newspaper articles. Card died on August 14, 1990 at the age of 92.

(Biographical information on Card was obtained from a UK Public Relations press release dated 6/21/68 and from the Herald-Leader obituary which ran on 8/16/90.)

Hemp cultivation in the United States began soon after the Puritans settled New England, and quickly became a major crop, particularly in the South where growing conditions were more advantageous. The fiber was used in the production of "homespun", rope, cotton-bale coverings and sailcloth.

The first known hemp cultivation in Kentucky was in 1775 by Archibald McNeil near present-day Danville. James Hopkins noted that hemp was considered Kentucky's chief cash crop from 1792-1861, and described hemp farms ranging from a few acres to over 1,000. By 1850, over half of U.S. hemp was produced in Kentucky. The Civil War caused a reduction in demand for hemp fiber from which the industry never fully recovered. The introduction of ironclad ships dependent on steam rather than sails (for which hemp was used to produce) ultimately brought about the downfall of the industry on a large scale.

The hemp industry limped along until World War II brought an effort by the government to counteract the overproduction of cotton and ensuing soil depletion, as well as decreased availability of foreign fibers, by active encouragement of alternative fiber crops. During the war years, the U.S. government built hemp mills and refineries, rented machinery and bought fibers from growers. Agricultural economists and scientists conducted studies and the plant was widely used to produce paper, textiles, plastics and energy. At the same time, the government strictly regulated the plant through taxes under the 1937 Federal Marihuana [sic] Tax Act, which levied hefty fines on anyone who violated the regulations by possessing or selling marijuana for purposes other than those sanctioned by the government. With the end of the war, the demand for hemp decreased, and government funding ceased, bringing the final blow to hemp production in the U.S.

Scope and Content

The Dana G. Card papers consist of Card's research into hemp production and appear to have been collected mostly during the 1930s until the end of World War II, although materials span from 1913-1955. Included are studies, bulletins and reports from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, newspaper clippings, correspondence and photographs all dealing with aspects of the hemp and fiber industry. Of special note are studies by Lyster H. Dewey, a botanist in the U.S. Bureau of Plants who wrote extensively about hemp production and the production of paper from hemp hurds; and bulletins detailing soil requirements and harvesting techniques.


  • Card, Dana George, 1898-
  • Dewey, Lyster H. (Lyster Hoxie), 1865-1944.
  • United States. Dept. of Agriculture.
  • Kentucky. Dept. of Agriculture, Labor and Statistics.
  • Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station.
  • University of Kentucky. College of Agriculture.
  • World War, 1939-1945 Equipment and supplies.
  • Hemp industry Kentucky History 20th century.
  • Hemp industry Statistics.
  • Hemp Research.
  • Hemp Harvesting Machinery.
  • Hemp Harvesting Machinery Photographs.
  • Hemp Soils.
  • Agricultural machinery & implements United States Photographs.
  • Agricultural laborers Photographs.
  • Textile industry United States.
  • Paper industry United States.
  • Mills and mill-work United States.
  • Mills and mill-work Kentucky.
  • Lexington (Ky.)

User Restrictions

The intellectual rights to the materials in this collection are held by the University of Kentucky Special Collections.

Related Material

Card, Dana G. and A.J. Brown (Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station). Thirty Years of Farm Prices and Production in Kentucky. Lexington (Ky.): University of Kentucky, Bulletin No. 403, May 1940.

Card, Dana G., A. J. Brown and O.M. Farrington (Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station). Index Numbers of Prices and Production of Farm Products in Kentucky. Lexington (Ky.): University of Kentucky, Bulletin No. 411, January 1941.

Lewis, E.B., Dana G. Card and J.S. McHargue (Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station). Tobacco Stalks, Hemp Hurds and Sorghum Bagasse as Sources of Cellulose for Making High-Quality Paper. Lexington (Ky.): University of Kentucky, Bulletin No. 515, March 1948.

Collection Inventory

Correspondence: to and from individuals, private and government organizations on hemp industry studies, statistics and practices, 1933-1944
[box: 1, folder: 1]
Notes and statistics, circa 1910-1942
[box: 1, folder: 2]
Clippings: articles on the history and contemporary practices of hemp production in Kentucky; marijuana raids; hemp prices; post-war industry slump and sale of disused hemp mills, 1938-1955
[box: 1, folder: 3]
Publications: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture bulletins; Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois Agricultural Experiment Station bulletins; Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station bulletins and reports, 1913-1941
[box: 1, folder: 4-5]
Photographs: addressed to "Louis Nollau, Mechanical Hall, University of Kentucky" , circa 1920-1930s
[box: 1, folder: 6]
Hemp field during harvest, with harvester, circa 1920-1930s
[box: 1, folder: 6, item: 1] browse
Hemp field during harvest , circa 1920-1930s
[box: 1, folder: 6, item: 2] browse
Hemp mill workers with fiber, circa 1920-1930s
[box: 1, folder: 6, item: 3] browse
Hemp mill [?], circa 1920-1930s
[box: 1, folder: 6, item: 4] browse
Two men with a 1916 8-16 International Harvester tractor in hemp field, circa 1920-1930s
[box: 1, folder: 6, item: 5] browse