From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
A sisal decorticator working in German East Africa (Tanzania) between 1906 and 1918

A decorticator (from Latin: cortex, bark) is a machine for stripping the skin, bark, or rind off nuts, wood, plant stalks, grain, etc., in preparation for further processing.

In 1861, a farmer, named Bernagozzi from Bologna, manufactured a machine called a "scavezzatrice," a decorticator for hemp.[1] A working hemp decorticator from 1890, manufactured in Germany, is preserved in a museum in Bologna.[2] In Italy, the "scavezzatrice" faded in the 1950s because of competition from synthetic materials and from other more profitable crops.

Probably hundreds of different decorticators have been developed since 1890.[3] Misconceptions spread about the device includes the suggestion that the first working hemp decorticator was invented in the United States in 1935.[4] In 1916, there were already five different kinds of "machine brakes" for hemp in use in the United States, and still others in Europe.[5]

One of the most discussed decorticators is the Schlichten model. Quoted from Hemp - American History Revisited by Robert Deitch:

Quoted from The Emperor Wears No Clothes - The Authoritative Historical Record of the Cannabis Plant, Marajuana Prohibition & How Hemp can still Save the World! by Jack Herer copyright 1993 Green Planet Company Publishing:

In 1919, George Schlichten received a U.S. patent on his improvements of the decorticator for treating fiber bearing plants.[6] Schlichten failed to find investors for production of his decorticator and died as a broken man in 1923.[7]

In 1943 wrote Lyster Hoxie Dewey:

"Numerous machines has been devised for breaking and scutching hemp and similar fibers but non have been found to be fully satisfactory in actual commercial work in the United States" [8]

There are still companies who produce and sell new decorticators for different crops.[9]