Robert Owen was a social reformer who is considered by many to be the father of co-operation and a pioneer of modern British socialism. Owen believed that a person’s character is formed by the environment in which they live. He developed many ideas on infant and adult education, and campaigned to reduce working hours and improved the living and working conditions of factory workers. In 1799 Owen took over the mills of David Dale at New Lanark and while there, he pioneered many of his ideas. In 1824, Owen and his sons decided to set up a co-operative community in New Harmony, Indiana, USA.
This document, from February 1825, is a notice inviting families to apply to live there. The notice details the trades and skills that will be needed there to make the community successful. The New Harmony venture only lasted three years. The community suffered from overcrowding and not having the appropriate skills to farm the land. In 1828 Owen handed the estate over to his sons and returned to Britain.
The document can now be found in the National Co-operative Archive in Manchester.