Today's guest blogger is Kelly Westerlund, a senior at Robert Morris University. As part of her internship work with Old Economy Village curator Sarah Buffington, Kelly researched and developed an exhibit exploring the Harmony Society's economics and business practices. The exhibit, located in the lobby of the Visitor Center, will be on view through April 30, 2015 (or perhaps longer).
With Halloween just around the corner, now is the perfect time to talk about something that frightens many Americans; that big, red monster called communism. The word for most people conjures up images of the Berlin Wall, Tiananmen Square, and children hiding under their desks to hide from nuclear fallout. It is a very scary word in American culture and has been for just about all of the twentieth century. Even now, calling someone a communist is meant to discredit them. We often think of communism as the antithesis of capitalism, but the Harmony Society proved this to be untrue in the late eighteenth through the nineteenth century. Their religious beliefs melded these two ideologies together as I demonstrate in my exhibit, Juxtaposed Right Here! Communism and Capitalism, located in the Old Economy Village Visitor Center.
|Oil derricks at Tidioute, PA, one of the Society’s many investments (Drake Well Museum collection)|
|Hired apple pickers (Old Economy Village collection)|
|Store where items were distributed, 1902 (Old Economy Village collection)|
(Editor's note 10/22: I had a brief chance to see the exhibit for myself late last week and snapped a photo.)
|Visitor Center exhibit (photo by AKF)|