Italian Center for Documentation on Cooperation and Social Economy | Virtual museum - From 1750 to 1892

Virtual Museum
of cooperatives

From 1750 to 1892

1750 Cheesemakers’ cooperatives established in Franche-Comté in France; they were the world’s first producer cooperatives and the first cooperatives in France. A mutual fire insurance society established in London; it was the first cooperative in the United Kingdom (U.K). Benjamin Franklin and others established a fire protection company in Philadelphia; it soon became the Philadelphia Contributionship for the Insurance of Houses from Loss by Fire (still in existence today). This is regarded as the first cooperative in the United States of America (U.S.).

The first cooperative in Greece, the Red Yarn Cooperative, established in Ambelakia, Thessaly.
1781 Leonard and Gertrude, a novel defining the cooperative ideal, began to be published by Henri Pestalozzi in Switzerland.
1794 Watchmakers’ commercial associations established in Vienna.

Le Phalanstère, an early cooperative-like community, based on principles of voluntarism, harmony and self-support, founded in France by François Marie Charles Fourier. New Lanark on the Clyde established in the U.K. by Robert Owen, initiating his experiments with creating cooperative communities.
1806 Worker-run collective dairy farm established in Osoppo, Italy, the world’s first dairy cooperative and the first cooperative in Italy.
1808 Gardeners’ and farmers’ societies established in Luxembourg, the first agricultural cooperatives in the modern cooperative era and the first cooperative in Luxembourg.
1816 Hrubieszow, an agricultural society, established in partitioned Poland, the first cooperative in that country. Cheesemakers’ cooperative societies established in Bern and Fribourg, Switzerland, the first Swiss cooperatives.
1821 The Cooperative and Economical Society, London, began publication of The Economist, the first newspaper dealing with cooperative ideas.
1825 Big Artel, a consumer cooperative, established in Siberia, the first cooperative in Russia. New Harmony, a cooperative community in the state of Indiana, U.S., founded by Robert Owen. It proved to be unsuccessful as originally planned on utopian principles.

The first U.K. consumer cooperative, the Cooperative Trading Association, organized at Brighton by Dr. William King. It is often cited as the first consumer cooperative of the modern cooperative era. King also established a cooperative newspaper, The Cooperator, which was published regularly until 1830.
1829 François Marie Charles Fourier published Le Nouveau monde industriel et sociétaire in Paris.
1830 The first cooperative factory in the U.K, established in London.
1831 The first French workers’ cooperative established in Paris. The first British cooperative congress held at Manchester, U.K., the first time representatives of an entire national cooperative movement met in a national congress.
1832 Philippe Buchez, theorist of the workers’ cooperative movement in France, founded a review, L’Européen, set up a cabinetmakers’ cooperative and, for the first time, proposed model cooperative bylaws that included the principle of “a perpetual and untransferable reserve fund.”
In the U.K. Robert Owen established the Association of All Classes of All Nations, the first attempt to form an international organization connected with cooperation. The bylaws provided (for the creation of a central cooperative society with branches in all parts of the world. The Association and its journal, The New Moral World, ceased operations in 1839.
1838 Asociaciòn General de Ganaderos de Espãna (General Association of Spanish Stock Breeders), the first cooperative in Spain, established in Madrid.
1839 Louis Blanc published L’Organisation du travail (The Organization of Work) in France, defining the basis of the workers’ cooperative movement. Caja de Ahorros (Savings Bank), the first cooperative in Mexico, established in Orizaba.
1841 Brook Farm, organized at West Roxbury (near Boston), Massachusetts, in an attempt to establish a utopian cooperative community in the U.S. It operated until 1847.
1843 Hotokusha, a farmers’ and handicraft workers’ collective, established as Japan’s first cooperative.
1844 The first Icelandic cooperative, a supply association, established. The Equitable Pioneers of Rochdale Society established near Manchester, U.K. The founding and operation of this cooperative is regarded by many as the event marking the start of the modern cooperative movement.

The first German cooperative established in Chemnitz. Spolek Gazdovski established in Sobotiste, the first-ever credit cooperative and the first cooperative in Slovakia.
1846 A Bread Committee was established by Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen, the mayor of Weyerbusch, Germany, to combat famine during a period of scarcity. This marked the beginning of Raiffeisen’s cooperative activity. The Friendly Societies Act of the U.K. established the position of Registrar of Cooperatives in the government, the first such governmental position.
1847 J. M. Faibre established Teresa Cristina, a cooperative group, at Paranã; the first cooperative in Brazil.

The first Belgian cooperatives (of bakers) established.
1849 Hermann Schulze-Delitzsch established his first cooperative society (of joiners) in Delitzsch, Germany followed by a second for shoemakers. Frieddch WiIheim Raiffeisen established the Mutual Aid Association of Flammersfeld, Germany, his first credit association, from which the idea of rural credit cooperatives grew. George Jacob Holyoake published The Manual of Cooperation in the U.K.
1850 Germany’s first credit society (Vorschuszverein) established by Hermann Schulze-Delitzsch marking the beginning of an urban credit cooperative movement. The first Hungarian cooperative, a credit association, established in Beogterce. Lagunda och Hagunda Haradere Varuanskaffnings Bolaget, Sweden’s first cooperative, established in Orsundsbro.
1851 The first landowners’ credit cooperative established in Denmark; it was also the first Danish cooperative. Norway’s first consumers’ cooperative established by Marcus Thrane, the first cooperative in Norway. A Schulze-Delitzsch credit cooperative established in Celsvec, the first cooperative in Slovenia, then part of Austria.

The Viennese General Aid Group established, the precursor of the Austrian cooperative movement. The first savings and food purchasing group established in Prague, becoming Bohemia’s (later the Czech Republic’s) first cooperative. The first Romanian cooperative, a credit society, established. The Industrial and Provident Societies Act enacted in the U.K., the world’s first cooperative legislation.
1853 In Germany, Schulze-Delitzsch published his first book, Assoziationsbuch für Deutsche Handwerker und Arbeiter (Handbook for German Workers and Artisans). The Central Cooperative Agency established in the U.K. by Edward Vansittart Neale, the world’s first cooperative wholesale society and forerunner of the British cooperative wholesale societies.
1854 The first Raiffeisen rural credit cooperative organized in Heddesdorf, Germany. Equitable Pioneers of Rochdale Society in the U.K. ceased operations.
1856 The History of the Equitable Pioneers of Rochdale by J. G. Holyoake, published in the U.K. It was used to promote cooperative principles and organization throughout Europe.
1859 The first Australian cooperative society established in Brisbane. The first Irish consumer cooperative society established in Inchicore (Dublin), the first Irish cooperative.
1860 The first Latvian consumer cooperative established in Riga, the first cooperative in Latvia (then part of Russia). The first Dutch cooperative, a consumer society, established.
1861 The first Canadian cooperative established in Stellarton, Nova Scotia.
1863 Nemleket Sandigi, a cooperative credit association, established, the first Bulgarian cooperative and the forerunner of the Bulgarian Cooperative Bank. The first cooperative, an agricultural credit society, established in Turkey.
1864 In Germany, Karl Marx discussed in his Manifesto the social value of the cooperative movement.
1865 The first cooperative banks were established in Germany by Schulze-Delitzsch and in Italy by Luigi Luzzatti.

The Geneva Congress of the Workers’ International declared that labour unions “should attempt to spread the cooperative movement without directing it or imposing any kind of doctrine on it.”
1867 Committee formed in France to organize an International Cooperators’ Congress during the Universal Exhibition in Paris. The meeting was cancelled due to French government opposition.

In Germany, Otto von Gierke used the term “cooperative law” for the first time.
1869 The London Congress, the first European cooperative congress, held in London, was convened by the British cooperative movement. The first cooperative established in Lithuania.
1870 The first Finnish cooperatives, consumer societies, established in Viiperi and Tampere. The first handicraft and consumer cooperatives established in Belgrade, the first Serbian societies in what later became part of Yugoslavia.
1871 Sociedad Cooperativa e Caixa Econòmica de Porto, the first Portuguese cooperative society, established.
1872 The first Swedish housing cooperative established (the world’s first housing cooperative).
1875 The first Argentine cooperative, the Sociedad de Producciòn y Consumo, established.
1876 Coopvie Les artisans, the first Canadian life insurance cooperative established in Quebec City. The first cooperative established in Honduras.
1878 Petach Tikva, the first Jewish cooperative settlement, established in Palestine (now Israel).
1881 The New Zealand Farmers’ Cooperative Association of Canterbury, Christchurch, established, the first New Zealand cooperative.
1882 The first pharmaceutical cooperative established in Belgium. The Advisory Education Committee established in the UK. This was the forerunner of the Cooperative College at Stanford Hall, Loughborough, the first cooperative college.
1883 Cooperative Women’s Guild of England and Wales established in London, marking the beginning of cooperative women’s guilds, later established in various countries.
1885 First Canadian consumer cooperative established in Winnipeg.
1886 Societé d’économie populaire, an adult education association, founded by Edouard de Boyve and Auguste Fabre in Nîmes, France. Joined later by Charles Gide, it became known as the École de Nîmes (School of Nîmes). At the Cooperative Congress in Plymouth, IJ.K., Edonard de Boyve pro posed the creation of an international cooperative federation.
1887 The first telephone cooperative founded by David Atwetl in Buenos Aires, Argentina; it existed until 1925. First Canadian cooperative legislation enacted in the Province of Manitoba.

Albert Shaw, in conjunction with Johns Hopkins University, published The History of Cooperation in the United Stares.

Coop Suisse, the Swiss consumer cooperative organization, established.

Beatrice Potter Webb of the U.K. published The Cooperative Movement in Greta Britain. Herbert Myrick of the U.S. published How to Cooperate.

Edward Vansittart Neale and Edward Owen Greening introduced a resolution at the Cooperative Congress in the U.K.; this was approved, endorsing the principle of an international cooperative alliance.’

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