PT Food Co-op

The Food Co-op, 414 Kearney Street, Port Townsend, 98368
Port Townsend
Phone: (360) 385-2883

A Brief History of Modern Co-ops

Fun Fact Quiz

In 19th-century Britain, married women could own equity in:

  1. Banks
  2. Property
  3. Businesses
  4. The Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers (the founding modern consumer co-op)

Answer: D!

Before 1870, a married woman’s property was legally owned and controlled by her husband. The Rochdale Pioneers broke the law to allow women to have equity in the co-op, refusing to hand it over to husbands who demanded the money. The success of women in the co-op helped lead to the passage of the 1870 law allowing women to control their own money and property. (On the other hand, women didn’t get the vote in Britain until 1918 and then only if they were 30 or older!)

Want to learn more about the history of co-ops? Come to the first hour of The Food Co-op’s August board meeting, from 5:30 to 6:30 at the Co-op Annex at 2110 Lawrence Street, as we survey some of the history of cooperation, from Rochdale to the Olympia Veneer Company (a plywood worker co-op).

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