Unlikely Capitalists: Harmonists as Textile Manufacturers

At the end of the eighteenth century, George Rapp (1757-1847) planned to create a religious community in the wilderness as near to heaven on earth as was humanly possible. He succeeded to a large extent, but in the process achieved a different kind of success: he created one of the largest textile manufacturing enterĀ­prises in the Pennsylvania of his time. While still in his native WĆ¼rttemburg,...
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Harmony in the Wilderness: A Walk through Old Economy Village

Imagine a band of religious zealots creating a community, furnishing households, and planting flowers on western Pennsylvania’s frontier with the absolute certainty that the second coming was imminent and that Jesus Christ would walk the garden paths and be made welcome in their homes. That’s what George Rapp (1757-1847) and his harmonist followers believed. Such was his confidence...
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