Philadelphia: The Producers' Exchange of Labour for Labour Association, . First Edition. Broadside (27cm x 22cm.) Seven product labels, each with descriptive text, printed on a single sheet. Mild soil; edges trimmed unevenly; faint uneven dampstaining, else Very Good.
Trade broadside listing seven products available for sale at the Labour for Labour Store of Philadelphia, a co-operative enterprise established in 1828 by followers of American proto-anarchist Josiah Warren. The Constitution of the Philadelphia Labour for Labour Association was published in the Mechanic's Free Press for May 24, 1828, listing among its articles of incorporation the acquisition of "a suitable tenement to be occupied as a place of exchange; which shall be denominated the producers exchange of labour for labour store" (qv Commons, Documentary History of American Industrial Society, Volume V: Labor Movement. Cle: 1910). The group changed its name to the The Producers' Exchange Association in 1829, allowing us to positively date this broadside to 1828.
The Philadelphia Labour for Labour Store was the first instantiation in America of Josiah Warren's "Labour Exchange" scheme, in which hours of labor were exchanged for commercial goods. Warren's aim was to abolish money transactions and to make it possible for "producers with little or no capital...to maintain their economic independence by establishing co-operative retail stores" (Commons, History of Labour in the United States, p. 95). In the same year, 1828, Warren established the most famous of the American Labor Exhanges, the Cincinnati Time Store, in Cincinnati; the enterprise was highly succesful, even issuing its own "labor note" currency, but Warren closed the business in 1830 to pursue the establishment of his utopian colonies at "Utopia" (Ohio) and "Modern Times" (New York), where his anarchist commercial theories were put into community-wide practice.