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or seventeen days, each week by means of the laundry. Against these seventeen days are to be charged the steam used in running the laundry, depreciation of plant, etc. The steam was furnished from the sawmill boiler, and but little of it was required; and the machinery was obtained cheaply; there was therefore very little to be subtracted from these seventeen days per week- so little that it can be disregarded. Another point to be noted in this connection is that the twenty women who could not work also had their washing done by the colony free of charge, and that expense was saved to them.
The common dining-room was quite a time-saving device. There were four cooks, each of whom worked about seven hours per day, a total of twenty-eight hours. The paring and preparing of vegetables were done by women. Some twelve were employed, averaging about three hours each per day, or thirtysix hours all told. There were some thirty-five waiters, who also washed the dishes. Each worked approximately four hours per day, deducting the time they consumed in eating their meals, or 140 hours per day for all. Two hours of labor were required to sweep the dining-room per day. Two bakers were employed to bake the bread, nine hours per day, or eighteen hours for both. The manager devoted all his time to the work, and this was nine hours per day. Recapitulating, we have:
Let us compare this with the work the women would be required to do if each family did its own cooking. The work of purchasing, preparing, cooking and serving food, washing dishes, sweeping the dining-room and kitchen, baking, etc., in each family would be something like nine hours per day on the average. Nine hours per day for seventy families would be 630
hours. Subtracting from 630 hours the 233 hours required in the common dining-room, we have 397 hours, almost 400, saved each day by the co-operative method. This is equal to a saving of 63% per cent., and to the work of forty-four persons working nine hours per day.
There was a small cash income from the blacksmithy, as work was done for outsiders. The machine shop sometimes did a little work for neighboring mills for cash. The doctor earned some money from professional visits to outsiders, which was turned over to the colony. No charge was made to colonists for the doctor's services. There is said to be some advantage in having a colony doctor, as he has no incentive to keep his patients sick for the sake of fees. His interest lies in getting them well as quickly as possible. The photograph gallery did considerable custom work for cash. Colonists got rates reduced to cost, and paid in colony scrip or in cash, as they preferred. The store did considerable business, but the greater part of its sales were for hour checks, and no profit was made on these sales. Another part of its business was barter with the neighboring farmers for butter and eggs. This produce was all consumed by the colony, and the bartering at the store was therefore only a cheaper way of buying this produce. This was a profit, but not a cash profit. It encouraged the bad habit of consuming admission fees, for the goods bartered away had been paid for in cash which had usually been obtained from the sale of stock. A third portion was sold for cash to outsiders and to members. On that which was sold to members no profit was made, but sales to outsiders yielded a profit. These outsiders were southern farmers, a class of people with a low standard of living; hence these cash sales were small, and the store could not be called a money-making enterprise. Its chief utility lay in providing goods to members at wholesale rates.
The farming, as was said before, was badly managed, and it would therefore be unfair to compare it with farming under the competitive system, which is well managed. The merits or demerits of co-operation could not be determined in that way.
Families lived separately, as in other villages. The mother was not required to work for three months before and one year after confinement.
Marriage ceremonies were performed in the ordinary way. Sometimes they were performed in public, on the stage. One peculiar ceremony was that performed at the marriage of two prominent members. The contracting parties first read a statement saying, among other things, that they would live together so long as love should last between them, and no longer. They were then married in the legal way by a justice, who took no notice of the preliminary remarks that the pair had made. The matter was taken up by some reporters, who called it a free-love marriage, ignoring the fact that a legal ceremony had been performed. A few of the earliest members were free lovers in theory, but no one has ever charged them as far as I am aware with being such in practice.
There was some scattering criticism on the fertility of one or two families who had children nearly every year. It was sup
posed by some that, if the parents had been obliged to find support for their children under the competitive system, they would have been more prudent. I am inclined to doubt this, however, and do not think that the socialistic principle of providing for the children of all had any noticeable tendency to increase the population.
There was a more marked disposition among the younger people to get married than there is outside of colonies of this sort. Young women were scarcer than eligible men, and all the former got married or had opportunities to marry as soon as they were marriageable. The reason for this was, perhaps, that there was security of employment and of a livelihood, and hence no worry about the future on the part of the members. The advent of a family caused no apprehensions, for the colony issued to the father colony scrip for the maintenance of the children. The absence of worry in the colony, until the receiver was appointed, was really remarkable, and was commented on by many visitors. It was the doctor's opinion that it was very
conducive to good health, and tended to lengthen life. Sexual selection was not governed by economic considerations, as in ordinary society. There were no opportunities to make fortunes, and one person's economic prospect was as good as another's. Sexual selection was therefore governed by personal affinity, looks, etc., and not by money considerations.
The criticism has been made that sufficient provisions were not made for the care of children old enough to run about while the mother was at work. During the school months they were all at school, but through the vacations the mother could not look after them while she was at work, and it was thought by some that the children degenerated somewhat for this reason; others, again, held a different opinion.
The smaller children received kindergarten training, and as they grew older they attended school. The school year at the colony was ten months long, but the state paid the teacher for only five months. This salary was turned over to the colony, which furnished a teacher. Several members also gave instruction after working hours in French, elocution, gymnastics, and a few other branches. There was a foreman of recreation who superintended the theatricals given every two weeks. Music lessons were also given. The Progress League, composed of the children, gave an entertainment every two weeks. Instructive experiments in chemistry were occasionally made at these entertainments. The foundation of a college building was laid, but it was never carried farther. There was a public library containing one or two thousand volumes. It was open evenings, and books were loaned to members. It was well patronized. There was a brass band of some fifteen or sixteen pieces, which gave concerts at regular intervals.
Art was not very prominent, but it was more in evidence than it would have been in a competitive village. One of the colonists spent nearly a year in painting a drop curtain for the stage; and also painted a portrait of Ruskin. He had classes in
drawing at times. A manual-training school was talked of for the future. Men who worked at trades were, as a rule, not afraid to show anyone how to do the work. This is quite a contrast with the competitive system, in which it is sometimes very hard to learn a trade, because skilled laborers are afraid that they may educate someone who will afterward displace them.
PHENOMENA PERTAINING TO BELIEFS.
There was, first of all, a deeply rooted belief in the efficacy of the principles of socialism. Some of the members even valued the theories of socialistic authorities above practice. Contradictory as it may seem, there were a few socialists with a decided leaning toward anarchy; who would have abolished all rules and regulations, and depended upon established custom and the sense of right of the members to carry on the colony, if they had been able to do so. Their optimism blinded them so that they could not see the disastrous results in store for the colony.
The religious belief of the colony was like Jacob's coat. Nearly all the chief religions of civilized races were represented. Protestantism, however, was more in evidence than any other cult. There were a number of freethinkers. "Mental Science" had quite a following, and was reported to be responsible for the death of one member. This man was a student of the "science" and also wished to learn the art of swimming. He was told by one of the leading "scientists" that if he firmly made up his mind that he was able to swim, he would find that he had no difficulty in swimming. One morning, soon after this, he was missing, and his body found in a deep place in the creek. It is reported that another "scientist," when she caught a bedbug, would place it on the porch, headed toward the gate, and say: "Now, you go away, and don't you ever come back again." It is not reported that her plan was efficacious.
The ethical views of some of the leaders were somewhat hazy. A number of people were induced to join the colony by the printed statement of the officials that the net assets were over