New Lanark: schools, mills, the Owen home

This is a view of New Lanark, Scotland, as it was when Robert Owen was the owner of the cotton mills, the largest such operation in Great Britain. The rightmost building housed a School for the Children, and the foremost 3-storied building was a School for the Formation of Character. The other five large buildings housed most of the cotton operations.

In past publications this scene has been transposed left to right, giving a result that does not match the view of the next image on this screen. I thank the Curator of the Robert Owen Museum, Newtown, Wales, for pointing out the correct orientation.

This view is based on a later photograph (but before 1906) by Davidson & Sons, New Lanark, showing the main cotton mills. As owner and manager of the mills beginning in 1800, Owen developed ideas for industrial and societal reform, to be implemented in the form of communitarian villages, comparable in some respects to the community of families employed and schooled at the New Lanark mills.

Shown here from another photograph by Davidson & Sons is Braxfield House, New Lanark, Scotland, the home of Robert Owen, his wife Caroline Dale Owen, and their children: Robert Dale, William, David Dale, Richard, Anne Caroline, Jane Dale, and Mary. Five of the children, at different times, settled in New Harmony, Indiana: the four sons and Jane Dale Owen.

Images courtesy of Robert Owen Museum, Newtown, Wales.
Robert Owen, social reformer, founder of New Harmony
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