Conducts research and collects data on the global history of labour, workers, and labour relations

Workers Paradise

13 August 1880
Guise, the Laundry
BG A56/129

A successful social experiment during the industrial revolution took place in Guise in the north of France. Between 1856 and 1883 Jean-Baptiste Godin (1817-1888), an adherent of Charles Fourier, built a factory, ultramodern living quarters, a school and day-care nursery, shops and common gardens for his workers. At the time the Familistère de Guise or Palais Social attracted many visitors and it still does. Today, the Godin business still manufactures cast iron cooking utensils and stoves. On August 13, 1880, when the Association Cooperative du Capital et du Travail was established, the workers became the owners of the factory.