Museum Artefacts

Butter Pat Stamp

Butter was one of the four original items sold by the Rochdale Pioneers. The first Co-operative Wholesale Society creamery was acquired in 1895 in Castlemahon, Ireland. This butter pat was used at the Plymouth … Read more

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Axe

This axe, together with a gavel that sits alongside it in the museum collection, was used to launch the CWS steam ship Federation in 1866. The ship was built by S. P Austin and … Read more

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New Century House Tin

  The two inscriptions on the sides of this tin tell us a great deal about the opening of this building. They read: ‘The opening in 1963 of the new 14-storey C.W.S administrative block … Read more

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Bust of Edward Vansittart Neale

Edward Vansittart Neale (1810-1892) was a Christian Socialist and co-operator. Neale was a trusted figure and advised many groups and individuals on how to set up successful co-operatives. In 1852, Neale founded the Co-operative … Read more

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Head of Samuel Jurkovic

Samuel Jurkovic (1796-1873) was a Pioneer of the co-operative movement in Slovakia. Under his leadership The Farmers Association was created in 1845. This was one of the first co-operative organisations in Europe.

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Bust of George Jacob Holyoake

  George Jacob Holyoake (1817-1906) was one of the co-operative movement’s best-known figures. In 1837, Holyoake gave his first speech on socialism and two years later he became a teacher on the subject. Holyoake … Read more

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Robert Owen’s Cap

Robert Owen (1771-1858) was a socialist, educationist and co-operator and is often referred to as the father of co-operation. Owen originally trained as a draper and then went on to manage and co-own a … Read more

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Portrait of William King

William King (1786-1865) was a doctor in Brighton who saw education as the central reforming agency in society. Between 1828 and 1830 King wrote and edited The Co-operator, a small monthly magazine in which … Read more

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Dispensing Department Plaque

This plaque will have once formed part of a chemist’s shop display. Today the co-operative group owns many pharmacies.

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Defiant Radio

In the 1930’s radio manufacturers refused to supply radio sets to co-operatives because they saw the dividend as a form of price-cutting. The Co-operative Wholesale Society therefore decided that they would make their own … Read more

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