Labor notes (currency)

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Sample labor for labor note for the Cincinnati Time Store. Scanned from Equitable Commerce (1846) by Josiah Warren

Labor notes are an alternative currency based on exchange of hours of labor.[citation needed]

Two early attempts at implementing labor notes were made by social reformers Josiah Warren and Robert Owen following their experiences attempting to establish a utopian community at New Harmony, Indiana, in which currency was prohibited:

In 1827, Josiah Warren established the Cincinnati Time Store where goods could be purchased with labor notes representing an agreement to perform labor.[1] He folded the store in 1830 in order to devote his effort to establishing communities that implemented his principles of labor-based prices.

Beginning in 1832, Robert Owen and his followers attempted to implement labor notes in London and Glasgow by establishing marketplaces and banks that accepted them. Their efforts failed in 1834.[2]

During the Great Depression, European communities implemented local currencies with varying success. More modern implementations as time-based currencies were implemented in the United States starting in the 1970s.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ True civilization an immediate necessity, Josiah Warren, date?, publisher?, ISBN ?
  2. ^ [1] Zatlin, Jonathan R., The currency of socialism: money and political culture in East Germany, 2007, Cambridge University Press, p. 25.