Robert Owen (1771-1858)
Robert Owen was a man ahead of his time. During his lifetime, he endeavored to improve the health, education, well-being and rights of the working class. This driving ambition to create a better society for all took him around the world, from a small mill village in Lanark shire in Scotland to New Harmony, Indiana in America with varied success. Although, he encountered much criticism and opposition in his lifetime, he influenced reformers who came after him and many of his views are as relevant and resonate today in their modernity and progressive nature.
Born on the 14th May 1771, in Newtown, a small market town in Wales, Robert was the sixth of seven children born to the local saddler and ironmonger. He was an intelligent boy who read avidly, loved music and was good at sports. He began his career in the textile industry early on, from around the age of 10. By the time he was 21 he was a mill manager in Manchester. His entrepreneurial spirit, management skill and progressive moral views were emerging by the early 1790s. In 1793, he was elected as a member of the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society, where the ideas of reformers and philosophers of the Enlightenment were discussed. He also became a committee member of the Manchester Board of Health which was set up to promote improvements in the health and working conditions of factory workers. Meanwhile, in Scotland, New Lanark Cotton Spinning Mills were being established. This enterprise was to prove pivotal in Owen’s career as a businessman and social pioneer. Died in November 17, 1858, Newtown.
Hugo Munsterberg (1863-1916)
Hugo Munsterberg was born on June 1, 1863 in Danzig, Germany. His father, Moritz, was a merchant who bought and sold lumber. His mother, Anna, was an artist who continued working even after she became a mother to four sons. Munsterberg played the cello, and he also wrote poetry. His passion for music...
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