Published on 12th December 2016

Systems of Harmony

  • USA / Illinois / Nauvoo / May 2016.

  • USA / Texas / San Antonio / May 2016. Sarina (14).

  • USA / CT / Hartford / April 2016. Sign outside Immanuel Congregational Church. Hartfort was once home to Coltsville, now a national historic park. Inventor and industrialist Samuel Colt (1814-1862), inspired by what he had seen in London in 1851, embarked upon an extremely bold real estate development campaign. His intention was to build an industrial community to house his workers adjacent to the Colt Armory. By 1856 Coltsville was a city within a city where workers of many nationalities and religions worked, lived and recreated.

  • USA / CT / West Hartford / April 2016. Adali and Marcos in Elizabeth Park.

  • USA / Texas / Dallas / May 2016. Love Insurance.

  • USA / Rhode Island / Providence / April 2016. David Kolsky on his 67th birthday at his favorite restaurant, Minerva Pizzeria.

  • USA / Wisconsin / Ripon / May 2016. Ceresco, the Wisconsin Phalanx, was founded in 1844 in Ripon by followers of the French philosopher Charles Fourier (1772-1837), led by American pioneer and reformer Warren Chase. Fourierism, based on utopian socialism and the idea of equal sharing of investments in money and labour, reached peak popularity in the United States from about 1824 until 1846. The name Ceresco comes from Ceres, the ancient Roman goddess of agriculture.

  • USA / Pennsylvania / Ambridge / April 2016. Ambridge, formerly Economy, was the third community founded by George Rapp and his followers, called the Rappites, Harmonites or Harmonists. Rapp (1757-1847) was a German Pietist preacher who was banned and persecuted after splitting with the Lutheran Church. This led him to move to America and create the Harmony Society, a Christian commune that lasted a hundred years (1805-1906). The Harmonites believed Christ would return in their lifetime and so the purpose of the community was to be worthy of Him in preparation for this moment. The Harmonite communes ultimately failed because the policy of celibacy prevented new members from within.

  • CANADA / Ontario / Niagara Falls / April 2016.

  • USA / Ohio / Utopia / May 2016. Utopia is made up of a few houses, and about 30 inhabitants, along the Ohio River. It's a very desolate place. When I asked Willie Franklin, who has run Utopia's only Village Market and gas pump for 34 years with his wife Ursula, if anyone ever passes by, he said "Oh yes, a few people come camping during the summer. I'm the only one who sells gas and food supplies within miles." Utopia was founded in 1844 by followers of the French philosopher Charles Fourier (1772-1837). The experimental community of Utopia dissolved in 1846 due to lack of financial success and disenchantment with Fourierism. John Wattles, leader of a society of spiritualists, purchased the land and brought his followers. The spiritualists, who sought secluded areas to practice their religion, built a two-storey brick house and later moved it brick by brick to the river's edge despite warnings from the locals. A flash flood on December 13, 1847, drove most of the inhabitants to seek shelter in the town hall, being the only solid building, and almost all drowned or died of hypothermia. The settlement was then bought and re-organized by American anarchist Josiah Warren as an individualist anarchist colony. By 1850 the community had 40 buildings, about half of which were of industrial nature. But the rising prices of surrounding land that made expansion difficult and the strict requirement of being invited by the original settlers led to the eventual dissolution of the colony in 1856.

  • USA / Texas / San Antonio / May 2016. Symphony (12).

  • USA / Iowa / Iowa City / May 2016. Ronald Yoder and son Kendall (14) at the bus station in Iowa City.

  • USA / Illinois / May 2016. A shed along the Illinois bank of the Mississippi River across from Keokuk, Iowa.

  • USA / Texas / Bandera / May 2016. Store in Bandera near Utopia, TX.

  • USA / Ohio / Columbus / July 2018. Coral (18) at the Ohio State Fair.

  • USA / Ohio / May 2016. Sign along the Ohio River Scenic Byway.

  • USA / Massachusetts / Shirley / July 2018. Car repair shop.

  • USA / Texas / Utopia / September 2018. Laynee (17), Lost Maples Cafe.

  • USA / Texas / Utopia / September 2018. Chair for customers who wish to drink coffee in the early morning, Utopia General Store.

  • USA / New York / New Lebanon / July 2018.

  • USA / Iowa / Burlington / August 2018. Mike, ticket agent.

  • USA / Massachusetts / Harvard / July 2018. Sunset watching.

Systems of Harmony

Portrait, Landscape, Documentary

Tagged with:
  • utopia
  • usa
  • utopian community
  • systems of harmony
  • america
  • contemporary