|The Robert Owen Museum. Photo by "Indigo Goat" Some rights reserved|
"By my own experience and reflection I had ascertained that human nature is radically good, and is capable of being trained, educated and placed from birth in such manner, that all ultimately (that is as soon as the gross errors and corruptions of the present false and wicked system are overcome and destroyed) must become united, good, wise, wealthy and happy. And I felt that to attain this glorious result, the sacrifices of the character, fortune and life of an individual was not deserving a moment's consideration. And my decision was made to overcome all opposition and to succeed or die in the attempt. "
Robert Owen, the son of a saddler and ironmonger, became one of the most successful mill owners of the Industrial Revolution with a reputation as the producer of fine cotton. However, it was not as a successful and respected businessman that he left his mark on history, but as one of the most prominent social reformers of the period, a pioneer of modern British socialism and a source of inspiration to the co-operative and trade union movements.
An original thinker, a man of imagination, philanthropist, visionary and an idealist, but above all Robert Owen had the strength to try and realise his ideals.