The first book is finished!

We have decided to publish two books about the industrial period in Långed and about the village Långed: one photobook and one more textbased.The first one will soon be printed and we plan for a release party in February in our nonprofit café Schuckert here in Dals Långed.

We have hundreds of interesting photos and other kind of material, and Patrik Olofsson in our group, has since long time collected photos showing our small part of Sweden.

Lena Grönlund has written a text and Vigdis BitustØyl Jacobsen and Patrik Olofsson has done the layout, while Eric Hopper is responsible for the grahpics.

We have - on a small scale - started searching in archives. In Sweden we have special archives for material from NGOs and from unions: minutes, records, flags, posters. The page above is a handwritten inventory from the cooperative store  in Bengtsfors 1916 showing every single item they had for sale.

Thanks to Sweden's very long tradition that makes all texts building up public decisions open for everyone to read, we also can go to archives and find why and how the powerful decided to help some families, to build things, to stop initiatives they did not like and so on.

We are also lucky enough to a have very local newspaper since 1926, Dalslänningen, whose archive we are allowed to browse in.

An old postcard showing to the left one of many washing houses by the river. In the middle one of two general stores driven co-operatively by the workers in Långed. To the right the shop's storehouse.

In Sweden industrial and rural workers in the 1900th century and sometimes in the first decades of the 2000th century, was forced to use their masters shops, as there were no alternatives in sparsely populated regions. The masters abused this monopoly in that the prices on necessary goods was so high that customer's account always were overdrawn. This meant that workers could not move to better places - an indirect kind of slavery. To counteract this industrial workers started co-operative stores that successfully competed with the private owned shops.

Remembering the very low income these families had it was a heroic achievement starting co-operatives, as well as meeting houses like Folkets hus or park (The people's house or park). They had to buy the land, build houses and get goods.

Text: Lena Adamina Waldau