Episode 777: Free Love, Free Market : Planet Money A free-love commune of perfectionists in upstate New York embraced the free market, and became a blockbuster brand. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
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Episode 777: Free Love, Free Market

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Episode 777: Free Love, Free Market

Episode 777: Free Love, Free Market

Episode 777: Free Love, Free Market

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/776922359/776949852" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The Oneida Community Mansion House, built in 1862. Noel King/NPR hide caption

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Noel King/NPR

The Oneida Community Mansion House, built in 1862.

Noel King/NPR

This episode originally ran in 2017.

In the 20th century, Oneida was a household name. It was one of the United States' biggest flatware manufacturers, with knives and forks symbolizing middle-class taste, and prolific advertising that came to represent the very idea of a well-set table. Oneida was the American middle class brand.

The company's past, however, is far from ordinary: It started as a commune of perfectionists, who subscribed to an esoteric form of Christianity, and practiced free love.

Music: "Soul Woman" and "One Sweet Glorious Day."

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