Who resisted and campaigned for abolition?

Pair of wheatsheaves

Probably made in England, about 1880
Cast iron

Object number Oldham RH2
Unknown donor

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Pair of wheatsheaves

This pair of cast-iron wheatsheaves is from the window of a Co-op store in Oldham. The wheatsheaf was used as a symbol of cooperation because one stalk of wheat cannot stand alone.

The working-class Co-operative Movement has its roots in nearby Rochdale and was very strong in Oldham. The Oldham Industrial Co-operative Society was founded in 1850 and grew to be one of the biggest such societies. The principles of cooperation were that all members were entitled to a share of the profits.

As well as the wheatsheaf symbol the movement also chose the motto 'Labor and wait', deliberately using the American spelling of labour to express support for those fighting slavery in the United States.

This information was provided by curators from Gallery Oldham.