To accomplish this task—to be missionaries to Indians and German settlers—the Moravians built an amazing community, a model of what we might call the forerunner of a modern industrial complex. Most people who lived on the frontier worked very hard to build farms and produced only enough to feed their families.
Since Moravians wanted to provide religious services to other people and not everyone could be a missionary (and missionaries had to devote themselves to visiting the Indians and other settlers and could not farm or do other work), they had to develop a system to support the work of missionaries.
These new opportunities to make money also created a new demand among Moravian tradesmen and craftsmen, who began to establish their own businesses.
Soon a new system of economics was established: market capitalism.
Teachers will explain the uses of flour in cooking and baking, the products produced in baking, and the distribution and sale of these products throughout the community.
There were other sorts of mills at Bethlehem, which also very important to the community and its growth.In addition, the lesson plan material on Historic Bethlehem from the National Park Service provides a valuable resource for teachers (see links below).In learning about Bethlehem, teachers might begin with a list of colonial jobs or tasks.In addition to the gristmill that made flour, a fulling mill and oil mill produced other needed products that were sold for cash and trade.Teachers will explain how the fulling mill featured power-driven technology that greatly increased the quantity of wool products.On that count, Bethlehem provides an excellent case study for the study of early American life and institutions; how Old World ideas and technologies were applied and improved in America; how freedom and liberty created unimagined opportunities to improve the lives of Americans.The section on 'Historic Bethlehem' in the 'In-Depth Articles' contains much informative material on Historic Bethlehem from the Historic Bethlehem libraries.To gain a greater appreciation and understanding of the organizational structure of Bethlehem, have children plot the various structures and places of work on a map.Teachers might also have their children color in the structures, fields, forests, water features, roads, structures, and other items: Colonial Pennsylvania Mills, Mills in Colonial Cities, Geography, Landscape and Mills.By the 1750s, just before the French and Indian War, the wider colonial world became connected to Bethlehem.The community began to trade tanned hides, linseed oil, food stuffs, and other products to outsiders in exchange for iron, gunpowder, glass, and salt.