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"LaborNote". Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons -

A sample labor note for the Cincinnati Time Store, which operated from 1827 to 1830. ("LaborNote". Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons -

Trade labor for labor with YS Time Exchange

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Students from the Antioch College arts course “Art and Money,” led by Assistant Professor of Media Arts Charles Fairbanks, are set to revive the practice of “time banking” in Yellow Springs. For the uninitiated, Fairbanks explained the practice this way in a press release this week: “So let’s say you are good at cutting hair, but you really need someone to fix your bike — you can use the time bank to exchange your time and skills [for services that you need]. The time bank operates through an interactive website that allows users to log their hours, state the skills and time their willing to share with the community, and request the time of others.”

Time banking has existed in various forms since the 19th century; from 1827–1830, anarchist Josiah Warren operated the Cincinnati Time Store, which allowed people to trade labor for retail goods. In the 1970s, the first “time bank” was opened in Japan by Teruko Mizishima, and it operated on the principle of trading one’s own time and labor in order to earn the time and labor of others, which could be “banked” for one’s lifetime.

Yellow Springs operated its own time bank for several years in the 1990s, and took steps toward reopening the bank five years ago.

The grand opening of the Yellow Springs Time Exchange will be held this Friday, June 12, 1–4 p.m., in the McGregor Hall lobby at Antioch College. All are invited to sign up, meet fellow time bankers and enjoy free cookies, massages, juggling, music and more. Those interested in joining the Time Exchange may also sign up online. For more information, contact Lillian Burke, Antioch College class of 2016, at


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