“It is a well-provisioned ship, this on which we sail through space.”
– Henry George, 1879
Henry George was a political economist in the late 1800s, and his first and most famous work is “Progress and Poverty”, published in 1879. The book outsold every book but the Bible in the 1890s and was a catalyst for reform during the Progressive Era; its genius was lauded by many of the greatest minds of the 20th century.
George’s philosophy dealt a great deal with land, the value of which he saw as the joint inheritance and responsibility of all members of the community. Unsurprisingly, we find in his writing the origin of the concept of “Spaceship Earth”, a term referring to both the limited resources available on our planet and our responsibility as humans to steward those resources as a crew working together towards the greater good. “It is a well-provisioned ship,” he says. “…this on which we sail through space.”
Sometime soon after his rise to notoriety, a cigar company branded a line of “working man’s” cigars as “Henry George 5¢ Cigars”. Our roasting company has the great fortune to be located in a 115-year-old building that has on its 2nd floor brick wall an original painted advertisement for these cigars, including the above likeness of Henry George. As such, he is not only the inspiration for our brand philosophy, but also the “patron saint” of our roastery.
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