How the Spitfire Accidentally Invented Crowdfunding

It has always been an aircraft loved by the people. But thanks to a scheme that was way ahead of its time, the Spitfire was funded by them, too…


Raising £13 million for a cause in 2020 is an impressive amount. But in the 1940s, it was truly astonishing.

Yet the Spitfire Fund was exactly that. Launched in May 1940, it would use nearly 1,500 direct public appeals to help the production of World War 2’s most famous aircraft. And while you’d be forgiven for thinking that the concept of crowdfunding originated thanks to the aid of modern technology, without the use of it in its very simplest form the landscape of the Second World War could have been very different.

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