Crowdfunding has a long history and several roots. One of those, experts admit, is a public document named Premiere Circulaire Annuelle adressée par l’auteur du Systeme de Philosophie Positive which was issued in 1850 by the French philosopher August Comte, known as the founder of sociology and of positivism, to gain funds by the public to further his work.
Pictured above, the receipt from one of his backer, Philémon Deroisin, a student and a close personal friend of him.
Having studied law in Paris, Deroisin had eventually become interested in Comte’s ideas and followed his courses in astronomy and sociology. He became acquainted with the philosopher in 1849 and was close to him for four years, before being rejected by Comte after writing a mild critique of his system. Deroisin was apparently still feeling attached to the former teacher and friend.