"Contributionship" at Liberty Square
Disney fans love the great theming in Liberty Square. They speak of the glass on the windows, and of references to Ichabod Crane. There are shutters that are hung loosely with leather straps, and a path down the middle of the street representing draining sewage. But few, if any, have ever mentioned this symbol found between the Hall of Presidents and the Columbia Harbour House. It’s close to the lanterns representing Paul Revere’s midnight ride.
In colonial times the set of arms embracing the wrist of another represented Ben Franklin’s fire insurance company, the first insurance company in America. It was known as “Contributionship”. Back then, if you wanted help in case of a fire, you had to contribute by paying dues, for which you received a plaque to put on your house. The design symbolizes the fireman’s “carry” technique. Fire companies knew that if they were at all successful, they would be compensated for their work. Fights occasionally broke out among fire fighting companies vying for the money.
What’s more curious is what is underneath this location. Most people know about the utilidors underneath the Magic Kingdom. But there is a very supportive arm of the organization whose offices are not far below this point. It has amazing technology that would make Ben Franklin forget all about kite flying. To learn more, visit Disney at Work: Magic Kingdom, my newly “re-imagineered” app. It’s filled with incredible stories and hundreds of images, all sharing best-in-business, best-in-life ideas for your organization.