HOUR Town – Paul Glover and the Genesis and Evolution of Ithaca HOURS

Ithaca HOURS are, arguably, the most successful of the local currency experiments of the last two decades. At the height of their popularity in the mid-1990s, perhaps as many as 2,000 of Ithaca and region’s 100,000 residents were buying and selling with HOURS. The high profile of HOURS in the Ithaca community has prompted a series of articles, television news segments and documentaries, primarily for the popular media. Though constituting valuable documentation of an intrinsically interesting phenomenon, these reports has tended to be fragmentary and ahistorical, thus lacking in context in terms of the longitudinal evolution of the Ithaca region’s political economy. The present study attempts to remedy these lacunae in our understanding of the genesis and evolution of Ithaca HOURS by presenting a systematic account of Ithaca’s experiment with local currencies over the past decade and a half through the person of Paul Glover, the individual most closely associated with the founding and developing of HOURS. The article follows the activist career of Glover through the end of 2003, thus placing HOURS in the context of Ithaca’s activist community’s efforts to push the local polity and economy in the direction of ecological sustainability.

Jeffrey Jacob, Merlin Brinkerhoff, Emily Jovic and Gerald Wheatley Volume 8(2004) 3

IJCCR vol 8 (2004) 3 Jacob et al

To cite this article: Jacob, J.; Brinkerhoff, M.; Jovic, E.; Wheatley, G. (2004) ‘HOUR Town – Paul Glover and the Genesis and Evolution of Ithaca HOURS’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 8 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2004.003