The Tulip Mania was the very first economic bubble of the world history. Many speculators mortgaged all of their belongings, just to get in possession of a few tulip bulbs. This event happened in the Netherlands as the country experienced its Golden Age in the beginning of the 17th century. Can you imagine that the sum paid for one tulip was sufficient to house, feed and clothe a whole dutch family for half a lifetime?
I spent 2 months in research, design and coding work for this Interactive Storytelling Website about the Tulip Mania. If you are interested in this story in general you should order this great book at your local bookstore.
Most animations are triggered by the users scroll progress.
To a Dutchmen of the Golden Age (17th century), the tulip was a brilliant newcomer, still bearing something of the allure of the exotic East and obtainable only in strictly limited quantities. Because the most superbly fine varieties were scarce, they were expensive and because they were expensive, they were attractive to have for rich people.
Most rare tulips were grown principally by rich dutch regents and merchants, who valued it for its beauty and the intensity of its colors. By 1630 professional flower growers could be found in almost every town in the Dutch Republic. Tulip farming was pretty attractive. A small plot of land was required and some bulbs being all that was required to start.
From the early 1630s common dutchmen now didn’t not just breed tulips, they also started to buy them since the dawning realization that money could be made in bulbs not just by breeding. For a while at least, many made money. And that attracted yet more novice florists to the trade.
One day there were no bidders for a special tulip bulb. Many traders realized, that hey had bought similar bulbs within the past few days in anticipation of selling again for another handsome profit. Now, their assumptions had been shattered. The market for tulips simply ceased to exist. One tulip that had been worth 5,000 guilder was sold later for only 50 guilders.