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company town



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company town (plural company towns)

  1. (idiomatic) A town, city, or other municipality in which a single large business has a controlling influence over the economy and, sometimes, over the societal structure and local government.
    • 1917, Arthur B. Reeve, chapter 5, in The Treasure-Train:
      The workmen lived farther along the line, in a sort of company town, which at present greatly resembled a Western mining-camp, though ultimately it was to be a bungalow town.
    • 1946 May 29, Westbrook Pegler, "Fair Enough," Reading Eagle (USA), p. 4 (retrieved 13 July 2012)
      Now here we have a company town depicted by our authority in the UMW [United Mine Workers] as one of the worst imaginable company towns, where the employer ran the schools, the local administration of justice, and even the churches.
    • 1994 Oct. 30, Penny Singer, "Bob Detmer, a Visionary Video Maker," New York Times (retrieved 13 July 2012):
      Back in the days when Poughkeepsie was a company town and the company was International Business Machines, it wasn't unusual for 18-year-olds in Poughkeepsie to go straight from high school to I.B.M.
    • 2010 Feb. 10, Michael Schuman, "At Toyota's Home Base, Townspeople Are Worried," Time:
      The firm's sprawling factory complexes lie only a short distance from the town center, and, as in any company town, the paychecks of Toyota employees are the main source of support for its restaurants and shops.

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