The Company Town

The Company Town : Architecture and Society in the Early Industrial Age

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Company towns - those associated with textiles, mining, or tool manufacturing, for example - can be found worldwide and from antiquity to the present. But with the Industrial Revolution what had been the isolated incidence of such towns became a building phenomenon. This book describes and compares in seven essays the concurrent development and building of selected towns in Europe and the Americas.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 160.3 x 244.6 x 20.6mm | 696.71g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • halftones, line drawings
  • 0195070275
  • 9780195070279

Back cover copy

Company towns - those associated with textiles, mining, or tool manufacturing, for example - are found worldwide and have been in existence for many centuries. But with the coming of the Industrial Revolution, what had been isolated instances of town building became a veritable phenomenon. With explosive growth, virtually hundreds of them appeared in the Western World until about the time of the Great Depression, with development most intensive and homogenous in Europe and the Americas. Although the technological experience of the Industrial Revolution has been widely chronicled and the stories of misplaced banking and exploited labor well documented, until now the actual settings of company towns and the overall achievement in industrial architecture and town planning have been largely ignored. The Company Town describes the concurrent development and building of selected towns in Europe and the Americas, assessing technical advances in factory building, worker housing, and the public buildings that owner-industrialists, in their capacity as philanthropists, bestowed upon such towns. In many instances, the company town came to symbolize the wrecking of the environment, especially in places associated with extractive industries such as mining and lumber milling. Some resident industrialists, however, took a genuine interest in the welfare of their work forces, and in a number of instances hired architects to provide a model environment. Overtaken by time, these towns were either abandoned or caught up in suburban growth. The most thorough-going and only international assessment of the company town, this collection of essays by specialists and authorities of each region offers a balancedaccount of architectural and social history and provides a better understanding of the architectural and urban experiences of the early industrial age.show more

Review quote

Students concerned with the relation of industry to planning will have a field day reading it. * Choice *show more

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