by Lynd Ward
The term company town came into currency in Europe and North America during the Industrial Age. These towns were usually associated with single industries such as coal or textiles where a company held a monopoly on most of the real estate, utilities, and community resources such as hospitals and necessities such as grocery stores. If the economy or the particular industry or company collapsed, so did the company town. The term has come to be associated with corporate exploitation of workers and their families.
In this wood engraving, a lone figure strolls down a deserted street of boarded-up houses. Ward popularized a book format in which a story is told in images not words. The title of Ward’s 1974 monograph, Storyteller without Words, can be applied to him.
What story do you think Company Town tells?