Company town  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

A company town is a place where at least initially— practically all stores and buildings are owned by the one joint-stock company that has a geographically linked business need and so provides employment and infrastructure (housing, stores, transportation, sewage and water) to support the effort. Typically, such towns are founded in a remote location, so that residents cannot easily commute or shop elsewhere, and as often, once a community takes hold and begins to grow (attracting other non-company residents, relatives and small business capitalists and settlers with other employment, such as rail road or highway employees), the company will sell off or rent properties within the town to increase their return on investment, in effect, divesting themselves of the town property over time. Such towns are often planned with a suite of amenities such as bars, pool halls, swimming pools, markets and even theatres. In much of the world, perhaps especially in areas welcoming waves of emigration to fill a lack of skilled workers such as Australia and the United States; corporations explored, found desirable resources or land features to exploit (For example flats for a large rail yard, mineral outcrops, water resources, etc.), planned a settlement to support the business' needs, and then imported workers to build an infrastructure and more workers to staff the business needs—even paying trans-oceanic shipping passage when and where necessary. The practice continues to this day, when and where there are both and need for workforces and resources to exploit.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Company town" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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