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James Callow Folklore Archive

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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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THE COMPANY STORE

THE INSTITUTION KNOWN AS THE COMPANY STORE, IMMORTALIZED IN THE
SONG "SIXTEEN TONS" STILL EXISTS.
WHILE THOUGHT TO BE SOMETHING OUT OF THE PAST, OWING ITS FAME TO THE
SONG, WHILE TRAVELING THROUGH THE COPPER COUNTRY OF ARIZONA, I CAME
UPON ONE OPERATED BY PHELPS_DODGE CORPORATION. UPON TALKING TO SOME
OF THE EMPLOYEES, I FOUND THAT THE BASIC CONCEPT IS STILL THE SAME
AS THE NOTORIOUS STORES OF THE EASTERN MOUNTAIN "COAL TOWNS" _ THE
EMPLOYEE CAN BUY FROM THE COMPANY AND HAVE HIS BILL (WHICH, FROM
PRICING THE ITEMS, WOULD BE A BIT HIGH) PAID BY DEDUCTIONS FROM HIS
PAYCHECK (WITH INTEREST}), OF COURSE, TODAY THE MINER IS NOT
COMPELED TO BUY THERE.

Where learned: Arizona ; DOUGLAS-BISBEE

Keyword(s): COPPER COAL TOWNS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Work Commerce Business

Date learned: 06-00-1968

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