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Home Video The Coal Town System

The Coal Town System

West Virginia coal operators built small, company-owned towns for their miners to live in. The coal towns were almost always unincorporated; there were no elected officials, no independent police forces. Owners hired private detective agencies to watch over their workforce. Company towns were also untethered from the free market competition owners usually championed.

“The Mine Wars” premieres January 26, 2016 on American Experience PBS.