Colònia Pons. Font: Arxiu Rosa Serra Rotés.

Textile company towns and worker housing: between critics and apologists

Author: Rosa Serra Rotés

Between the lockout and employer repression of 1890 on the Llobregat and the intense level of conflict along the upper course of the Ter between 1899 and 1901, there was an intense debate between critics and apologists of the company town system.

The debate, based in the main on the issue of housing, was profoundly ideological, with earlier roots and subsequent repercussions, and so although between 1890 and 1901 the voices of the apologists were very loudly heard in a number of spheres, the detractors, despite having much less capacity to communicate their message, were nonetheless recalled in the collective memory and in studies which over recent years have analysed the complex world of company towns.

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The presentation made at the International Congress on Worker Settlements and Factory Towns held in October 2018 may be found here