Linda Carlson's Company Towns in the Pacific Northwest (University of Washington Press), a social history based on more than one hundred Washington, Oregon and Idaho employer-owned communities during the twentieth century, now has a new introduction and an expanded gazetteer. 

First published in 2003, when it was a finalist for the Washington State Book Awards, Company Towns has been cited in the New York Times, USA Today and the International Herald Tribune and resulted in Carlson being interviewed by the London Daily Telegraph. She was also featured in the documentary Home, about the long-lived Oregon timber community, Valsetz. 

Copies are available through any retailer who carries new books (by special order if not on the shelves), from the publisher and at

Extensively reviewed, Company Towns prompted such comments as "A generously illustrated book that meticulously surveys more than 100 mining towns, timber camps and government-owned communities in Washington, Oregon and Idaho..." and "...fascinating, authoritative study" in the Seattle Times as well as:

"Entertaining and readable and should appeal to a general audience."—Harvard University Business History Review
"...Carefully researched work on company towns in the Pacific Northwest. The most significant aspect of this work, perhaps, is that it extends an analysis of an institution to the Pacific Northwest that had primarily been confined to the Appalachian coalfields. To give one example of the extent of her research she includes one hundred ten towns in Oregon, Washington and Idaho in a Gazetteer at the end of her book. Included is a thumbnail sketch of each town with some population numbers and other information. Whether this list is exhaustive, or not, it goes beyond anything that exists in terms of coal company towns in the East."—Economic History Association

Carlson's reviews of similar titles appear in journals. Most recently, she reviewed Gilchrist, Oregon: The Model Company Town, for the Western Historical Quarterly.

Humanities Washington 
The research done for Company Towns resulted in Carlson serving four years on the Humanities Washington speakers bureau, which provides speakers to community lecture series, historical associations and schools. Her topics: “Company Towns: How Women Shaped Employer-Owned Communities,” “Company Towns: Their Importance in the Modern West,” and “Speeders, Galloping Geese and Doodlebugs.” These presentations, each approximately an hour in length plus time for questions, are available for your group on a fee basis.

Other Projects
Carlson's first book, The Publicity and Promotion Handbook: A Complete Guide for Small Business (John Wiley, 1982), outlines how businesses can handle publicity, advertising, and sales promotion on tight budgets and with in-house staff. A case analysis of marketing in an architectural practice was first published by the Harvard Business School and then appeared in Services Marketing (Prentice Hall, 1984). 

Her current project is a history of Pacific Northwest department stores, including a review of how they were impacted by World War I, the post-Amistice depression and the Great Depression of the 1930s, and World War II. She is also studying discrimination in hiring and how stores targeted teenagers in their marketing, especially after World War II.  


For more information: 
Linda Carlson
101 Northwestern Place
Sequim WA 98382 
lindacarlson @ 

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