The Company’s Feast: Commensality And Managerial Capitalism

Author(s): Jenn Ogborne

Year: 2016


In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries many mining companies in the American West provided their employees with housing and boarding arrangements, even recreational green spaces and company-sponsored festivities on holidays. Daily meals offered by some mining companies were a part of larger managerial capitalist policies common during this period. These meals placed the necessity of eating under a company roof and at a company table with foods purchased with company funds. The town of Coloma, Montana was home to many small companies, several of which owned boardinghouses or purchased large quantities of food to feed their laborers. Using the concept of feasting, specifically the labor-motivation feast, as a point of departure, this paper will contextualize these daily commensal activities within the framework of corporate paternalism and suggest different ways of categorizing these "feasts" within an industrial setting.

Cite this Record

The Company’s Feast: Commensality And Managerial Capitalism. Jenn Ogborne. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 435104)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

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Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 582