Coal company towns were infamous, being described as exploitive, and charged with providing low-quality services, like sanitation. Yet, the quality of sanitation in coal towns in 1922 appears similar to that in cities of similar size, although lagging behind that in major cities. Within the coal region, company and independent towns provided similar levels of sanitation. The quality of sanitation in company towns varied in response to cost-related factors, including town age, population, and natural location. Meanwhile, workers were mobile and demanded compensating increases in wage rates in towns with lower-quality sanitation and higher rents.