Standard Oil Collar

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Lawson, Thomas A. "Frenzied Finance: The Story of Amalgamated [Copper company]." Everybody's Magazine 11.2 (August 1904): 157; ch. II. "By Frank Norris, O. Henry".[[1]]

Chapter II is on "The 'System's' Method of Finance and Management" and attacks Standard Oil. The section on management includes an early attack on what came to be called the company man (or "The Organization Man") and gives a satiric set of rules and a code for him. "First, there is a basic law, from which no one — neither the great nor the small — is exempt. In substance it is: 'Every "Standard Oil" man must wear the "Standard Oil" Collar.' ¶ This collar is riveted on to each one as he is taken into 'the band,' and afterward can only be removed with the head of the wearer." This satiric image and figure of speech is made more literal and science-fictional in Frederik Pohl and Jack Williamson's Reefs of Space and Starchild,[2] and in DEADLOCK, THE RUNNING MAN (film), and WILD WILD WEST (film 1999).

RDE 9Ap16