|Passaic Falls, N.J. [1890-1900]. Image: LOC|
|Paterson, N.J. in 1901. Image: Shorpy|
By the early 1900s, with over 100 silk firms located in Paterson, the area was dubbed Silk City, and in 1910 SUM built the first hydro-electric plant. Before, each plant was powered by individual water wheels.
|Silk Factory, stripping and dyeing, Paterson, N.J., early 1900s. Stereoscopic: Paige Family|
|Workers weaving plain silk cloth at a Paterson silk mill, early 1900s. Stereoscopic: Paige Family|
|Children from Paterson, N.J. attend a May Day parade in New York City as part of the Silk Strike protest efforts, May 1, 1913. Image: LOC|
More than 25,000 skilled and unskilled workers effectively shut down the town's 300 mills and dye houses, however, they were defeated in July of that year. There remained animosity on both sides, with manufacturers making small concessions to striker demands to avoid further unrest. Finally, in 1919, the eight-hour workday was granted.
This year is the centennial of the Paterson Silk Strike. If you find yourself near Haledon New Jersey, check out the American Labor Museum's exhibit commemorating the Silk Strike's centennial. It's up for another month.
1. NARA's Lewis Hine WPA Research Project photo gallery on flickr
2. Library of Congress research guides by New Deal Program
3. The Great Falls Raceway and Power System, Paterson NJ, National Historic Mechanical and Civil Engineering Landmark, Dedication Program, May 20, 1977
4. National Parks website