Working in Paterson

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In American Memory

Other Collections Illustrating Paterson, New Jersey

Architecture and Interior Design for 20th Century America: Photographs by Samuel Gottscho and William Schleisner: 1935-1955. The Gottscho-Schleisner Collection in the Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, comprises more than 29,000 images of architectural subjects, including interiors and exteriors of homes, stores, offices, factories, historic buildings, and other structures. Subjects are concentrated chiefly in the northeastern United States and Florida. Many of the photographs were commissioned by architects, designers, owners, and architectural publications, and document important achievements in American twentieth-century architecture and interior design. The collection includes 87 photographs of Paterson made between 1940 and 1958. They document commercial businesses, such as grocery and clothing stores; private residences; health care facilities; and workplaces of various kinds, from aeronautics to research facilities. Viewed alongside the more recent photographs in Working in Paterson, they richly illustrate Paterson in the twentieth century.

The Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) and the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER). The Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) and the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress document achievements in architecture, engineering, and design in the United States and its territories through a comprehensive range of building types and engineering technologies. As of March 1998, America's built environment has been recorded through surveys containing more than 363,000 measured drawings, large-format photographs, and written histories for more than 35,000 historic structures and sites dating from the seventeenth to the twentieth century. The collection includes 49 sets of documentation of various buildings and engineering structures in Paterson, including textile mills, schools, and the Great Falls/S. U. M. Power Canal System.

Small-Town America: Stereoscopic Views from the Robert Dennis Collection, 1850-1920. The Robert N. Dennis Collection of Stereoscopic Views at the New York Public Library consists of 12,000 photographs of the Mid-Atlantic states New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut from the 1850s to the 1910s. The views show buildings and street scenes in cities, towns, and villages as well as natural landscapes. They also depict agriculture, industry, transportation, homes, businesses, local celebrations, natural disasters, people, and costumes. The collection includes 53 stereographic views of Paterson and Passaic Falls, including general and street views and views of the falls, bridges, waterhouse, mills, aqueduct, and ice.

Touring Turn-of-the-Century America: Photographs from the Detroit Publishing Company, 1880-1920. This presentation of photographs from the Detroit Publishing Company Collection in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress includes over 25,000 glass negatives and transparencies as well as about 300 color photolithograph prints, mostly of the eastern United States. The collection includes the work of a number of photographers, one of whom was the well-known photographer William Henry Jackson. It also includes nine photographs of Paterson created between 1890 and 1906, mostly featuring Passaic Falls.

Taking the Long View: Panoramic Photographs, 1851-1991. The Panoramic Photograph Collection in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress contains approximately 4,000 images featuring American cityscapes, landscapes, and group portraits. These panoramas offer an overview of the nation, its enterprises and its interests, with a focus on the start of the twentieth century when the panoramic photo format was at the height of its popularity. The collection includes one panoramic photograph of Paterson made in 1913, "Birdseye view of Patterson [sic], N.J.", with a clear view of the city's factories and smokestacks.

Map Collections: 1500-2003. The focus of Map Collections is Americana and cartographic treasures from the Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress. These images were created from maps and atlases and, in general, are restricted to items that are not covered by copyright protection. Currently included in the online holdings are three maps of Paterson made between 1847 and 1890.

An American Time Capsule: Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera. The Printed Ephemera Collection in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division at the Library of Congress is a rich repository of Americana. In total, the collection comprises 28,000 primary-source items dating from the seventeenth century to the present and encompasses key events and eras in American history. This release of the digitized Printed Ephemera Collection presents more than 7,000 items from the fifty American states, the District of Columbia, and London, England. Among them is a variety of posters, notices, advertisements, proclamations, leaflets, propaganda, manifestos, and business cards. The collection also includes three items which, taken together, encompass pivotal moments in Paterson's history, from the lottery undertaken by the directors of the Society for Establishing Useful Manufactures, to a statement by the Communist Party hailing the 1933 Silk and Dye Workers' strike.

Inventing Entertainment: The Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings of the Edison Companies. The collections in the Library of Congress's Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division contain an extraordinary range of the surviving products of Thomas Alva Edison's entertainment inventions and industries. This site features 341 motion pictures, 81 disc sound recordings, and other related materials, such as photographs and original magazine articles. Histories are given of Edison's involvement with motion pictures and sound recordings, as well as a special page focusing on the life of the great inventor. Based at various times in Newark, Menlo Park, and West Orange, New Jersey, Edison and his associates created motion pictures that show various parts of the state, including one of the Passaic Falls, produced by James White in 1896.

Other Collections Illustrating Aspects of Occupational Heritage in an Urban Setting

Washington As It Was: Photographs by Theodor Horydczak, 1923-1959. Spanning from the mid-1920s through the 1950s, the Theodor Horydczak Collection in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress (about 14,350 photographs online) documents the architecture and social life of the Washington metropolitan area in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, including exteriors and interiors of commercial, residential, and government buildings, as well as street scenes and views of neighborhoods. This collection features photographs of various industrial facilities, including many of the kinds of workplaces documented during the Working in Paterson project, such as machine shops, grocery stores, clothing stores, and funeral homes; and the machinery, fishing, and food industries.

America at Work, America at Leisure: Motion Pictures from 1894-1915. This collection from the Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division features 150 motion pictures depicting work, school, and leisure activities in the United States from 1894 to 1915. Highlights include films of the United States Postal Service from 1903, cattle breeding, fire fighters, ice manufacturing, logging, calisthenic and gymnastic exercises in schools, amusement parks, boxing, expositions, football, parades, swimming, and other sporting events.

The Nineteenth Century in Print: Periodicals. This collection, a Distributed Digital Library Collaboration, presents 23 popular periodicals digitized by Cornell University Library and the Preservation Reformatting Division of the Library of Congress. They include literary and political magazines, as well as Scientific American, Manufacturer and Builder, and Garden and Forest: A Journal of Horticulture, Landscape Art, and Forestry. Manufacturer and Builder (1869-94) is of particular interest for documenting late-nineteenth-century developments in the textile industry. Articles such as "On the Hardening of Mill-Picks and Cast-Steel in General," "Revolution in Looms," and "Textile Fabrics from Glass" kept professionals up to date about the latest technological advances, while "The Principle of the Loom" provided an introduction to the basic process of weaving on a loom, designed for teaching children. Likewise, Harper's New Monthly Magazine provided an illustrated glimpse of the silk-producing areas of Italy, with a detailed accounts of the history of the silk trade and the proper rearing of silk worms. This site provides uncorrected textual transcription of the articles, generated from the page images by optical character recognition (OCR), as well as links to the full page images mounted at Cornell University Library.

American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1940. This collection from the Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, presents life histories written by the staff of the Folklore Project of the Federal Writers' Project for the U.S. Works Progress (later Work Projects) Administration (WPA) from 1936 to 1940. The Library of Congress collection includes 2,900 documents representing the work of over 300 writers from 24 states. The Folklore Project filed its material under the general headings "traditional" and "life histories." The Writers' Project staff variously described the life histories as life sketches, living lore, industrial lore, and occupational lore. The entire body of material provides the raw content for a broad documentary of both rural and urban life interspersed with accounts of traditions and customs from different ethnic groups regarding planting, cooking, marriage, death, celebrations, and recreation. Users may search the full text of the life histories; they include narratives about working in the textile industry, mills, and machine shops; reminiscences of labor- union members; descriptions of various food traditions; and interviews with Italian Americans.

Emergence of Advertising in America, 1850-1920: Selections from the Collections of Duke University. Emergence of Advertising in America presents over 9,000 images relating to the early history of advertising in the United States. The materials, drawn from the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library at Duke University, include cookbooks, photographs of billboards, print advertisements, trade cards, calendars, almanacs, and leaflets for a multitude of products. Together, they illuminate the early evolution of this most ubiquitous feature of modern American business and culture. The collection also contains advertisements for sewing equipment and supplies, cigarette cards describing "50 Scenes of Perilous Occupations," and pamphlets promoting "War Gardening and Home Storage of Vegetables." The advertisements for machinery and instruments and machinery and tools highlight the innovations of American industry, while the series 50 Scenes of Perilous Occupations, insert cards for tobacco advertising, provide a more lighthearted glimpse of some unusual occupational opportunities.

By the People, For the People: Posters from the WPA, 1936-1943. The collection By the People, For the People: Posters from the WPA, 1936-1943 consists of 907 boldly colored and graphically diverse original posters produced from 1936 to 1943 as part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal. Of the 2,000 WPA posters known to exist, the Library of Congress's collection of more than 900 is the largest. These striking silkscreen, lithograph, and woodcut posters were designed to publicize health and safety programs; cultural programs including art exhibitions, theatrical, and musical performances; travel and tourism; educational programs; and community activities in seventeen states and the District of Columbia. The posters were made possible by one of the first U.S. Government programs to support the arts and were added to the Library's holdings in the 1940s. Many of the educational posters announce training opportunities for the workforce. Searching on "occupations," "industry," or "employment" will result in posters promoting specific industries, from tailoring to industrial arts.

Prosperity and Thrift: The Coolidge Era and the Consumer Economy, 1921-1929. This presentation, drawn from several divisions of the Library of Congress, documents widespread prosperity during the Coolidge years, the nation's transition to a mass consumer economy, and the role of government in this transition. The collection includes photographs, films, audio selections, personal papers, institutional papers, books, pamphlets, and legislative documents, along with selections from consumer and trade journals. The collection is particularly strong in advertising and mass-marketing materials and highlights economic and political forces at work in the 1920s. Topics related to occupational culture include explorations of various industries and documentation of different types of employment.


Other Online Resources at the Library of Congress

The Archive of Folk Culture, American Folklife Center

Archive of Folk Culture. The Archive of Folk Culture at the Library of Congress was founded in 1928 as a repository for American folk music. It became part of the American Folklife Center in 1978. Today, its multiformat ethnographic collections are diverse and international, including over 2 million photographs, manuscripts, audio recordings, and moving images. It is America's first national archive of traditional life, and one of the oldest and largest such repositories in the world.

The collections of the American Folklife Center contain rich material from New Jersey that documents the state's diverse folk traditions. Among its unique recordings are hundreds of ballads, Irish fiddle tunes, gospel songs, and Yiddish and Lithuanian folksongs. In 1983, the Center conducted the Pinelands Folklife Project, documenting the traditions of the region in and around the Pinelands State Forest, including vernacular fox hunting practices, family gatherings, and the traditional ways people in the area interact with their natural environment. In addition to the publication One Space, Many Places: Folklife and Land Use in New Jersey's Pinelands National Reserve, the project also produced hundreds of hours of audiotape interviews, thousands of photographic images, and many pages of transcriptions. New Jersey participated in the Library's Bicentennial Local Legacies project; New Jersey's Local Legacies projects include documentation of local traditions and celebrations for the American Folklife Center's Archive of Folk Culture.

Local History and Genealogy Reading Room

Local History and Genealogy Reading Room. The Local History and Genealogy Reading Room, part of the Humanities and Social Sciences Division, contains a reference collection and catalogs in the LH&G Reading Room intended primarily to facilitate research in U.S. (rather than foreign) local history and genealogy. A good starting place for those interested in conducting genealogical research is the Web page Before You Begin. The Bibliographies and Guides provided online include Immigrant Arrivals: A Guide To Published Sources and Afro-American Genealogical Research. The reading room also maintains a page of Other Internet Sources on Local History and Genealogy.


"People at Work," from the online exhibition: "The Empire that Was Russia: The Prokudin-Gorskii Photographic Record Recreated" The photographs of Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863-1944) offer a vivid portrait of a lost world--the Russian Empire on the eve of World War I and the coming revolution. His subjects ranged from the medieval churches and monasteries of old Russia, to the railroads and factories of an emerging industrial power, to the daily life and work of Russia's diverse population. This section of the exhibit illustrates some of the work situations in early-twentieth-century Russia. Prokudin-Gorskii documented the economic life of the empire in all its variety, from farmers to artisans, from factory workers to merchants.


On the World Wide Web beyond the Library of Congress

NOTE: These links are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by the Library of Congress of any of the products, services, or opinions of any corporation or organization or individual. The Library of Congress bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality, or content of these external sites, or for that of subsequent links. Contact each external site for answers to questions regarding its content.

Paterson and New Jersey Local History Links

Patcity, the Official Web Site of the City of Paterson, New Jersey (external link). The official Web site for the third largest city in New Jersey, this site includes information about the city, its public services departments, frequently used telephone numbers, and a message from the Mayor.

Paterson Free Public Library (external link). In addition to providing access to online catalogs and databases, such as the Thomas Register of American Manufactures, the Paterson Free Public Library is home to a Community Literacy Center, an Art Department, and a Local History Department. The Local History Department provides lists of Selected Local History Resources (external link), with information about Paterson mayors, famous Patersonians, genealogical resources available at the Local History Center, and the Paterson Silk Strike; and links to the Web sites for the Passaic County Historical Society Genealogical Club, the New Jersey Department of Vital Statistics, and a host of genealogical research sites.

Passaic County Cultural Affairs Poetry Center (external link). The Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College was established in 1980 by Maria Mazziotti Gillan and is funded, in part, by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, the National Endowment for the Arts, and individual contributors and memberships. Through a broad mix of programs and services, including the cable television shows Poetry Works/USA, The Poetry Center reaches 75,000 to 80,000 people and sponsors approximately 100 to 130 activities each year.

Passaic County Historical Society (external link). The Passaic County Historical Society was founded in 1926 by a group of Patersonian volunteers to encourage the preservation and study of Passaic County's past. In an effort to achieve this objective, the PCHS, a private non-profit organization, maintains a library and museum housed at Lambert Castle in Garret Mountain Reservation, a county park overlooking Paterson.

The Paterson Museum (external link). The Paterson Museum relates the history of Paterson by showing its evolution as a machinery and textile center, the "Silk City," known for locomotive manufacturing, Colt arms, and the unique Holland submarines. A major strength of the Museum lies in its varied collections, including local archaeology, history, and mineralogy.

Paterson Friends of the Great Falls (external link). Paterson Friends of the Great Falls was created to help advance the Great Falls/S.U.M. National Historic Landmark District in Paterson, New Jersey, as a regional and national destination. This Web site describes the history of the district, the proposed development, governmental reviews, important issues, and potential consequences from that development. In addition, it provides reprints of several publications (external link) and links (external link) to sites of interest.

Silk City - Paterson, New Jersey: The Industrial Revolution in North Jersey (external link). This page is a segment of, "North Jersey's Internet Magazine." It provides a brief history of the city, highlighting Paterson's industrial heritage with links to other Web sites of interest, as well as a directory of museums and historical sites and a calendar of events in northern New Jersey.

New Jersey Historical Commission (external link). The commission was created by law in 1967 to advance public knowledge of the history of New Jersey. It consists of four state legislators, the state librarian, the secretary of state, the director of the state Historic Preservation Office, and ten citizens appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the state senate.

Of special interest is the commission's publication Workers in New Jersey History (external link), by Joseph Gowaskie, which examines the contributions New Jersey's workers have made to the development of the state's economy and the nation's industry. It looks at how the work process has changed from the colonial period to the present and the effects of the changes on the lives of workers. The book describes the entrance of different groups into the labor market and discusses the effort of New Jersey's workers to achieve decent working conditions, shorter hours, and better pay.

New Jersey State Council on the Arts (external link). Created as an agency of state government, the NJSCA operates as a division within the Department of State. Its purpose is to encourage and give financial support to artists, arts organizations, and projects throughout New Jersey.

Talking History: Aural History Programs (external link). Talking History is a radio show based at the University at Albany, State University of New York. In addition to the weekly radio program, Talking History is engaged in numerous educational efforts, from running and sponsoring workshops to offering full-semester courses on radio production and oral history. Stephen Cohen (external link), a Senior Research Associate and Director of the Ethnic History Program at the New Jersey State Historical Commission, is a contributing producer whose programs have documented the East Indian community in New Jersey, an exploration of the immigrant experience through selections from the Federal Writers' Project's New Jersey Ethnic Survey, and the story of four generations of a powerful New Jersey family led by a patriarch, C.F. Seabrook, who was known as "The Henry Ford of Agriculture."

Electronic New Jersey: A Digital Archive of New Jersey History (external link). Supported by grants from the N.J. Historical Commission, the Electronic New Jersey Project provides primary-source learning materials and related instructional activities to increase student and faculty understanding of New Jersey's role in U. S. history. It is made up of several topical modules, chosen after careful review of a range of sources available in the Special Collections and University Archives of the Rutgers University Libraries, Rutgers University-New Brunswick. Instructional activities accompany the digital sources located in each topical module.

New Jersey Women's History (external link). New Jersey Women's History is a resource for students, teachers, and all interested people who want to know more about the history of New Jersey women. It is designed by the Women's Project of New Jersey (WPNJ) in collaboration with the Margery Somers Foster Center, Special Collections/Archives, the Scholarly Communications Center at Rutgers University Libraries in New Brunswick, and the New Jersey Historical Society in Newark.

Occupational Culture Links

U.S. Labor and Industrial History World Wide Web Audio Archive (external link). This site, from the Department of History, University at Albany, State University of New York, contains recordings drawn from audio archives throughout the world as well as from University at Albany collections. They are organized by topic and archival repository, and include teach-ins about labor history, oral histories of specific companies, and speeches by historical figures such as William Jennings Bryan, William Howard Taft, and Theodore Roosevelt.

Whole Cloth: Discovering Science and Technology Through American History (external link). Whole Cloth is a presentation from the Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History. It presents an online interdisciplinary curriculum integrating science, technology, and invention with women's, African-American, and labor history. It traces the history of textiles through eight modular units, each with between five and ten exercises, a teacher's essay, and a bibliography.

Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is the principal fact-finding agency for the federal government in the broad field of labor economics and statistics. The bureau publishes the Occupational Outlook Handbook, a resource for career information which describes what workers do on the job, working conditions, training and education needed, and expected job prospects for a wide range of occupations.