Paterson Falls by Rosemary McLaughlin
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Paterson NJ was a major silk manufacturing city, containing at its peak nearly 20 silk mills or silk-related industries. While the city, designed by Alexander Hamilton in 1792 with his investment group, the Society of Useful Manufacturers, had a booming economy, it was built on the backs of poorly-paid immigrant, women, and child-labor. In 1913, a group of striking silk workers joined with artists, intellectuals and Village Bohemians from New York City in what was known as the Paterson Silk Strikes. Unable to get the attention of the press, who were on friendly terms with the mill owners, Mabel Dodge and John Reed partnered with IWW leaders Bill Haywood and Elizabeth Gurly Flynn to create the Paterson Pageant, a recreation of the strike at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Paterson Falls chronicles this key event in US Labor history.