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city (1990 pop. 140,891), seat of Passaic co., NE N.J., at the falls of the Passaic River; inc. 1851. Founded in 1791 by Alexander HamiltonHamilton, Alexander,
1755–1804, American statesman, b. Nevis, in the West Indies. Early Career

He was the illegitimate son of James Hamilton (of a prominent Scottish family) and Rachel Faucett Lavien (daughter of a doctor-planter on Nevis and the estranged
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 and others of the Society for Establishing Useful Manufactures, Paterson was a planned attempt to promote industrial independence in the newly formed United States by harnessing the water power of the falls. In 1792 and 1794 cotton-spinning mills were established. In 1835, Samuel ColtColt, Samuel,
1814–62, American inventor, b. Hartford, Conn. In 1835–36, he patented a revolving-breech pistol and founded at Paterson, N.J., the Patent Arms Company, which failed in 1842. An order for 1,000 revolvers from the U.S.
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 began the manufacture of the Colt revolver. Shortly thereafter the silk industry was established, beginning a silk boom which would earn Paterson the appellation "Silk City of the World." The iron industry, which initially supplied Paterson with textile machinery, was producing locomotives in great numbers by 1880. After World War I, the aeronautics industry moved to Paterson.

Although the silk industry is gone, textiles and transportation equipment are still made, and there is an apparel industry. Other industries produce electronic equipment, paper and food products, fabricated metals, rubber, and plastics; data-processing services also are important. During the first half of the 20th cent., notably in 1912–13, 1933, and 1936, many bitter strikes arose from bad labor conditions in the silk industry. The city has gradually become an ethnic center, with significant black and Hispanic populations. High unemployment rates marked Paterson in the late 20th and early 21st cent.

Of special interest is the historic district that centers around the roaring Great Falls of the river. The Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park (est. 2009) is a unique display of industrial history, with old cobblestone streets and stone bridges; the abandoned houses of workmen and mill owners; and industrial works that include several locomotive factories (one dating back to 1830), the Colt gun factory (1835), and historic spinning mills and waterworks.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a city in the northeastern USA, in New Jersey, on the Passaic River; a western suburb of New York. Population, 145,000 (1970); with the cities of Clifton and Passaic and their suburban areas, 1.4 million. Local industries produce equipment for the textile and garment industries. Paterson also has electronics, knitwear, and footwear industries. Paterson was once a major producer of silk fabrics. It was founded in 1791.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. Andrew Barton, known as Banjo Paterson. 1864--1941, Australian poet. His works include "Waltzing Matilda" and "The Man from Snowy River"
2. William. 1658--1719, Scottish merchant and banker: founded the Bank of England (1694)


a city in NE New Jersey: settled by the Dutch in the late 17th century. Pop.: 150 782 (2003 est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
The police in Paterson, New Jersey, were mystified as to why a burglar did not flee but instead attacked when a homeowner walked in on him in her house.
Rivers, editorial page editor, Herald News, West Paterson, New Jersey
Did you know that around the 1880s a group of weavers from Coventry went to work in Paterson, New Jersey? The ribbon trade in the UK was in decline due to the relaxation of import duties on French ribbons.
Rich began collecting minerals and fossils as a youngster in 1957, and in 1963, he made his first visit to a trap rock quarry to collect zeolites and associated species, at the Upper New Street quarry in Paterson, New Jersey. He developed a love for Trap Rock minerals and collected at various other quarries in New Jersey from 1963 through 1971, including the Summit quarry and the world-famous Prospect Park quarry.
"We are starting in Miami and then focusing our efforts on where there is a Peruvian market: Paterson, New Jersey; Los Angeles and New York," Ribotty says.
It was here that he met his smaller and funnier buddy, Louis Francis Cristillo, born on March 6, 1906, in Paterson, New Jersey.
Ann Bianchetti teaches grades 5-8 at the Academy of Performing Arts Middle School in Paterson, New Jersey. She writes an online journal, focusing on social studies, at MiddleWeb, from which parts of this essay were drawn.
* On 8 April 1998, an explosion and fire occurred during the production of a dye at a chemical plant in Paterson, New Jersey (CSB 2000).
The women whom the joint authors present to the readers range in chronology from Mary Ludwig Hays Macauley (Molly Pitcher), storied heroine of the Battle of Monmouth in 1778, to Hannah Silverman, teenaged spokeswoman of the 1913 Paterson, New Jersey, silk strike.
In addition, a large community lives in neighboring Jersey City and Paterson, New Jersey. Both Brooklyn and the New Jersey cities have a thriving business economy catering to Arab needs, with supportive services such as schools, churches, and mosques.
Paterson, New Jersey, was established in the 1790s to utilize the power of the water that cascades through the Passaic River Gorge.
Tokmak Lokman, a 30-year-old Turk, spent nearly nine months in a Paterson, New Jersey jail, even though he had neither committed a crime nor violated immigration laws.