Discover the Silk City at the Paterson Museum!
Did you know that Paterson NJ was the first planned industrial city in the United States? Did you know that Alexander Hamilton played a major role in establishing Paterson? Also known as the “Silk City”, Paterson NJ played a crucial role in the industrial history of our nation and state and was once home to a booming textile industry, steam locomotive manufacturers, the Wright (as in the Wright Brothers) Aeronautical Corporation, and Colt Firearms and more! Today the rich history of Paterson NJ is preserved and displayed at The Paterson Museum which is appropriately located in the Thomas Rogers Building, the former erecting shop of Rogers Locomotive and Machine Works.
In addition to being the birthplace of modern industry in the United States, Paterson has been home to many prominent athletes, entertainers, writers, politicians and more. Lou Costello, half of the famous Abbott and Costello comedy team, was born and raised in Paterson NJ and the two frequently performed at the historic Hinchliffe Stadium. Larry Doby (the first African American to play in the American Baseball League) was born and raised in Paterson and Honus Wagner played for the Paterson Silk Sox before making it to the big leagues. Poet William Carlos Williams lived in Paterson, as did the first governor of the State of New Jersey – and the city’s namesake – William Paterson.
Visitors to the Paterson Museum can discover the amazing impact that the city of Paterson and its residents has had on the world through its many exhibits. The museum displays an impressive collection of rare Colt firearms, the Fenian Ram (the first working submarine – designed by Paterson resident John Holland), and a display of automated looms and other industrial equipment from the silk-weaving factories that were a prominent part of Paterson’s economy. There are also displays dedicated to the Lenni Lenape people, model trains depicting the city’s locomotive industry, rock and mineral specimens unique to the area, a variety of early fire engines once used by Paterson’s fire department, and photographs and other historical objects that once belonged to Paterson’s famous residents.
The Paterson Museum is located at 2 Market Street in the heart of the Great Falls National Historic Landmark District of Paterson NJ (it is mere steps from Paterson Great Falls National Historic Park!). The museum is open Tuesday – Friday from 10am to 4pm, and weekends from 12:30pm to 4:30pm (closed Mondays and holidays). Admission is a suggested donation of $2 for adults. Children under 18 are free. Learn more about The Paterson Museum HERE.