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Collection Working in Paterson: Occupational Heritage in an Urban Setting

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Glossary of Specialized Terms | Selected Bibliography

Glossary of Specialized Terms

Bobbin boy
A worker in a throwing plant who takes yarn from the bale and brings it to the person who soaks it in a solution.
A machine that takes single strands of wire, draws them inside the machine, and then twists them together to form a cable or electrical wire. A Kinrei buncher is a buncher manufactured in Japan by the Kinrei Corporation and then customized by Watson Machine to fit domestic requirements.
The process of putting the pattern into the harness of a loom; there are different kinds of patterns, from plain to fancy.
Floor boy
A person in a weaving plant who cleans the floor and helps other workers with menial work.
The many ways in which food and the activities encompassing its production distribution, preparation, serving, and consumption, become culturally meaningful and expressive.
Hot Texas Wiener
An all-beef hot dog "blanched" or par-cooked in 350-degree vegetable oil in a fry basket for a few minutes; cooked by another hot vegetable-oil bath in a tilted metal pan until done, and then placed in a bun; topped (in strict order) with a spicy, ballpark-style mustard; chopped onions; and a chili sauce containing ground beef, tomatoes, more onion, and a "secret" blend of spices including cayenne, cinnamon, allspice, and cumin.
A device for guiding a tool or holding machine parts in place during assembly.
Lead man
The person in charge of workers assigned to a specific task, or in charge of a whole shift of workers.
A small town in the Basilicata region of southern Italy.
People with ties to Montescaglioso.
A device used to reel in completed cable as it comes off a buncher or strander. Horizontal pay-off machines pay out wire or cable at a synchronized rate so that the individual wires can then be twisted and combined using a take-up machine like a buncher or a strander.
San Rocco do Montescaglioso
A social club for people from Montescaglioso. Each year the club hosts the Festa San Rocco, a religious parade celebrating the saint's day for San Rocco, which begins at St. Anthony's Catholic Church and finishes at the club.
A machine, loaded with spools of wire, that twists strands together to form a cable or electrical wire.
A device used to support spools of wire being supplied to a buncher.
Throwing plant
A plant that processes raw silk, then winds it on bobbins according to manufacturer's specifications.
Traverse screw
A device used to guide a jig that lays wire down evenly as it is taken up on a reel or spool.
Twining machines
Devices that take several strands of twine and twist them together to form ropes.
A worker who ties together the threads of a new warp and an old warp on a loom. Speed and accuracy are important. On average, a warp has about ten thousand threads or "ends"; twisting a warp this size takes an experienced twister between three and four hours.
A worker who prepares and arranges individual yarn threads ("ends") that become the warp of a woven fabric. A central part of a warper's work is laying thousands of yarn threads down in parallel order on a large cylinder called a beam.

Selected Bibliography


  • Avignone, June, ed. Downtown Paterson. Charleston, S.C.: Arcadia Publishing, 1999.
  • Cole, Arthur Harrison, ed. Industrial and Commercial Correspondence of Alexander Hamilton, Anticipating His Report on Manufactures. Published under the auspices of the Business Historical Society, Inc., with a preface by Professor Edwin F. Gay. Chicago: A. W. Shaw Company, 1928.
  • Cotz, Jo Ann. Paterson. A Pictorial History. Virginia Beach, Va.: Donning, 1981.
  • Davis, Joseph Stancliffe. Essays in the Earlier History of American Corporations. 1917. Reprint, New York: Russell & Russell, 1965.
  • Godwin, Parke. The First Settlers of Totawa (now Paterson, New Jersey). An Episode of Early History. New York: Printed by A. B. King, 1892.
  • Kenyon, James Byron. Industrial Localization and Metropolitan Growth: The Paterson-Passaic District. Chicago: University of Chicago. Department of Geography. Research Paper no. 67, 1960.
  • Murphy, J. Palmer, and Margaret Murphy. Paterson & Passaic County: An Illustrated History. Northridge, Calif.: Windsor Publications, 1987.
  • Nelson, William. History of Paterson and Its Environs (the Silk City). New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1920.
  • Norwood, Christopher. About Paterson: The Making and Unmaking of an American City. New York: Saturday Review Press, 1974.
  • Scranton, Philip B., ed. Silk City: Studies on the Paterson Silk Industry, 1860-1940. Newark, N.J.: New Jersey Historical Society, 1985.
  • Shriner, Charles A. Paterson, New Jersey. Its Advantages for Manufacturing and Residence: Its Industries, Prominent Men, Banks, Schools, Churches, etc. Published under the auspices of the Board of Trade. Paterson, N.J.: The Press and Publishing Company, 1890.
  • -----. Four Chapters of Paterson History. Paterson, N.J.: Lont & Overcamp Pub. Co., 1919.
  • -----. Random Recollections of Charles A. Shriner. Paterson, N.J.: Privately printed, 1941.
  • Smyk, Edward A. Alexander Hamilton: A Selected Bibliography / Compiled for the Members of the Hamilton Club. Paterson, N.J.: E. A. Smyk, 1990.
  • -----. North Jersey Herald & News, 1872-1997. Passaic, N.J.: North Jersey Herald & News, 1997.
  • Steiger, John H. The Memoirs of a Silk Striker, an Exposure of the Principles and Tactics of the I.W.W. [Paterson, N.J.]: privately printed, 1914.
  • Sullivan, John L. (John Langdon). Refutation of Mr. Colden's "Answer" to Mr. Sullivan's Report to the Society for Establishing Useful Manufactories in New-Jersey upon the Intended Encroachments of the Morris Canal Company in Diverting from Their Natural Course the Waters of the Passaic. [Paterson, N.J.: n.p., 1828?].
  • Tice, George A. Paterson. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1972.
  • Tripp, Anne Huber. The I.W.W. and the Paterson Silk Strike of 1913. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1987.
  • Trumball, Levi R. A History of Industrial Paterson. Paterson, N.J.: C. M. Herrick, printer, 1882.
  • Van Rensalier, Dolores, and Flavia Alaya. Bridge Street to Freedom: Landmarking a Station on the Underground Railroad. Mahwah, N.J.: Ramapo College of New Jersey, 1998.
  • Williams, William Carlos. Paterson. New York: New Direction, 1946-58.

Books for Children

  • Sikorski, Joy. Squeaky Chalk. New York: Crown Publishers, 2000.


  • Harris, Howard. "'Towns-People and Country People': The Acquackanonk Dutch and the Rise of Industry in Paterson, New Jersey, 1793-1831." New Jersey History 106, nos. 3-4 (Fall/Winter, 1988): 23-51.
  • Renner, Lisanne. "From Farms to Factories: Two Centuries of Shaping Paterson's Urban Form." The North Jersey Highlander, the Journal of the North Jersey Highlands Historical Society 33, no. 87 (1997).

Related Manuscript Collections in the Library of Congress Manuscript Division

  • Alexander Hamilton Papers.
  • Records of the Society for Establishing Useful Manufactures, 1791-1822.