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Collection Working in Paterson: Occupational Heritage in an Urban Setting

Work, Family, and Home

Despite recent changes that militate against generational depth in Watson Machine's work force, there are still many workers — such as the Kuehns, the Buonfortes, and Ian Watson McLaughlin himself — who have deep family roots at the plant and in Paterson's machine-tool industry. Newcomers who do not have relatives in the plant extend their workplace expertise into the home in other ways, often in connection with recreational and economic pursuits. For example, machinist Larry Schneider uses a machine shop at his home not only to do piece work for Watson Machine on the weekends, but also to keep the engine of his restored drag racer in top working condition. By demonstrating his work skills in the context of his home he not only enhances his own income and recreational interests, but directly acquaints family, friends, and relatives with his occupational skills andvalues.

Ian M. Watson McLaughlin, great-grandson of co-founder William Watson, seated in his office at Watson machine.
Lead man Larry Schneider adjusts a lathe in the machine shop at his home.
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