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Paterson, NJ: A birthplace for American history

Friday, March 23, 2012

Across from the bus stop on Market and Spruce Street, in the Historic district of Paterson, New Jersey is where your history lesson begins.

The Paterson museum is where you will discover why this city is the birthplace of the American Industrial revolution.

"The first thing you encounter, the largest artifact this museum maintains is the building itself," said Giacomo DeStefano, museum director.

"This is the former assembly shop for the Rodgers Locomotive works," DeStefano explained.

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Over 10,000 locomotives were built here from as early as 1837. Trains that helped make this country what it is today.

But sharing the stage with making Paterson the first planned industrial city in the United States was the silk business. In fact, Paterson was known for many years as the "Silk City." Within 7 blocks of the bus stop you will see the mills that helped build the city's reputation.

Paterson is also the birth place of the first commercial repeating firearm, thanks to Samuel Colt.

"This is one of the finest collections on the east coast. We have over 31 pieces on display," said DeStefano.

Here at the museum is also where you will find the work of the man credited with being the inventor of the modern submarine, John Phillip Holland.

There are also some naturally occurring historical attractions. Our mild winter has taken some of the greatness out of the Paterson falls, but it remains a major attraction in the state and is a national historic landmark.

"We have the second largest waterfall to Niagra Falls, NY which is a 70 foot drop," said Erik Lowe, of Paterson Municipal Utilities.

"You also have one of the only functioning hydro electric plants which powers 11,000 homes in the city of Paterson," Lowe pointed out.

It is said this area is also where Alexander Hamilton stood and envisioned the industrialization of the United States.

Panaramoic views, hydro electric power, and American history can all be found within 7 blocks of the Spruce and Market street stops in Paterson.

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