The 1913 Paterson Silk Strike began in the Doherty Mill in January of 1913 when weavers’ loom assignments were increased from two to four machines.
Weavers and other mill workers labored 55-hour work weeks in dangerous conditions. An eight-hour workday became the main demand of the strikers.
Dyers' helpers and other operatives joined the strike and, Paterson's nearly 300 silk mills were quiet by the end of February of 1913.
There was mass picketing. The solidarity of the workers was unprecedented.
The Paterson workers called on the radical union, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) to assist them in their struggle.
By the spring of 1913, the Paterson police had arrested many strikers and closed the workers' Paterson meeting halls. Only in Haledon could the workers meet to exchange news.
Meetings lead by IWW organizer Elizabeth Gurley Flynn (seated at right) continued through the spring of 1913 at the Haledon home of Pietro and Maria Botto.
1913 strike meeting at Botto House
In March 1913, Valentino Modestino was on his porch with his infant daughter, when he was shot and killed by one of the O'Brine detectives, who had fired their guns on a group of strikers. No one was ever charged with the murder of Valentino Modestino.
A group of strikers posing for a picture. In many cases strikers were jailed for picketing.
In the early part of the 20th century, women would work in the mills. They worked long hours for little pay
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