1913: Paterson Silk Mills Strike
by Andrew Jacob
Due to the impertinent and very indecent types of unexpected duties performed at the silk mills, from child labor, sexual harassment, verbal humiliations and very unsafe working conditions, after each work day, many of those poverty stricken individuals had to walk home with water continuously dripping from their clothing. Many of those silk workers succumbed from tuberculosis or other types of respiratory diseases. Nineteen of my ancestors were involved within this strike, At least five of them actually did work in the Paterson's silk mills. The many occurrences during this silk strike as well as afterwards really affected their bread-and-butter including their entire livelihood. One of my great grand ancestors (James Harkness Bowman) passed away, during this strike, on May 10, 1913, from an unusual disease, known as 'Bright's Disease', due to possibly being among toxic fumes within many silk mills in Paterson.
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