SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
6000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
Join and Share

Social Shorpy

Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Syndicate content

Join our mailing list (enter email):

Member Photos

Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

Colorized Photos

Colorized photos submitted by members.

About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

Paterson Panorama: 1901

Paterson Panorama: 1901

Circa 1901. "Paterson, N.J., from Water Works Park." Lovely Paterson, Pearl of the Passaic. 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Colt factory

One of those buildings is the original home of Samuel Colt's firearms factory. It is the larger building with the many windows on the right, known even when this photo was taken as the Colt Rifle Mill for the rifle-shaped weathervane that stood atop the building's original spire for years. The plant of Colt's short-lived Patent Arms Manufacturing Company was built in 1836 on the site of the Colt family's former nail mill, but closed seven years later, the buildings becoming a silk mill and that area of Paterson becoming a textile manufacturing center while Colt made his name and fortune with another incarnation of the firm in Connecticut. Some of the original building remains today as part of a national historic area, I believe. Attached is a rendering of what this area looked like around the time of the Civil War, with the spire of the Gun Mill salient.

One smoke stack remains

Ahh, the good ol' days

Poor Paterson... it's been popular since the mid-sixties to blame urban blight and ratty conditions on whatever ethnic group currently dominates the city. But here it is... photographic evidence that a) blight is blight; b) fond memories of yesteryear are occasionally myopic; and c) the industrial district is likely to be the worst spot in town.

Pearl of the Passaic? Not sure about Paterson, but until recorded voices took over for conductors on New Jersey Transit rail lines, a few of the old boys loved to announce: "Newark next... Newark, NJ, Paradise on the Passaic."


One of those buildings might be the original home of Samuel Colt's firearms factory.

Black & White, or Bluemner

It's wonderful that these black-and-white pictures of Paterson's mill area can be complemented by the brilliant watercolors of the area that Oscar Bluemner painted a few years later, such as 1915's "Expression of a Silktown, New Jersey."

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

Syndicate content RSS | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Photo Use | © 2018 Shorpy Inc.