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Workers in the Silk: An Exploration of the Paterson Silk Industry

Workers in the Paterson silk industry in the first third of this century sought employment there for two basic reasons: money and family. When asked why she had decided to enter the trade, one worker replied, "because it paid more money." But she was also able to obtain a position in the mill because her father was a weaver there.

Whatever their incentives to enter the trade, once hired, workers tended to remain at their jobs for a long time. New workers, especially those in semiskilled positions, were generally trained by their supervisors. More highly skilled positions, such as that of weaver, usually required a more traditional form of ...

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