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How to Use the Images

 

Inquiry Question

Historical Context

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Photos 3 & 4
Photo 5
Photo 6

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Visual Evidence

Photo 1: Dye House in the Great Falls/S.U.M. Historic District, ca. 1910. [Photo 1] with link to larger version of photo.
(National Park Service, Reid Studios, photographer)

Photo 1 shows one of Paterson's large dye houses. Notice the water running out of drains in the building. The soft water of the Passaic River was supposed to be particularly good for dyeing.

Photo 2: Dye house workers, ca. 1900. [Photo 2] with link to larger version of photo.
(Courtesy of the Passaic County Historical Society)

Photo 2 shows the interior of a dye house. The vats contained hot water and chemicals into which the skeins of silk thread were dipped.

Questions for Photos 1 and 2

1. Study Photo 1. How much light do you think the windows would provide to the interior of the building? Why was this important?

2. Based on Photos 1 and 2, what do you think working in a dye house would have been like?

3. What can you learn about the time period by studying Photo 2?

* The images on this screen have a resolution of 72 dots per inch (dpi), and therefore will print poorly. You can obtain a larger version of Photo 1 and Photo 2, but be aware that each file will take as much as 32 seconds to load with a 28.8K modem.

 

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