This Day in History

July 3, 1835: Paterson Silkworkers Strike

Time Periods: 1800
Themes: Labor

On July 3, 1835, 2,000 workers (most of whom were children) went on strike from 20 textile mills in Paterson, New Jersey to demand better work hours.

Workers had previously been forced to work 13 hours per day Monday through Saturday, and were regularly fined for minor disciplinary infractions.

Although the strike was eventually broken, the company decreased workers’ hours to twelve hours during the week and nine hours on Saturday.