In the Eastside Park neighborhood of Paterson, New Jersey is an Italian Renaissance style residence built in 1929 for Jacob Weidmann who was one of the central figures in the development of the silk dyeing industry in Paterson.
Born in Switzerland in 1845 and then trained by his father before apprenticing in the silk dyeing works of Germany and France, Jacob Weidmann became an American success story.
At 22, he came to the United States. He secured a job at Cheny Brothers, which was a silk dyers located in Manchester, Connecticut, before relocating to Paterson in 1872 and opening his own mill called the Weidmann Silk Dyeing Company . His success grew due to his reputation for producing the heavy-weighted black silks.
In 1887, the Weidmann Silk Dyeing Company relocated its works from downtown Paterson to the city's Riverside section after purchasing a fire devastated works from former partner, Claude Greppo.
By the mid-1900s, Weidmann was the largest silk dyeing works in the country employing approximately 3,000 workers. By the time 1909 rolled around, Jacob Weidmann sold a large portion of his company to Gillet et fils of Lyons, France. He died two years later.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Laura Gonzalez is a photographer, blogger and historian currently residing in Newark, New Jersey.