The Paterson Museum is housed in the former Thomas Rogers Locomotive Erecting Shop, built in 1873; the oldest surviving structure of the former of Rogers Locomotive and Machine Works, a major 19th-century manufacturer of railroad steam locomotives. Founded in 1925, the museum is owned and run by the city of Paterson and its mission is to preserve and display the industrial history of Paterson. It is located in the Old Great Falls Historic District.
Notable exhibits include the Fenian Ram, the submarine designed by John Philip Holland for use by the Fenian Brotherhood and their earlier Holland I The museum also houses an archive of Holland’s life and work. A large collection of early Colt firearms and the façade of a playhouse built by Lou Costello for his children are also on display. There is a display of industrial equipment from the former silk-weaving factories that used to be a prominent part of Paterson’s economy, including automated looms. To honor this, when you enter the museum, the museum has a railroad track with live toy-model train going around the track.