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In 1778, the Great Falls became the Paterson area's natural energy source. The innovative hydraulic "Raceway" used an intricate network of canals to channel millions of gallons of water to power local mills and factories. In 1791, Alexander Hamilton helped to organize the Society for the Establishment of Useful Manufactures, which aimed to develop a planned industrial city in the United States. Hamilton believed that the country needed to reduce its dependence on foreign goods and develop its own industries, and the falls were chosen as the site for the planned city. The industries in Paterson were powered by the 77-foot Great Falls, and the city became known as "The Cradle of American Industry." Today the falls are not only a national historic landmark and a state park, but on March 30, 2009, Pres. Barack Obama signed a bill creating Great Falls National Historical Park.