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Aside from being a manufacturing center, Yonkers also played a key role in the development of entertainment in the United States.
After World War II, however, with increased competition from less expensive imports, Yonkers lost much of its manufacturing activity.
The Alexander Smith Carpet Company, one of the city's largest employers, ceased operation during a labor dispute in June 1954.
Around the same time, the Alexander Smith and Sons Carpet Company (in the Saw Mill River Valley) expanded to 45 buildings, 800 looms, and over 4,000 workers and was known as one of the premier carpet producing centers in the world.
The community was incorporated as a village in the northern part of the Town of Yonkers in 1854 and as a city in 1872.
In 1874 the southern part of Yonkers, including Kingsbridge and Riverdale, was annexed by New York City as The Bronx.
In 1898, Yonkers (along with Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island) voted on a referendum to determine if they wanted to become part of New York City.Yonkers was also the headquarters of the Waring Hat Company, at the time the nation's largest hat manufacturer.World War II saw the city's factories manufacture such items as tents and blankets in the Alexander Smith and Sons Carpet Factory and tanks in the Otis Elevator factory.The original structure (later enlarged) was built around 1682 by Frederick Philipse and his wife Margaret Hardenbroeck.Frederick was a wealthy Dutchman who by the time of his death had amassed an enormous estate, which encompassed the entire modern City of Yonkers, as well as several other Hudson River towns.Van der Donck built a saw mill near where the Nepperhan Creek met the Hudson; the Nepperhan is now also known as the Saw Mill River. His wife, Mary Doughty, was taken captive and ransomed later.