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Peter Cooper


Cooper, Peter (1791–1883), U.S. inventor, manufacturer, politician, and philanthropist. He rose from an apprentice carriage builder to become one of the nation's most powerful industrial magnates. Cooper launched a number of successful commercial enterprises, including the Canton Iron Works in Baltimore, which produced the first commercially operated American steam locomotive, the Tom Thumb (1830). A strong advocate of free public education, Cooper also founded the Cooper Union in New York City in 1854, to provide free instruction in the arts and sciences. In 1876 he was the unsuccessful Greenback Party candidate for president.

Cooperative [next] [back] Leroy Gordon Cooper Jr.

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