Peter Cooper

By | Feb 12, 2010

Many people may not know the name Peter Cooper, but nearly everyone knows of the things that he did during his life. Peter Cooper was active as a businessman and inventor during the first half of the 19th Century. He was born on February 12, 1791. And received patent, 4048, for a powered gelatin. We know it as Jell-O.

As an inventor and mechanical engineer he built the Tom Thumb the first Us Steam Locomotive. It was the Tom Thumb that convinced owners of the newly formed Baltimore and Ohio Railroad to use steam engines.

He was forward thinking and was involved in 1845 was one of the five men to form the New York, Newfoundland and London Telegraph Company. Three years later he was one of the supervisors in the laying of the first Transatlantic Telegraph cable.

In 1876 he was nominated for President by the Greenback Party. The Party believed that government should be in control of the monetary system thus the name Greenback or paper green money. At 85 he is the oldest person to have a Party nomination for President.

Peter Cooper believing that a college education should be free, formed the Cooper Union for Advancement of Science and Art school in 1859. The privately owned college offers a full-tuition scholarship based upon merit to all of its students.

Peter Cooper died on April 4, 1883 at the age of 92. He is buried in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York. The national historic registered cemetery is the resting place of many famous New Yorkers that died during the second half of the 19th century.


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