Cooper, Peter

Cooper, Peter
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b. 12 February 1791 New York, USA
d. 4 April 1883 New York, USA
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American entrepreneur and steam locomotive pioneer.
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Cooper had minimal formal education, but following a childhood spent helping his small-businessman father, he had by his early twenties become a prosperous glue maker. In 1828, with partners, he set up an ironworks at Baltimore. The Baltimore \& Ohio Railroad, intended for horse haulage, was under construction and, to confound those sceptical of the powers of steam, Cooper built a steam locomotive, with vertical boiler and single vertical cylinder, that was so small that it was called Tom Thumb. Nevertheless, when on test in 1830, it proved a match for horse power and became one of the first locomotives to run on an American railway. Cooper did not, however, personally take this line of development further; rather, he built up a vast industrial empire and later in life became a noted philanthropist.
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Further Reading
J.F.Stover, 1961, American Railroads, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Dictionary of American Biography.
PJGR

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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  • Cooper,Peter — Cooper, Peter. 1791 1883. American manufacturer, inventor, and philanthropist who built the first American locomotive and founded Cooper Union (1859) in New York City, which offered free courses in the arts and sciences. * * * …   Universalium

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