1791 – Peter Cooper, inventor, industrialist, and idealist, was born on February 12th in New York City and raised in Peekskill, New York.
– Cooper’s other contribution to the industrialization of America included the first American-built stream locomotive (called the Tom Thumb), isinglass, gelatin (jello), and a new method of salt-making. He was also a founding member of the company that laid the first Trans-Atlantic telegraph cable.
1808 – At the age of seventeen, Cooper left his country home to become an apprentice to a prominent coach builder in New York City. In the years that followed, he owned and operated a furniture factory, a grocery, and a glue-making factory.
1812 – During the Second War of Independence, business proved to be a success for Cooper but his profits soon declined once the war was over. To stay competitive, Cooper converted his facility to a furniture factory.
1830 – The foundation of Cooper’s wealth came through the development of a glue-making process which he patented.
– He designed and built 1st American locomotive, for Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.
– During this period he married Sarah Bedell. Their marriage produced six children, of which only Edward Cooper and Sarah Amelia survived.
1853 – Cooper was responsible for most of the Cooper Union’s design. Construction for the institution began.
1854 – Peter Cooper’s greatest achievement was the establishment of the Cooper Union School for the Advancement of the Arts and Sciences.
1858 – Cooper was also president of the New York, Newfoundland & London Telegraph Company and the North American Telegraph Company. Along with a few a of Cooper’s colleagues, the project for laying the Atlantic cable was completed.
1883 – Peter Cooper died on April 4th at the age of 92 from pneumonia at his home in New York City. An editorial from The Nation stated that Peter Cooper "was a man that united the highest integrity with the highest success".