Peter Fennimore Cooper, US inventor

Peter Fennimore Cooper, US inventor

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Caption: Peter Fennimore Cooper (1791-1883), US inventor and industrialist. Cooper was born in New York, and worked in various trades before starting a glue factory in around 1828. He then started an ironworks factory in 1830, which made the first US steam-powered locomotive, called Tom Thumb. He continued to work in the rail and steel industry. He amassed a fortune that he used to fund a range of institutes. He was also involved in reform and anti-slavery movements. This engraving is by John Chester Buttre (1821-1893), based on a photograph by Matthew B. Brady (1823-1896), dated to between 1850 and 1890.

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