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1791 – The industrialist, inventor, and philanthropist Peter Cooper was born in New York City. His ironworks in Baltimore, the first in America to use the Bessemer process to refine iron from ore, produced Tom Thumb, the first steam locomotive built in the United States. Cooper was also the president of two telegraph companies that together connected communication cross the Atlantic Ocean and North America. In 1859, he founded the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. He was a leading member of the Unitarian Church of All Souls in New York. Read more about Peter Cooper.