Mechanic to Millionaire: The Peter Cooper Story Previous Broadcasts

KQED World: Wed, Nov 24, 2010 -- 8:00 AM

This documentary highlights the life of philanthropist Peter Cooper (1791-1883) through his own words, interviews with historians and recreated scenes from his lifetime. A mechanical genius, Cooper's inventions and business acumen helped the United States grow from an agrarian society to an industrial power. He created edible gelatin, constructed the first American steam locomotive and fashioned the wrought-iron I beam for multi-storied construction, which enabled cities to grow vertically. Cooper saw wealth as a public trust and wanted to give back to the working people who helped build his fortune. He envisioned free education based on merit, and not race, gender, class or religion. A pioneer in adult education, he introduced the concept of night school, founded The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in 1859 and converted a bankrupt high school into a women's college for training teachers.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED World: Wed, Nov 24, 2010 -- 11:00 AM
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