While “Village” and “Union” have come to attach themselves locally to the name Peter Cooper, this distinguished honorary member of The Union League Club (admitted in 1863) might have the words “inventor” and “industrialist” more properly linked to his name and to the great fortune his diligence realized. Surely that distinction was not lost on artist J. Alden Weir who portrayed this mid-19th century New York business giant in what must have been a familiar pose: at work, serenely, contentedly, possibly communicating what might have been a plan for his “college for the advancement of science and art”. He could also be penning a new patent for what would eventually be named Jell-O, composing a letter to his co-founders of what would become AT&T, inking a missive in opposition to slavery, or setting out carefully a set of instructions to the manufacturers of his revolutionary product, the Tom Thumb, the first American made locomotive steam engine. It is fitting that Weir’s portrait should capture Cooper’s well known simplicity of style and his attention to work, in contrast to more typical, standard commemorative portraits of the day. Peter Cooper’s portrait by J. Alden Weir is displayed proudly in the Club Library.