Biographical / Historical
C. & G. Cooper Company was founded by Charles (1811-1891) and Elias Cooper (1814-1848) in 1833 in Mt. Vernon, Ohio. Situated in Central Ohio, abundant supplies of coal, iron and natural gas were available to the Cooper brothers as well as proximity to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad lines. Previously, the brothers opened a coal mine in 1832 and then a foundry for casting metals. Their principal products were plows, carding machines, and special power machinery. In 1848, Elias Cooper died and Charles Cooper sold an interest in the Company to T.L. Clark and the firm changed its name from to C. & E. Cooper to Cooper & Clark. In 1852, John Cooper (1824-1916), the younger brother of Charles and Elias, joined the company and became known as Coopers & Clark. T.L. Clark retired in 1853 and the company became C. & J. Cooper.
In 1852, the company built its first blowing engine and with the growth of the railroad system and a demand for railroad equipment, the company responded with manufacturing steam locomotives. In 1865, F.L. Fairchild (d. 1912) joined the company as a partner and the firm became known as C.& J. Cooper & Company. J.C. Debes, a mechanical engineer formerly of the George H. Corliss Works, began working for the company in 1865 designing Corliss engines that came to market in 1869. Corliss engines would become a principal product of the company by 1886. Colonel George Rogers (son-in-law of Elias Cooper) joined the company when John Cooper retired and the name once gain changed to C. & G. Cooper & Company. By 1881, Desault B. Kirk (son-in-law of Charles Cooper) and son, C.F. Cooper (d. 1894) along with E.H. Fairchild and B.F. Williams became active partners in the company. In 1929, Cooper merged with Bessemer Gas Engine Co. of Grove City, Pennsylvania, to form Cooper-Bessemer Corporation. Cooper Machinery Services is the current equipment manufacturer for Cooper-Bessemer engines.
During World War One and World War Two, the company made munitions—steel shells, special purpose lathes, surface grinders and multiple-head cutting off machines—to aid the Allies. Its work contributed to faster and more efficient production for the war effort and earned it the Maritime "M" and Army/Navy "E" Awards. Over the years, the company's products included: simple and compound Corliss engines, gas and diesel engines, rolling mill engines, marine engines, compressors, and power units for ice and refrigeration, cotton-ginning and oil-milling.
Cooper Machinery Services (last accessed on April 12, 2022 https://www.cooperservices.com/our-company/heritage/cooper-origins/the-history-of-cooper-bessemer/)
C. & G. Cooper Company, Seventy-Five Years of Engine Building, Mount Vernon, Ohio, 1900.
100 Years of Power, Cooper-Bessemer, 1833-1933, 1933.