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This interesting anecdote, pointing a moral, is given in the Independent:—

"A workman in Cooper Institute, having occasion to ascend a ladder to do some repairing in one of the public rooms, called to an old man, whom he happened to see standing by watching him, 'Here, old fellow, hold the ladder for me, won't you?' The 'old fellow,' started forward and held the ladder for the workman, while he climbed up and did his work. That unpretentious and willing old man was Peter Cooper. It was just like him. Peter Cooper's aim in life, and in the beneficent institution founded by him might well be characterized by the words, Holding the Ladder. Thousands of rightly ambitious men and women owe the possibility of their advancement to Peter Cooper. He has held, and still holds, the ladder, and hundreds upon hundreds of successful and grateful climbers, as they rise, bless his memory. We cannot all build such piles as Cooper Union, but we can hold the ladder somewhere, somehow, for somebody."

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April 19, 1900
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