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Davenport, Thomas (09 July 1802–06 July 1851), blacksmith and inventor, was born near Williamstown, Vermont, the son of Daniel Davenport and Hannah Rice, farmers. Eighth in a family of eleven children, Davenport had little formal schooling. The premature death of his father during the winter of 1812 from “spotted fever” left the family to fend for itself. At age fourteen Davenport was apprenticed to a Williamstown blacksmith. Under the terms of his indenture, he was allowed to attend school for six weeks every winter and was given room and board. Davenport completed his apprenticeship at the age of twenty-one and set up a smithy in Brandon, Vermont. He married Emily Goss, the daughter of a prosperous farmer, in 1827; they had two sons....

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Yale, Linus, Jr. (04 April 1821–25 December 1868), inventor and locksmith, was born in Salisbury, Herkimer County, New York, the son of Linus Yale, Sr., a locksmith, general mechanic, and inventor, and Chlotilda Hopson. His education was influenced by his father’s Newport, New York, metalworking and lockmaking shop. His early inclination, though, was artistic rather than mechanical as indicated by his efforts as a portrait painter. He married Catherine Brooks from a nearby town in 1844. They had three children....