The Blacksmith Shop: Phineas Vaughan
History             Phineas Vaughan, Blacksmith
DeKalb blacksmith Phineas W. Vaughan (1827-1897) played a pivotal role in helping his friend Joseph F. Glidden invent “The Winner,” one of the most-widely used types of barbed wire. Ultimately, he and Glidden would patent a hand-operated machine for making barbed wire.

The site of Vaughan’s original blacksmith shop on the north side of Lincoln Highway between Third and Fourth Streets in downtown DeKalb is marked with a horseshoe embedded in the concrete sidewalk. Local historians believe it is an original horseshoe from Vaughan’s shop.



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Phineas W. Vaughan, 1827-1897 Phineas’s wife, Phebe Vaughan, 1830-1898

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Inside of Phineas Vaughan’s blacksmith shop, DeKalb, IL, date unknown. Photo by Floyd Ritzman, courtesy of Joiner History Room, Sycamore, IL.

Exterior of Vaughan’s shop between on Lincoln Highway between Third and Fourth Streets, DeKalb, IL, 1897. Photo by Floyd Ritzman, courtesy of Joiner History Room, Sycamore, IL.
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Phineas Vaughan’s home on Main Street (Lincoln Highway) on the north side between Third and Fourth Streets. Later it was moved to North Second Street adjacent to the Russell Smith Garage at 212 N. Second. Photo by Floyd Ritzman, courtesy of Joiner History Room, Sycamore, IL. A formidable headstone marks the gravesites of Phineas and Phebe Vaughan in Evergreen Cemetery, DeKalb, IL. Of particular interest is Vaughan’s anvil that sits in the back left corner of the lot. Photo by Kathy Vance Siebrasse, 2007.
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