Even before Joseph F. Glidden came up with his ground-breaking fencing option, barbed wire that was to revolutionize the way people protected their cattle, people used their own creative twists to wire their fence. However, it was with Glidden’s invention that barbed wire took off as a big rage in the America. Free-ranging cattle were hard for ranchers to control and manage and they embraced Glidden’s creation with open arms. The easily available barbed wire helped the farmers to keep their cattle protected, changing the face of livestock ranching completely. Barbed wire includes multiple strands of barbs twisted together, with sharp pieces of wire jutting out after regular spaces. Unlike other wires, barbed wire is easy to install and does not require meticulous labors. Add to this, the wire is cheap on pockets and easy to maintain. Barbed wire also has another variety called razor wire that uses razors instead of barbs. This variety of barbed wires is generally used in places which require additional security. Read on to know more about the history of barbed wires.
Interesting & Amazing Information On Origin & Background Of Barbed Wire
Barbed wires were forever used by man to protect their farm and guard cattle. However, it rose to eminence only in the nineteenth century, when popular fencing supplies like wood and stone fell short and their prices shot up. Joseph F. Glidden, the mind behind developing the already existing concept of barbed wire, initially forwarded by Michael Kelly, is accredited as the father of barbed wire.
In 1873, Joseph Glidden, Jacob Haish and Isaac Ellwood visited the DeKalb County Fair where for the first time they saw a wooden strip with nail-like spikes meant to be attached to a plain wire fence, created by a farmer named Henry B. Rose. This inspired them for their bigger invention - the barbed wire.
Though all the three set out differently to patent this idea, it was Glidden who came out with the most ground-breaking result. Using the kitchen of his farmhouse and barn as his testing ground, he undertook the big venture with a coffee mill, grindstone and metallic wire. He used the coffee mill to twist the barbs, grindstone to twist two strands of wire together. After making several hundred feet of wire in this manner, he fenced his wife's vegetable garden to keep stray animals out.
However, even before Glidden wrote history with his invention, barb fence was used by people for protection. Little did he know that what he was about to create would entirely revolutionize the way cattle was kept and managed. The farmers and many ranch owners found the barbed wire a great and convenient option. However, like everything else the barb wire faced oppositions too. Religious fanatics even went on to proclaim it as "the devil's rope."
Although barbed wire proved extremely helpful to corral cattle, it led to wars over territory and grazing land. Laws were ordained to permit barbed wire fencing and large-scale ranchers began employing barbed wire fences around their land boundaries and within their ranches. Today, barbed wire is used extensively by ranchers and farmers. Apart from this, they have also been employed in prisons, businesses, military installations and in house fencing.