old rusty barbed wire

This Week in Fencing History: Barbed Wire Patented

Fences have been around since the beginning of modern civilization. They’ve been a way to keep the good in and the bad out, and there’s not much more to it than that. Except, that this week in 1873 a farmer named Joseph Glidden submitted a patent that would forever change the American West and fencing options.

His invention was double stranded barbed wire. But how, you ask, could barbed wire make such an impact on the fencing industry and America as a whole? After seeing single strand barbed wire at the De Kalb County Fair in Illinois, Glidden thought he could do better. He added another strand of wire and fixed them together with a sharp barb. This new technology was cheap and effective, and because of that enabled the great planes to be settled by Westerners.

There aren’t much trees on the plains so making wooden fences was costly and cumbersome. Being able to unroll some barbed wire to protect your farmland from free roaming cattle and sheep brought stable farming to the frontier. It was said to, “Take no room, exhausts no soil, shades no vegetation, is proof against high winds, makes no snowdrifts, and is both durable and cheap.”

While barbed wire may not be the best option for suburban Brevard, there is plenty of farmland in this county where the use of barbed wire provides the perfect protection. It just goes to show you that as innocuous as fences are, they have shaped our society and changed the course of Westward expansion in the U.S.

If you’ve been looking for the perfect fence to make a significant impact on your life, call Secure Fence and Rail today. We can help you choose the best fence for your lifestyle. While it may not change the course of civilization, it can certainly change the course of any backyard shindigs you intend to throw this fall.