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Barbed Wire

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by

Cole Perri

on 7 June 2013

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Transcript of Barbed Wire

Many cattle herds were killed in the winter of 1885, with ranchers as many as three-quarters of all animals that could not find a way around Texas' widespread barbed wire fences. Cattle piled onto the barbed fences and froze to death Later cattle drivers and cowboys tried to stop the closing of Texas' massive open range, and began cutting fences to allow cattle to pass through to find grazing land. Those started up a large spread Fence War that lasted for many months. Fence cutting came to an end with the passage of a Texas law in 1884 that declared fence cutting was a felony. Barbed Wire The Invention Of Opposition to Barbed Wire Barbed Wire's Design Barbed wire was made using two thick steel wires twisted together and brought to two to four sharp points. The wire was then tightened around wooden poles driven into the ground, or lacking poles, trees or hunks of scrap wood. The wire was strong and rarely had to be replaced, but repairs were quick and simple when they had to made. The American Steel and Wire Company In 1876 John W. Gates began to promote barbed wire in Texan markets. Gates profited by largely proving to Texan farmers, who had not already purchased barbed wire, that enclosed cattle produced a larger profit than constantly monitored herds. Gates continued to profit for twenty two years before join companies with Glidden's old business partner Isaac L. Ellwood, to create the American Steel and Wire Company. The Company acquired a capital of 90,000,000 and continued to produce most of the nation's barbed wire across the United States until the Cattle Rush had ended. The Wire's Inventor Jospeh F. Glidden of DeKalb, Illionis worked as a farmer for much of his life before inventing the barbed wire. As a farmer Glidden experienced the difficulties of keeping predators out of his cattle and keeping the cattle on his ranch, as well as keeping stray cattle out of his crops. In 1873 Glidden visited a fair in DeKalb and first saw Henry B. Rose's "The Wooden Strip with Metallic Points" in one of the fairs' displays. The Wooden Strip gave Glidden the idea for barbed wire, and he soon set to work on his idea. Using a coffee mill to twist and sharpen the wire. Glidden was able to successfully create a sharp fence that kept his cattle in, but kept unwanted visitors out. Glidden patented his barbed wire 1874 and began to sell the wire with his company; the Barb Fence Company. Importance to the Cattle Kingdom As Glidden stared to produce his barbed wire the Cattle Rush was sweeping across Texas. As a result of ranchers gathering up the free ranging Texan Longhorns cheap, effective fencing was in high demand to keep the massive herds together in one place, and barbed wire provided the perfect solution to the cattle problem. Texas lacked the necessary wood to construct wood fences state-wide and even when it came to buying fence instead of making it, barbed wire's cheap price crushed wooden fence competitors. Barbed wire was able to revolutionize the gathering and selling of cattle by serving as as a strong, reliable fence able to be constructed in mere hours. On the other hand farmers began using barbed wire in the later years of the Cattle Rush, eventually helping to slow and stop the mad rush for cattle. By: Cole Perri
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