Barbed wire is a commonly used product in agriculture, transportation and other industries.
Due to its unique design and construction, this wire creation is tough and sometimes harmful to the touch.
And on this day in history, November 24, 1874, the first commercially successful barbed wire was patented by Joseph Farwell Glidden.
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Glidden was an American farmer from Charlestown, New Hampshire.
According to Britannica, he grew up in Clarendon, New York, and after graduating from school, returned to work on his father’s farm.
A few years later he landed in DeKalb, Illinois, his own farm.
After seeing a sample of barbed wire at the De Kalb Count Fair in 1873, Glidden decided to make his own improvements to the product, eventually applying for a US patent.
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But he was not alone.
Two other men have also applied for barbed wire patents with their own modifications, according to Encyclopedia Online.
But it was Glidden who got the patent.
The first patent for barbed wire was filed in the United States in 1867, but according to Britannica, Glidden patented a new and improved form in 1874.
Barbed wire usually consists of two long wires that are twisted together to form a cable.
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Wires come in many different types, depending on their use.
According to Home Depot’s website for store-bought barbed wire, “barbed wire deters unwanted entry and is suitable for a variety of containment needs.”
“It can also be used in conjunction with chain links and other fencing barriers for added security.”
Shortly after obtaining the patent, Glidden also developed a machine that helped produce new and improved barbed wire.
Glidden then asked Isaac L. Elwood to join him in founding a fencing company, De Kalb’s Barb Fence Company.
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The two worked together to create a product that served as a way to protect the land’s livestock.
There has always been an option for wooden fences. But it was costly for landowners with hundreds of thousands of acres.
However, barbed wire was cheaper and easier to install.
Just a year after starting his fencing company, Glidden sold half of his business to the Washburn and Moen Manufacturing Company of Worcester, Massachusetts, according to Encyclopedia Online.
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Glidden was believed to have received over $60,000 in patents and lifetime royalties.
According to Britannica, just 15 years after the creation of barbed wire, fenced-in land replaced a once-open stretch of the western United States.