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The Barbed Wire Collector Magazine

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Page One:
Books
Page Two: Books, Prints & Value Guides
Page Three: Wire Bundles

Education
Overview
Beginning
Historical
Info Bits
Being a Collector
Fence Cutting

Inventors
Thomas H. Dodge
William Edenborn
Isaac Leonard Ellwood
Joseph F. Glidden
Jacob Haish
Phillip Moen
Ichabod Washburn
Brief History of Barbed Wire

1831
Ichabod Washburn from Massachusetts devised the method to produce drawn iron wire that became the origin of early wire fence and telegraph lines. Years later much of this fence would be armed with barbs by utilizing various types of hand-barbing tools.

1859
First cattle drive of Texas cattle reached Sedalia, Missouri, and then proceeded by rail to New York. The eastern appetite for Texas beef had been whetted.

1860
The Civil War interrupts further cattle shipments.

1860
First barbed disclosure in a patent by Leonce Grassin-Baledans - France.

1864
Homestead Act was passed - Pioneers moved westward and the need for cheap reliable fencing became urgent.

1865
Civil War ends and the mass migration west intensifies demand for fencing.

1865
First barbed wire patent by Louis Jannin - France.

1867
First U.S. barbed wire patent for livestock fencing by Lucien Smith - Ohio.

1867
First U.S. patent for sheet-metal barb (rowel form) by William Hunt - New York.

1868
First ribbon wire patent by Michael Kelly - New York.

1871
First time the term "barb" is used in fence patent reference by Lyman Judson - New York.

1871
Santa Fe Railroad reaches Newton, Kansas, to meet the cattle trail from Texas.

1872
Branch railroad reaches Wichita, Kansas, shortening the driven trail.

1873
First barbed wooden fencing strip produced by Henry Rose - Illinois.

1873
Meeting of Joseph Glidden, Isaac Ellwood, and Jacob Haish at the Dekalb, Illinois, state fair, observing the Henry Rose fence display, and agreeing to embark on their own inventions to improve fencing.

1874
Most successful barbed wire patent by Joseph Glidden - Later known as "The Winner" after the Supreme Court decision of 1892.

1874
Beginning of years of patent litigation over rights of ownership of the invention of barbed wire.

1874
First barbed wire company was formed by Joseph Glidden and Isaac Ellwood - Forerunner of United States Steel - 1907.

1874
First hand-applied barb patent to arm existing smooth wire fences by Charles Kennedy - Illinois.

1874
First barbed wire machine patented by Joseph Glidden & Phineas Vaughan - Illinois.

1875
First hand-barbing tool patented by Dobbs & Booth - Iowa. The tool was used to arm existing smooth wire fences.

1875
Dramatic demonstration of barbed wire in San Antonio, Texas, by John "Bet-A-Million" Gates, successfully proving to Texas cattlemen the effectiveness of barbed wire.

1877
First barbed wire net fence patented by Alexander Decker - Illinois.

1878
Large range war over boundaries of fencing that involved Billy the Kid in the Lincoln County Dispute - New Mexico.

1879
First barbed fence-warning device patented by Thomas Shuman - Iowa.

1880
The word "barbwire" became the generally acceptable spoken word for barbed wire.

1880
First half-million pounds of barbwire produced and sold in DeKalb, Illinois.

1880-1890
First major worldwide users of barbwire were the many railroads' right-of-ways.

1882
First galvanized barbwire produced.

1885
World's longest barbwire fence erected, 2,400 miles across Australia, and was named the "Dingo Fence".

1887
First barbed cattle guard patented by John Gilbert - Illinois.

1887
First use of barbwire as electrical conductor lightening ground on electric transmission lines patented by Jonathan Vail - New York.

1890
Beginning period when rural barbwire fencing gained usage as telephone lines.

1892
The Glidden patent was declared "The Winner" by the Supreme Court ruling on February 29, 1892. The court's ruling had far-reaching impact on future patent laws that continue to this day.

1898
Cuba saw the first use of regular farm-fence barbwire as a defensive medium by the Spanish during the Spanish-American War.

1902
Barbwire was used in prisoner compounds during the Boer War.

1905
Barbwire was used as battlefield entanglements during the Russia-Japanese War.

1914
Barbwire used as “concertina” war wire in European campaign during World War I.

1941
First use of barbwire against submarines – Japan sunk carloads in their harbors to hinder submarine passage.

1959
First electric barbwire fence patented by Raymond Doerr – Michigan.

1966
First barbed wire collectors association was formed – Texas.

1971
First national barbed wire museum was established – La Crosse, Kansas.

1996
Last barbwire patent of the 20th century by P.H. White – Tennessee.

2002
The Antique Barbed Wire Society is organized.


Devil's Rope Musuem

California Barbed Wire Collectors Association



Ellwood House

Joseph F. Glidden Homestead & Society

Kansas Barbed Wire Museum
Jacob Haish Mfg. Co.