There are those who claim that strung wire cable has been around since the days of the Pharaohs in Egypt as far back as two thousand years. The problem with this claim is the lack of documentation to go along with it outside of hieroglyphs, which don’t mention it.
That brings us to the late 1900s, when we do have documentation of the first-time wire had been applied for fencing purposes. Here is a brief history behind wire and its uses for those interested to know.
The 1863 Discovery
Prior to the year 1863, fencing for livestock knew nothing of barbed fencing. This is where Michael Kelly received his idea, not to add barbs to the existing slats and posts but to use wire. So, he threaded wire for extra resilience and added barbs for every several feet of wire to replace the existing wooden fence. Unfortunately, because he never had a patent for it, he never received credit for his invention, and it was taken over by a new group of individuals ten years later.
The Patent is Made
In 1873, at the county fair in Dekalb, IL, a man by the name of Henry M. Rose presented his idea for spiked rails to go along fences to stop livestock from attempting to jump their fencing. This would be the prototype that would spark the idea for barbed wire once and for all.
Introducing Barbed Wire
Three individuals caught wind of this while at the fair by the names of Joseph Glidden, Jacob Hood, and Issac Ellwood. All but Ellwood would go on to patent this invention as he wanted to claim it for himself, and legal battles were had where Glidden and Hood would ultimately go on to win the patent and fabricated the idea that they could start producing it for sale.
Glidden was awarded the patent on November 24, 1874, when they would go on to call their creation “the winner.” They would then go on to open their own production line and company, which they would aptly name “The Barb Fence Company,” where they would mass produce barbed wire as it is known today along with other fencing equipment to accompany your projects such as barbed wire clips, to go along with your fencing and wiring.
Wire is used for an assortment of things today, from springs to arts and crafts, tools, and even welding. There are so many ways to use wire, and we have come a long way from the original idea of what wire should be. So, this has been a brief history behind wire and its uses, and we hope to have educated you on the history of wire.