On this historic day, November 24, 1874, the first commercially successful barbed wire was patented
Barbed wire is a common product used in agriculture, transportation and other industries.
The unique design and structure make this yarn creation sturdy – 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.
After growing up in Clarendon, New York, and finishing school, he returned to his father’s farm to work, according to Britannica.
Years later he landed in De Kalb, Illinois and got 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 and eventually applied for a US patent.
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But he was not alone.
Two other men also applied for a barbed wire patent with their own modifications: lumberjack Jacob Haish and merchant Isaac Leonard Ellwood, according to the Online Encyclopedia.
Glidden, however, was the man who got the patent.
The original patent on the barbed wire was filed in the United States in 1867, but Glidden was granted the patent on the new and improved form in 1874, according to Britannica.
Barbed wire normally consists of two long wires that are twisted together to form a cable.
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Yarn comes in many varieties, depending on its uses.
« Barbed wire will discourage unwanted entry and is suitable for a variety of containment needs, » according to The Home Depot’s store-bought barbed wire website.
« It can also be used with chain link or other fence barriers for an extra layer of security. »
Shortly after obtaining the patent, Glidden also developed a machine to help produce the new and improved barbed wire.
Glidden then asks Isaac L. Ellwood to join him in creating a fencing company: De Kalb’s Barb Fence Company.
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The two worked together to create the product, which served as a way to protect livestock on their land.
The option of wooden fences was still there; however, it was expensive for landowners owning hundreds of thousands of acres.
Barbed wire, however, was cheaper and easier to install.
Just a year after starting the fencing business, Glidden sold his half of the business to the Washburn and Moen Manufacturing Company of Worcester, Massachusetts, according to the Online Encyclopedia.
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Glidden is thought to have received over $60,000 and lifetime royalties on the patent.
Just 15 years after the barbed wire was created, fenced land replaced the once open beach in the western United States, according to Britannica.