This simple twist of metal represents the barbed wire we all know today, developed and patented in 1874 by Joseph Glidden, and housed today in a museum dedicated to the story of jumper-snagging fence materials.
The museum houses over 2000 unique examples of barbed wire. But why?
As the rapid land-grab spread across the USA, people wanted something to mark out their huge tracts of land and to protect it from others. The vast plains that were once home to native bison were soon carved up. Territorial disputes ensued, rights were questioned and the character of the land changed for ever. In part, that was down to this new invention which, in a few short years, grew into a multi-million dollar industry.
With all that in mind, I’m inspired to visit, perhaps one time for their Barbed Wire Festival.
With thanks to the folks at the Kansas Barbed Wire Museum.