Who Invented Barbed Wire?

Who Invented Barbed Wire?

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No matter where you live in the world, you’ve probably seen barbed wire and lots of it. barbed wire, or barb wire as it’s sometimes known, is one of the most common fence materials for agricultural fences, and it’s also used for security fences, taut wire fences and more.

However, while we’ve all seen barbed wire before, what most people don’t know is who invented barbed wire. Here’s what you need to know.

A Controversial History

What most people don’t know when they first ask who invented barbed wire is that there is quite a bit of controversy surrounding this seemingly ordinary, everyday product.

That’s because the first barbed wire patent was issued to Lucien B. Smith from Kent, Ohio, in 1867. However, in 1874, another man named Joseph F. Glidden from DeKalb, Illinois, filed a new patent for an improved version of the product.

Unfortunately, because Smith already held a patent, his application was denied.

The competition for the rights to the barbed wire was fierce, and in 1892, Glidden actually took the US patent office to court, eventually winning the case and receiving a patent for his new and improved barbed wire product.

It’s hard to believe that something we see as so commonplace today was once such cutting-edge technology or that we’ve only had barbed wire as we know it for less than 150 years.

Barbed Wire Today

So, as you can see, barbed wire started out as a proudly American invention.

Today, there are barbed wire manufacturers around the world, all producing various types of this versatile fence material.

We definitely don’t consider barbed wire a cutting-edge invention anymore, but it’s definitely still a great product, and it’s very interesting to know who invented barbed wire and that, for a little while at least, it was the stuff of big business and court cases!

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