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Originally used to keep livestock from roaming around the Midwest, barbed wire is now used as an inexpensive fencing tool to keep things out, or keep things in. All that it requires is a fence post and a chain of barbed wire. Today on the blog we’re looking at the devil’s rope, and providing some helpful information on how to safely handle barbed wire.
Used in the settling of the American West in areas where wood was not as available as some might have wished, fences consisted of a single strand of wire which broke pretty easily in the cold weather or by moving cattle.
Now the history of barbed wire is pretty thorny, many people placed patent requests so it is unclear who actually came up with the idea. From the research conducted, here’s what we found:
Barbed wire was used to stop the turf wars between neighboring ranchers because once farmers realized that more and more people were settling in the west, and barbed wire became more necessary to mark off territory.
In 1868 Michael Kelly invented the first double-stranded barbed wire and the first commercially successful barbed wire was patented by Joseph Farwell Glidden of DeKalb, Illinois, in 1874.
Similar patents were filed that same year by Jacob Haish and Leonard Ellwood, both also of DeKalb. After twenty years of legal battles, the United States Supreme Court decided in Glidden’s favor, and he is thought of as the “inventor” of barbed wire.
Barbed wire is still pretty commonly used. There are laws governing when you can and cannot use barbed wire, but that’s up to your local municipal government. Here are some other common uses for barbed wire:
Prisons use barbed wire to keep prisoners from escaping. If they try to escape, they will get injured in the process. Like we said before, farmers will also use barbed wire still to keep livestock from roaming away. Some barbed wire can be made to have electricity run through, so it makes it more efficient at keeping animals around.
Keeping things from getting into an area where you don’t want things going like if you have a prized vegetable that you don’t want critters getting into, barbed wire is the choice made by farmers.
From state lines to farmland, barbed wire is a great way to divide property.
Railway companies all over the United States use barbed wire as a preventative measure to keep people off the tracks in remote areas. Some companies also use barbed wire to keep people from getting on their property.
Extremely popular in the army, barbed wire is used in training to keep new recruits low to the ground and simulate combat conditions. Barbed wire fences are also ideal for testing equipment’s strength and rigidity.
Here are things you can do to keep safe while handling barbed wire:
The S10LXPB is a great glove for handling barbed wire because the puncture protection is on the palm, so when you’re grabbing at the metal spikes your hands will stay safe.
Next time you’re in a thorny situation, choose a material that’s tough as nails that will protect you from them.
Removing barbed wire might be tricky, but your local recycling center or scrap yard should be able to help. (In some cases they’ll even pay YOU to take it).
Get a tetanus shot. The majority of people have had a shot to prevent it, if you’re struggling to remember it might be a good idea to get one (and keep in mind you’re supposed to get one every ten years).
Tetanus can lead to muscle stiffness, trouble swallowing and other muscle related issues.
Depending on how deep the barbed went, here’s what you’re going to want to do:
Well, glad you asked. Barbed wire is pretty dangerous stuff and there are many different kinds of barbed wire, so be safe. If you’re looking for an all over puncture-resistant glove, the MXHV2PB is an alternative. It’s fully linked with Punkban™ and there’s all over protection so if you’re dealing with barbed wire you’ll be safe.
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