November 24, 1874 marks the invention of barbed wire that reshaped, corralled and literally defined life in the American West.  Beginning with Michael Kelly’s original wire invention in November 1868 and ending with Joseph Glidden’s U.S. granted patent of a new improved barbed wire, the American West was not only set free, but  tamed and harnessed once and for all!  

The great invention, barbed wire simplified the work of the farmer and the rancher while also, greatly affecting social, political and economic factors through the West.  Prior to the invention of the cost effective barbed wire fencing, most properties remained without marked boundaries simply because wooden fences were costly and difficult to acquire on the plains as well as rocks for walls.


Glidden’s invention of barbed wire was used while the West was being settled and since that time in America’s history, there has been little modification to his innovative invention.


Isn’t progress grand?  Roam West young man and Giddy up Pardner!

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