Skip to main content

Barbed Wire History

Barbed Wire Invention

Barbed wire appeared in the 19th century largely due to the crisis in the western states of the United States - in this region there was an acute shortage of wood for the manufacture of cattle pens. The invention of barbed wire by Joseph Glidden greatly contributed to the development of animal husbandry in the United States, since barbed wire was cheap and allowed large areas to be fenced off. The barbed wire did not harm the animals, but it did not allow them to leave the corral.

Barbed Wire for Military and Civil Purposes

But as time has shown, barbed wire was useful not only for these purposes. Practice has shown that barbed wire not only keeps animals in a corral, but also prevents outsiders from entering. Barbed wire began to be used for fencing enterprises and other facilities, as well as for fencing correctional institutions and other sensitive facilities. Barbed wire was also widely used during hostilities. Its deterrent properties were used to deter infantry. Various types of barriers were made from barbed wire, among them was the famous Bruno spiral, invented during the First World War, the principle of which is still used in modern barriers.

Barbed Wire and Totalitarianism

Over time, barbed wire has proven to be a reliable and effective means of creating insurmountable fences both in military operations and for the protection of civilian objects. Unfortunately, in the 20th century, barbed wire became a symbol of totalitarian regimes - too much of it was used to control dissidents. Barbed wire was used to fence prisons and camps, which is why it still evokes negative associations.

Modern Alternative to Barbed Wire

After more than a hundred years, ordinary barbed wire began to give way to more reliable and modern reinforced barbed tape, better known as Egoza razor wire or Concertina wire, the strength and service life of which are several times longer. Currently, ordinary barbed wire is practically not used as a means of protecting the perimeter.