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Sunday, May 9, 2021

Barbed Wire (from "Have To" History) | Blue Cereal Education

Barbed Wire (from "Have To" History) | Blue Cereal Education
Barbed Wire (from "Have To" History)

Stuff You Don't Really Want To Know (But For Some Reason Have To) About... Barbed Wire

Three Big Things:

1. Barbed wire became the fencing of choice in the west after the Civil War. It was relatively cheap, withstood a wide range of conditions, and held back the biggest, most stubborn livestock.

2. Barbed wire favored homesteaders moving west, who tended to be small farmers. It threatened, and eventually helped destroy, the mythical “open range” and cowboy culture.

3. Barbed wire is rarely asked about specifically in history standards; it’s central to a wide variety of stuff that is, however.


Kansas Barbed Wire MuseumThere are barbed wire museums in nearly a dozen different states. That’s right – museums devoted exclusively (or at least primarily) to the origins and impact of pokey wires in all its many varieties. The Oklahoma Cowboy Museum boasts over 8,000 varieties of prickly steel yarn, while the Devil’s Rope Museum in McLean, Texas, promises “everything you want to know about barbed wire and fencing tools.” There are several collections in and around DeKalb, Illinois, the birthplace of barbed wire, but it’s the Kansas Barbed Wire Museum which makes the grandest claims and boasts the most extensive curated exploration of this marvelous innovation.

It’s fencing. Made of wire. What’s the big deal?

Expansion, Technology, and Conflict

American history is largely a tale of expansion. Many of our best conflicts have resulted (at least in part) from our eternal need to expand and renovate. As CONTINUE READING: Barbed Wire (from "Have To" History) | Blue Cereal Education