The History of Barbed Wire Fencing

Twists, turns and barbs: Barbed iron wire kept crops and loose livestock safe.

Several types of barbed wire.
Several types of barbed wire. From left: Jacob Haish Original S Barb, patented Aug. 31, 1875; Joseph F. Glidden Square Line, patented Feb. 8, 1876; Michael Kelly Thorny Fence, patented Feb. 11, 1868, and Square Wooden Rail with Nail Barbs, used before the formal invention of barbed wire.
Drawings courtesy of the artist, Al Martin Napoletano, whose artwork is featured at the Devil's Rope Museum, McLean, Texas.