Barbed wire

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A Russian soldier cutting barbed wire at the Battle of Stalingrad

Barbed wire, also known as barb wire, less often bob wire[1] or, in the southeastern United States, bobbed wire,[2] is a type of twisted fencing wire with short projecting barbs that are designed to snag on hair, flesh or clothing. The original patent for barbed wire was awarded to Joseph F. Glidden of DeKalb, IL in 1874 and it became invaluable in restricting the movement of livestock, as it required only wooden stakes, staples and a hammer for unskilled labor to erect a stock-proof fence. This invention enabled the development of large-scale cattle-ranching.

During the Great War, loose coils of barbed wire were widely used in trench warfare as they ensnared the heavy serge fabric of soldier's uniforms and thus prevented them freely advancing on enemy lines.

See also


Krell, Alan (2002). The Devil's Rope: A Cultural History of Barbed Wire. London: Reaktion Books. 

McCallum, Henry D. & Frances T. (1965). The Wire that Fenced the West. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. , LoC:65-11234

Netz, Reviel (2004). Barbed wire. An ecology of modernity. Wesleyan University Press. ISBN 978-0-8195-6719-2. 


  1. Fencing Frontiers: The Barbed Wire Story. Ellwood House Museum, DeKalb, IL. Archived from the original on 2006-07-12. Retrieved on 2014-12-05. Glidden Steel called its product "Barb Wire".
  2. A Collection of Barbed Wire. The Murray County Museum, Georgia. Archived from the original on 2011-07-14. Retrieved on 2014-12-05.

External links