, also known as barb wire
, occasionally corrupted as bobbed wire
or bob wire
is a type of steel
constructed with sharp edges or points arranged at intervals along the strands. It is used to construct inexpensive fences
and is used atop walls
surrounding secured property. It is also a major feature of the fortifications in trench warfare
(as a wire obstacle
A person or animal trying to pass through or over barbed wire will suffer discomfort and possibly injury. Barbed wire fencing requires only fence posts, wire, and fixing devices such as staples
. It is simple to construct and quick to erect, even by an unskilled person.
The first patent in the United States for barbed wire
was issued in 1867 to Lucien B. Smith of Kent, Ohio
, who is regarded as the inventor. Joseph F. Glidden
of DeKalb, Illinois
, received a patent for the modern invention
in 1874 after he made his own modifications to previous versions.
Barbed wire was the first wire technology capable of restraining cattle
. Wire fences are cheaper and easier to erect than their alternatives (one such alternative is Osage orange
, a thorny bush that is time-consuming to transplant and grow).
When wire fences became widely available in the United States in the late 19th century, it became more affordable to fence much larger areas than before, and intensive animal husbandry
was made practical on a much larger scale.
An example of the costs of fencing with lumber immediately prior to the invention of barbed wire can be found with the first farmers in the Fresno
, California, area, who spent nearly $4,000 (equivalent to $86,000 in 2020) to have wood for fencing delivered and erected to protect 2,500 acres (1,000 ha) of wheat crop from free-ranging
livestock in 1872.
- Zinc-coated steel-wire. Galvanized steel-wire is the most widely steel wire during barbed wire production. It has commercial type, Class 1 type and Class 3 type. Or it is also well known as electric galvanized steel wire and hot dipped galvanized steel wire.
- Zinc-aluminum alloy coated steel wire. Barbed wire is available with zinc, 5% or 10% aluminum alloy and mischmetalsteel wire, which is also known as Galfan wire.
- Polymer-coated steel wire. Zinc steel wire or zinc-aluminum steel wire with PVC, PE or other organic polymer coating.
- Stainless steel wire. It is available with SAE 304, 316 and other materials.
- Single strand. Simple and light duty structure with single line wire (also known as strand wire) and barbs.
- Double strand. Conventional structure with double strand wire (line wire) and barbs.
- Single barb. Also known as 2-point barbed wire. It uses single barb wire twisted on the line wire (strand wire).
- Double barb. Also known as 4-point barbed wire. Two barb wires twisted on the line wire (strand wire).
- Conventional twist. The strand wire (line wire) are twisted in single direction, which is also known as traditional twist. Besides, the barb wires are twisted between the two strand wire (line wire).
- Reverse twist. The strand wire (line wire) are twisted in opposite direction. Besides, the barb wires are twisted outside of the two line wire.