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February 03, 2012

Barbed Wire - Devils Fence

The swift emergence of the barbed wire fence, a highly effective tool as the favored fencing method, changed life in the wild west as dramatically as the rifle, six-shooter, telegraph, windmill, and locomotive.

I have in my day, strung, unrolled, stapled, stretched and fixed many a barbed wire fence.  I've climbed over, under and been struck to just as many. 

My first recollection of fence fix'n has to be the summers that I helped with spring cattle drives.  Barbed wire fences are the main fences here in the west.  It's told that if you don't want someones cattle (animals) on your plot of ground you'd better put up a fence.  Just fence to the right and you'll be okay.

Barbed wire fences to me hold more character that the normal wood fence.  It takes a skilled hand to be able to string one up and still have some hide left at the end of the day. 

I am still adding to my collection of western barbs, that would be the barbed part of the fence.  You can tell the age of a barbed wire fence by the type and style of barbs.  I've seen some that are just flat pieces of mettle that have been woven in between the two wires.  Some are just deadly looking spikes.  Now you just come across small pointed wires that are twisted around one wire.

History is such an interesting thing especially when you can be a part of it such and me and barbs.  Have you looked at any barbs lately?

1 comment:

Lois said...

Love the simplicity of your composition and the backstory.