Who Invented Barbed Wire?


Quick Answer

Barbed wire was developed by several people, but the first person to patent it was Joseph Glidden. Inspired by a wire fencing prototype displayed at the 1873 DeKalb County Fair in Illinois, Glidden experimented with different wire twist methods and finally filed his patent on November 24, 1874.

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Full Answer

Glidden went into business with another barbed wire experimenter, Isaac Ellwood, to mass-produce his innovation. Meanwhile, Jacob Haish, another inventor inspired by the same county fair display, had raced to file a competing patent. His patent was in fact approved first, leading him to call himself the inventor of barbed wire; but Glidden's patent was filed first. He and Ellwood were given the final patent for barbed wire, and Glidden became known as the "Father of Barbed Wire."

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