Wood fences can rot. Stone fences can crack. And wire fences? They can rust. At Red Brand, we regard fencing as an investment. You work hard to assure your animals’ safety. To protect what’s important to you, we manufacture our fences to stand strong against all types of weather conditions. However, even a light rainfall can harm steel at the atomic level. Due to oxygen molecules that produce iron oxide, rust will appear on exposed steel. That’s why all Red Brand fence features galvanization for lasting performance.
The history of barbed wire is not a well-documented story, but we do know that farming and ranching was forever changed with the invention of this fencing solution. Some farmers were using early homemade variations of barbed wire fencing in the mid-1800’s. However, Joseph Glidden’s later design became the most successful barbed wire of his time. His patent in 1874 was inspired by an earlier version developed by Michael Kelly but was improved by the use of two strands of wire that secured ‘spines’ or ‘barbs’ onto the fence line.
The legend goes that Glidden was searching for a way to protect his wife’s garden from the livestock on their DeKalb, Illinois farm. As a result, Glidden created his own design with a modified coffee mill to twist two strands of wire to form loops for barbs. Named “The Winner”, Glidden’s design was easy to manufacture, cost effective, and wildly popular across the American plains. The design was quickly modified by others in order to meet their unique livestock needs. As a result, the U.S. government issued over 500 barbed wire patents before the turn of the century. Soon, more than 2,000 unique designs could be found across the United States.
Modern Barbed Wire
Today’s barbed wire is not made with a coffee crank, but instead with giant automated machines. Using precise steel formulations and uncompromising quality control procedures, Red Brand has manufactured top-of-the-line barbed wire products since 1905. Our plant in Peoria, Illinois makes over 30 types of barbed wire, all with the signature red-painted barbs that makes Red Brand unmistakable. Thanks to modern, efficient manufacturing processes, Red Brand produces enough barbed wire each year to circle the earth six times.
Red Brand’s Barbed Wire
We know livestock will test almost any new fence. As a result, we developed a two-stranded, twisted wire with sharp points and strong barbs that resist bending. Our barbed wire is available in two different styles. ‘Ruthless’ features four very sharp, pointed barbs placed every four inches along the wire, while ‘Defender’ has two barbs.
From a small family of livestock to massive herds, both styles of Red Brand barbed wire are built to safely contain your animals. When herd pressure or crowding is a concern, consider using 4 point Ruthless. More points on the barb provide greater hurt factor, so cattle will quickly be reminded to stay away from the perimeter. If you have more room for your herd to roam, 2 point Defender is acceptable.
Both types are available in Class 1, Class 3, or Commercial grade galvanization. Each style is also available in standard low carbon 12.5 gauge wire or 15.5 gauge high tensile wire. All Red Brand rolls cover 1,320 feet of land, or one-quarter mile. Four rolls of barbed wire would be enough to enclose a square 40-acre parcel.
Tips for Installing Barbed Wire
Like most wire fences, your fence posts should be spaced eight to twelve feet apart. However, if fencing on hilly terrain, you may need to place your fence posts closer together, making sure that there is a post at the top of each rise. Typically, four to five lines of barbed wire are adequate for most applications. Since predators can squeeze through small gaps, if they are an issue be sure your wires are placed close together. Remember, barbed wire is effective for keeping animals in, but not always out. Finally, for helpful expert advice on barbed wire installation, watch this video. And, for more information on which material is best for your farm, ask your local Red Brand dealer for assistance when making your selection.
Don’t miss a thing. Simply fill out the Subscribe form here. We’ll notify you every time we add new material. See you soon!
Historical information provided by:
“Fencing the Great Plains: The History of Barbed Wire.” Homestead National Monument. The National Park Service, n.d. Web. 2 Feb. 2017
“The Early Years: A Brief History of Barbed Wire.” The Kansas Barbed Wire Museum. Rush County, n.d. Web. 2 Feb. 2017
“Barbed Wire: The Saga.” Joseph F. Glidden Homestead. n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2017
Until the late 1800’s, most fences were constructed from stone and wood. These fences required massive effort to build along with constant attention as weather or livestock caused damage. This led Peter Sommer to create a fence-weaving machine that allowed farmers to protect their land with lightweight, weather resilient, American made steel. Today’s farmers do not have to decide between stone or wood: today’s decision rests between low carbon or high tensile fence.
Red Brand fence products have led the way in the agricultural fencing industry for over 125 years. Whether you are new to our products or a lifelong Red Brand user, we encourage you to take a closer look at where this American-made company, and woven wire fence, got their start.
One Blog – Multiple Resources
Red Brand’s pleased to introduce our new blog where we will build a library of resources like installation advice, product information, planning tips and more. We’re experts in the field, so you can rely on us to help with all things related to ag fencing.
Our Roots Stretch as Far as Our Fences
We’ve been around for a long time. In 1889, Peter Sommer built the world’s very first fence weaving machine because he wanted to provide a faster and easier way to build quality, longer-lasting fence. His determination and innovation resulted in Red Brand fence. And now, generations later, Red Brand keeps Sommer’s legacy alive. We continue to produce high-quality, American-made fence products that are designed to exceed the demands of our country’s diverse agricultural communities.