Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Hot Rolled Steel Keeps Cows Herded

barbed wire
One of the unsung inventions within the past 200 years has been something we don't think very highly of. Barbed wire fencing is an inexpensive fence made up of wire with many pointed edges to deter people or anything else from touching them. The invention led to a giant spark in the United States' manufacturing of hot rolled steel, and continues to be manufactured in huge quantities all over the world, such as this hot rolled steel from Capital Steel & Wire.

In 1867, Lucien B. Smith from Kent Ohio received a patent for inventing the product, after making several modifications to his original product. Soon afterwards, wire rod was in mass production and it was around prisons, farms and properties all over the world within a few years. So why was barbed wire such a groundbreaking invention for its time? Previously there was no effective way to keep cattle in one place at a time. Large steel gates were way too expensive and out of the question, and wooden gates typically rotted or could be broken by cattle wanting to escape.

This led to a major boom in cattle production and food being distributed at more affordable prices around the world. This supported larger families to exist and less people need on farms, and a move of human populations to urban areas.

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