Press Release · Monday, October 5, 1998
October 5, 1998
Documents and Teaching Activities Related to Glidden's Patent for Barbed Wire Now Available Online from the National Archives http://www.archives.gov/digital_classroom
Washington, DC. . . The
National Archives and Records
a new project in the Digital
Classroom section of its
Website. "Glidden's Patent
Application for Barbed Wire"
presents Gliddens 1874 patent
drawing and description,
offers suggestions for teaching
activities that are correlated
to the National Standards
for History and the National
Standards for Civics and
Government, and provides
links to images of additional
patent drawings available
online from the National
Archives. The URL is http://www.archives.gov/digital_classroom/
Life in the American West was reshaped by a series of patents for a simple tool that helped ranchers tame the land: barbed wire. Nine patents for improvements to wire fencing were granted by the U.S. Patent Office to American inventors, beginning with Michael Kelly in November 1868 and ending with Joseph Glidden in November 1874. Barbed wire not only simplified the work of the rancher and farmer, but it significantly affected political, social, and economic practices throughout the region. The swift emergence of this highly effective tool as the favored fencing method influenced life in the region as dramatically as the rifle, six-shooter, telegraph, windmill, and locomotive.
The background information describes the development of barbed wire and the teaching activities encourage educators and students to analyze the documents and draw conclusions about the impact of invention on the American West.
"Glidden's Patent Application for Barbed Wire" is the latest in a series of Digital Classroom exercises that the National Archives and Records Administration produces for teachers and students on the Website. Other subjects covered include exercises about the Constitution, the War with Mexico, and Watergate. For a full listing, visit http://www.archives.gov/digital_classroom/teaching_with_documents.html.
For additional information, please e-mail the National Archives Education Staff at email@example.com, or call the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700.
For additional PRESS information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700 or by e-mail.
This page was last reviewed on January 30, 2013.
Contact us with questions or comments.