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    Posted 6 years ago

    (202 items)

    After 50 years of searching for the elusive Eldridge J. Smith wire fence with hanging wood blocks I had pretty much given up on ever adding one to my collection. Lucky me. One appeared at the Kansas Barbed Wire Collectors convention in La Crosse, Kansas last week. Now it is proudly displayed with my other wood block wires.

    Patent number 266,545 was issued to Eldridge J. Smith, of Williamsport, Pennsylvania October 24, 1882. One half of the patent was assigned to John Schwer, Jr, of Williamsport.

    As you can see in the patent drawing several methods of attaching the wood blocks to the wire were covered by the patent. This is the first and only one of them I have ever seen.


    1. kerry10456 kerry10456, 6 years ago
      Congrats... finding that elusive piece has been good this week... good times and the "Whaoo" dance is in order
    2. TheGateKeeper TheGateKeeper, 6 years ago
      Thanks kerry10456. At my age the "Whaoo" shuffle is more appropriate.
    3. kerry10456 kerry10456, 6 years ago
      Understand completely , are you a Kansas person?
    4. TheGateKeeper TheGateKeeper, 6 years ago
      Not a Kansan. Texan born and bred. There because of the convention. The Kansas Barbed Wire Museum is located in La Crosse. It was their 50th anniversary.
    5. racer4four racer4four, 6 years ago
      Good for you Gatekeeper!
      May I ask what is the actual purpose of the wood blocks? Are they just a means of keeping the wires in place or some other reason? Thanks.
    6. TheGateKeeper TheGateKeeper, 6 years ago
      racer4four The wood blocks were used to make the wire visible. Wire with barbs caused severe damage to animals (including humans). Many of the states passed laws requiring "warning plates" or "warning strips" in the construction of fences. Wood blocks were used for only a few short years then sheet metal plates became the standard. Hundreds of visible designs were patented.
    7. racer4four racer4four, 6 years ago
      Thanks for that. Never seen that here in Australia - barb wire fences I remember had no "visible plates"....and I ran into many!!
    8. TheGateKeeper TheGateKeeper, 6 years ago
      racer4four Check out this posting

      I believe it was found in Australia.

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