A new exhibit for Spring 2010 has been unveiled at the Remington Nature Center of St. Joseph. A collection of hundreds of pieces of barbed wire, donated by a local enthusiast, is now on display.
The exhibit explains the important changes barbed wire brought to the United States, ending the free range cattle grazers and allowing smaller ranchers to develop, thus changing the landscape forever.
This display truly depicts both natural and cultural elements of Northwest Missouri," said Andrea McCoy, exhibit/event coordinator for the nature center. "Nature was undoubtedly changed forever by the patents of barbed wire, and the cultural history can strongly be traced from the early 1850s through the World War II era.
Many people collect barbed wire; there are museums dedicated solely to barbed wire," George said. "It is important because each strand of wire is unique and different, and the men who patented these wires were influencing history. In many ways, barbed wire was as influential in changing cultural history as the transcontinental railroad, or invention of the incandescent light bulb.
The barbed wire exhibit displays over 200 different examples, including one of the first patented wires - the Meriwether Wire.