Glidden, Joseph

Glidden, Joseph (Farwell)

(1813–1906) inventor; born in Charlestown, N.H. He worked on the family farm and taught school before moving west in 1844 and gradually acquiring large landholdings in Illinois and Texas. Glidden patented an improved type of barbed wire in 1874. He sold his interest in the Barb Fence Company in 1876. By 1880 the factory was turning out 80 million pounds of wire a year, and his invention ultimately fenced in vast areas of the western range.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.