'Fencing Frontiers': The barbed wire story

Dekalb, Ill., is well known as the home of Northern Illinois University. But the genesis of the city’s fame lies with it’s distinction as the birthplace of barbed wire. Join Elwood House Museum Director Gerald Brauer as he explores the backgrounds of pioneer entrepreneurs Joseph Glidden, Jacob Haish and Isaac Ellwood and the rush to invent barbed wire. You’ll learn how the manufacture of this product significantly influenced the expansion of westward settlement as an economic and social force in America. “Oh, the cowboys and the farmers must be friends.” Lyrics from the song in the musical, Oklahoma!, speak about the barriers and range wars that resulted from this new invention. Presentation dates are as follows:

Saturday, Nov. 5, 10:30 a.m. North Suburban Library, Loves Park;

Saturday Nov. 5, 2 p.m. Roscoe Branch Library; and

Sunday Nov.6, 2 p.m. Cherry Valley Public Library District.

This program, in cooperation with the Smithsonian Museum’s “Museum on Main Street” traveling exhibition, “Between Fences,” is made possible in part by an award from the Illinois Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Illinois General Assembly.

Visit “Between Fences” Nov. 4 – Dec. 16 at the Macktown Living History Education Center, 2221 Freeport Rd., Rockton. Call 1-815-624-4200 for hours.

From the Nov. 2-8, 2005, issue

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