Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Quote for the Day




Fence Week: More Facts and Trivia

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This brings to an end Fence Week, tomorrow something different.

Today, somemmore fencing facts and trivia . . . 

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Barb wire fences:

According to historian James Roark, the invention of barbed wire changed America’s west by “revolution[izing] the cattle business and sounded the death knell for the open range.” That also meant the end of the traditional American cowboy.

Before barbed wire, such fencing as there was used timber and single strand wire but mostly cattlemen used the system referred to as “open range”. Cattle freely roamed and grazed, restricted only by canyons, rivers, and other natural barriers. Cowboys kept the herds within the owner's range, doctored and branded them, and protected them from predators and thieves. In spring and autumn the cattle were rounded up en masse, sorted according to brands and taken by their respective owners, to southern ranges in spring and to market in autumn. 

Practical barbed wire appeared in 1868, created in New York by Michael Kelly. Because it used very sharp spikes, which often caused injuries to horses, cattle, and men, it was nicknamed "vicious" wire and by Native Americans as “the Devil’s Rope”. In 1874 Joseph Glidden patented a more marketable "obvious" barbed wire (with larger, dull-pointed, and safer barbs). 

Cattlemen began using barbed wire to secure their own livestock and to keep them out of areas. As homesteaders and other settlers moved into newly opened regions, they fenced their fields with barbed wire, often resulting in conflict. Cattlemen frequently found their open range stock routes now fenced with barbed wire and blocked. This led to disputes known as the range wars between open range ranchers and farmers in the late 19th century. These were similar to the disputes which resulted from enclosure laws in England in the early 18th century.

The spread of barbed-wire fencing spelled the end of the open-range cattle industry and the roundup circuit as well. 

Fencing of grazing land has facilitated the development of high-grade, registered cattle breeds, such as the Hereford and the Angus, that produce superior, more marketable beef. The open range gave way to the enclosed pasture, and "ranching" became "stock-farming." 

From Wikipedia:
Barbed wire is often cited by historians as the invention that truly tamed the West. Herding large numbers of cattle on open terrain required significant manpower just to catch strays, but with an inexpensive method to divide, sub-divide and allocate parcels of land to control the movement of cattle, the need for a vast labor force became unnecessary. By the beginning of the 20th century the need for significant numbers of cowboys was not necessary.

Safety barb wire ad, c 1895

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Wattle fences:

Fences made of wattle have historically been a popular means of fence construction in Britain and numerous other countries, still being used to this day. The fences are made by weaving thin branches (either whole, or more usually split) or slats between upright stakes to form a woven lattice. The technique goes back to Neolithic times, 



A woven wattle gate keeps animals out of the fifteenth-century cabbage patch

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The Trump Wall:

The Trump wall is a proposed expansion of the Mexico–United States barrier which President Trump promised as an election promise. In January 2017, Trump signed Executive Order 13767, which formally directed the US government to begin attempting wall construction along the Mexican border using existing federal funding. In September 2019, Trump said he planned to build 450–500 miles of new wall by the end of 2020. On December 17, 2019, acting Commissioner of U.S Customs and Border Protection Mark Morgan stated that 93 miles of new wall has been built during the Trump administration; according to CBP figures, at least 90 miles of that replaced existing structures. A private organization called We Build the Wall has constructed .5 miles (0.80 km) of new wall on private property near El Paso, Texas, with Trump's encouragement. 

President Donald Trump tours a section of the southern border wall on Sept. 18, 2019, in Otay Mesa, Calif.


Unveiling of the first section of the Trump Wall, October 2018


Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Thought for the Day





Fence Week, continued: More Unique Fences

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We are coming near to the end of Fence Week, readers, the last instalment will be tomorrow. As far as Fence Week goes, it will be the last post (ha ha).

Hopefully you will have found the various posts interesting and informative, 

Today’s fence post (ha ha) is another visual one, a look at some notable and distinctive fences around the world . . . 

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The Buckingham Palace Fence: 

Buck Palace has an impressive security fence designed to keep the uninvited out. Nonetheless at least 12 people have gained unauthorised entry into the palace or its grounds since 1914, The most famous of these entries was by Michael Fagan, who broke into the palace twice in 1982, entering the Queen's bedroom on the second occasion. At the time, news media reported that he had a long conversation with the Queen while she waited for security officers to arrive, but in a 2012 interview, Fagan said the Queen ran out of the room, and no conversation took place. It was only in 2007 that trespassing on the palace grounds became a specific criminal offence. 


 Meghan Markle, aged 15, photographed on a fence outside Buckingham Palace when visiting London in 1996.  The security fence is further back.

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The Aquarium Fence: 

Millionaire topographical engineer Mehmet Ali Gökçeoğlu bought a luxurious villa in Çeşme, Turkey, then In 2005, built a 50 metre aquarium fence filled with fish and octopuses that has become a tourist attraction in its own right. Located on the shores of the Aegean Sea, it is linked to the Aegean through a 400 metre-long buried pipeline so that the water is changed continuously. There is also a surveillance system to prevent damage by members of the public and tourists. 


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The Lovelock Fences:

Love lock fences have existed for over 100 years but became popular and spread in the early 2000s. The practice involves locking a padlock onto a fence, bridge or other structure as a symbol of the love of the persons placing it, often with engravings of initials, names or comments. 

Notwithstanding the sentiments and symbolism, many authorities have taken the view that it amounts to vandalism, as well as raising safety concerns by reason of the considerable weights involved. 

By way of example, the locks on the Pont Des Arts bridge in Paris caused parts of it to collapse, causing the locks to be removed in 2015 and be replaced by a special type of glass. 

Lovelocks on the Pont Des Arts 

Another pic of the Pont Des Arts 

I wrote about love locks in 2014, here is the link to that post and to some amazing photographs: 

Two years later I wrote about the removal in Paris, at: 

Worth a look. 

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The Bra Fence: 

In 1999 people living in Central Otago, New Zraland, found four bras mysteriously hanging on a nearby fence along the Cardrona Valley Road in Otago. More people kept adding bras to the fence and the place became a major tourist attraction. For some it was just a quirky thing to do, for others it was a personal statement, sometimes of female empowerment. 

The fence was a cause of controversy. Some local residents objected to its decency, some that it would upset Asian students at a nearby college, some that it presented the wrong image for the area and some that it was a traffic hazard with people slowing to view. However, local sheep farmer John Lee, who had become the unofficial guardian of the site, refused to remove the bras from the fence, claiming that 90% of letters received about the fence were positive, and that the bras were the most photographed attraction in the area. 

The fence became so popular that eventually the traffic hazard argument held way and the fence was moved from the main highway to the driveway entrance of Kelly Spaans and Sean Colbourne's horse trekking and quad biking business "The Cardrona", where it can still be seen in all its glory, with more being added regularly. 




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The Licence Plate Fence:

Remember the truck in the Speilberg film Duel, with the vehicle licence plates of the victims fixed to the front of the truck? Various places have licence plate fences and walls, not as souvenirs as victims but because the owners conduct scrap and salvage yards and because more get donated. 

The one above is in Missouri



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The UXO Fences: 

UXO stands for unexploded ordnance, ie unexploded bombs, mines etc. It is estimated that up to 30% of bombs dropped on Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam during the Vietnam War failed to explode, either through defects or from being dropped too low. The UXO causes fatalities and injuries, as well as making land unsafe to farm. There are ongoing removal and disarmament programs. Once retrieved and disarmed, such ordnance has been utilised in construction of fences and gates, as seen in these photographs from Laos: 




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Miscellaneous fences: 

Tyre fence, Wales 

Mirror fence 

Slate fence 

Ski fence 

Pencil fence 

Bicycle fence, Rockport, Texas 

Another bicycle fence 

Another ski fence 

Shoe fence, New Zealand . . . 

. . . and a thong fence in New Zealand (US readers: flip glops; New Zealand readers: jandals)

Related image
Toothbrush fence, New Zealand. 
What is it with these Kiwis and their weird fences?

Related image


Bottle fence 

 Wheel fence #1 

Wheel fence #2 

Wheel fence #3

God knows, I simply found the pic, ne comments.  Nightmare stuff.