Saturday, September 22, 2012

Post Rock and Barbed Wire Museum

Well, it caught our attention, so we stopped.
First things first. If you're going to put up a barbed wire fence you have to have fence posts. This is Kansas. There aren't many trees, but they did have plenty of rock. Limestone.
Now I bet you know what the Post Rock Museum will be about. We'll visit there first. Note the building is made of limestone blocks.
Inside is a display showing the limestone formations similar to those we've been passing on the highway. This display showed how they cut and removed the limestone to make the posts.
Display cases show other uses for the limestone. 
And fossils formed in the rock dating back to when this land was a sea. 
Outside was a fence using post rock.
There were other historical buildings to tour too. Our informative guide wanted to show us the old bank next.
1916 bank
What it looked like in its day. Looks like they were having a run on the bank that day. 
Inside...original flooring and woodwork. Note the spittoon on the floor. Modern banks no longer provide that courtesy.
Behind the counter and the vault. 
Way before computers. 
Does anybody remember counter checks (or was that register checks?)...forgot what he called them, and I guess I was too young. 
Enough about the bank. I know what you're really interested in is the barbed wire....right?
Ok, let's go... 
The reason they needed barbed wire fences was because early settlers,
and homesteaders were fed up with cattle drivers letting free range cattle tear up their farmland. They needed a fence not to keep the cattle inside, but to keep them out and off their crops.
So necessity being the mother of invention...Notice he got the credit for his wife's idea.
Our guide demonstrates how the coffee grinder was used to twist the wire and secure the barbs.
After a patent war which Glidden won, there were many more variations patented.
Just a few of Glidden's patents. 
But there are more if you're interested....his and other's.
And if you have a burning interest and a lot of time, there are several walls of variations, each meticulously labeled and dated. 
But fencing isn't just about wire and posts....there are tools. Post-hole diggers,
Fencing pliers artfully arranged,
With descriptions and other important information. 
Wire stretchers, 
And other necessary tools. 
There was a life-size diorama of a cowboy building a fence.
Leather gloves are very important. 
Because if you handle barbed wire you are sure to get cut. Which makes Barbed wire liniments a necessity.
And there was a display of those too. 

I thought it was interesting that this label says "Do not wash sore." 
I haven't shown you half of what's in this museum, but you get the idea. And if you haven't had enough barbed wire, there is barbed wire art available in the gift shop.


  1. It's amazing that there are so many types of barb wire. Looks like you had an interesting visit.

  2. Liz, if it wasn't for you, someone (the guide) might have been out a job. Well done!