Many people know the benefits of an electric fence for security as well as keeping livestock in the fields, but very few know how the electric fence came to be. Who had the first idea? What was the first motive and how did it evolve over the years? These are all questions that beg to be answered and are fascinating for anyone who is considering an electric perimeter security fence.
The First Mentions of Electric Fences
The first mention of an electric fence is credited to Fanny Trollope in 1832. She described an electric fence used to protect a museum exhibit in her book, Domestic Manners of the Americans. Thirty-eight years later in 1870, Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea detailed a defensive weapon that used electrification. Following his footsteps in 1889, Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Author’s Court also featured an electric fence.
Fences for War Borders
Electric fences were used as wartime defense mechanisms as early as 1905, when the Russian army improvised them during the Russo-Japanese War at Port Arthur. By World War I, the German army had developed the idea into a fence that stretched the entire 186-mile border between Belgium and the Netherlands. Called “The Wire of Death,” this fence was amped to thousands of bolts, was backed by barbed wire, and was used to stop people from crossing the border without authorization.
1936 was the year Bill Gallagher, a New Zealand inventor, decided to do something about the fact that his horse was using his car for a scratching post. He made an electric fence from a Meccano set and a car’s ignition coil. His idea went global when he started the Gallagher Group, which is still thriving today under his son’s ownership. In 1962, another New Zealander by the name of Doug Philips used capacitor discharge to increase an electric fence’s range capacity from several hundred yards to 20 miles.
Improvements in Fencing
In 1939, electric fences started to be regulated by the U.S. government, amid concerns of public safety. ANSI/UL standards were implemented for fence controllers, which prompted design improvements. Polyethylene insulators replaced porcelain ones, bringing down the cost. Other improvements included high tensile steel and moveable fence components.
A Perimeter Security Fence for Every Need
America Fence knows that your property needs protecting with advanced technology that helps deter, detect, and delay intruders. Our fences are an effective way to secure any outdoor area. From manufacturing plants and prisons to secluded properties and defense department sites, we supply the perfect fence for your application. We partner with Gallagher Security Systems, which is a division of the company that started it all with modern electric fencing. This allows us to offer the most advanced technology on the market for your property.
Protect your property and assets by calling America Fence today at 770-931-4077