MCLEAN, Texas--Most people don't think twice about barbed wire, unless they happen to be cattle ranchers, farmers, or junkyard owners. You don't have to be any of those to step into the Devil's Rope Museum on Route 66 here in McLean, Texas, and immerse yourself in the history and lore of the pointy fencing material.
I'll admit that at first, I thought the idea of a museum dedicated to barbed wire was pretty weird and possibly a little dull. How many types of barbed wire can there really be? As it turns out, thousands. Some of them have some real personality to them, too. One looks like a series of miniature spurs. Another comes in a cheerful shade of red. Some look like wicked ribbons. Festive, but dangerous.
One surprise is the level of ingenuity surrounding the cult of barbed wire. Do-it-yourselfers have adapted the material into sculptures, crows have woven it into nests, and inventors have dedicated countless hours to one-upping each other on barbed wire design and technology. Barbed wire should make it onto every serious maker's materials list. … Read more