ELECTRIC FENCE. An electric fence was first used in Texas on the XIT Ranch in 1888. D. H. Wilson of the United States Electric Fence Company contracted to fence a pasture and construct a thirty-mile telephone line. Electricity from a generator using an overshot wheel was to charge the top two wires of a four-wire fence. The device was supposed to eliminate the need for many fenceposts, to be less injurious to cattle than barbed wire, and to enable the cowboys riding the fence line to communicate with the ranch headquarters by telephone. The LX Ranch also experimented with the electric fence, but cowboys were skeptical about the invention, and the venture proved impractical. Ranchers revived the use of the electric fence in the modern era. Often solar-powered (see SOLAR ENERGY), such fences are used extensively in the Panhandle to prevent cattle from wandering onto farmlands.
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, "Electric Fence," accessed May 25, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/aoe01.
Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Get Texas history every day,
with day by day
Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles