Barbed wire fences were used as telephone wires


Some unknown genius discovered that if you hooked two Sears or Monkey Ward telephone sets to the top wire on a barbed-wire fence, you could talk between the telephones as easily as between two ‘town’ telephones connected by slick wire through an operator’s switchboard. A rural telephone system that had no operators, no bills—and no long-distance charges—was born.”

Some ranchers built barbed wire fences primarily to have a communication system for weather reports and to be alerted to fires.