History of Chain-link Fencing

American Fence
History of chain link fencing

Humans have used various types of fencing for security since time immemorial. However, one of the modern world’s most common varieties, chain-link, is a relatively recent innovation. Since its invention, chain-link fencing has become wildly popular worldwide due to its durability, effectiveness, and relatively low cost. According to the US Department of Commerce, half of all fences sold in the United States are chain-link fences. But how did chain-link fencing come about?

The first mass-production of chain-link fencing is said to have begun in Victorian England, in the city of Norwich, shortly after the invention of the wire weaving machine. Charles Barnard of the firm Barnard, Bishop & Barnard is said to have developed the first wire weaving machine in 1844, inspired by the cloth weaving machines commonly used for the city’s textile manufacturing industry. However, several competing claims to this invention and a lack of documentation mean that we may never know for sure if Charles Barnard deserves the credit. Regardless of who the inventor really was, the wire weaving machine made it possible to easily produce large amounts of chain-link fabric. This made it quick and easy to create long stretches of fencing, and chain-link fencing soon became wildly popular throughout England. Chain-link fencing soon spread around the world. Anchor Post Fence Co. of New Jersey, established in 1898, was the first to obtain a patent for chain-link fencing in the United States. Other fence companies began to open shop as well. Unfortunately, few of them survived; Anchor Post Fence Co. itself declared bankruptcy in 1934.

Only 14 years later, in 1948, a former WWII Prisoner of War named J.P. Van Denburgh founded American Fence Company. We soon grew to be one of the largest and most respected fence companies in the United States, and we’re still going strong after over 70 years! Our materials are American-made, with our fabric woven on-site at our headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona. We secure thousands of construction sites and events per year with our signature Rent-A-Fence, sturdy temporary chain-link panels that are built to last. For even longer-lasting security, we offer permanent chain-link fencing, in addition to ornamental iron, steel, wood, and vinyl fences. Many of our branches provide material sales to both industry professionals and do-it-yourselfers alike. Give us a call or request a quote on our website at www.americanfence.com/ today!