Barbed wire: it's pretty exciting, except that it isn't, unless you hail from Texas, in which case barbed wire is second only to Jesus Christ (and possibly abnormally large belt buckles). There's a history not worth learning behind barbed wire, which is true for every other item invented by the hands of men. And much like every other item invented by men, a small group of people find it fascinating enough to share their obsession with the world.
The Devil's Rope museum provides the casual metal wire enthusiast to peer into the unrelenting madness that is the barbed wire fandom. The usual museum sections are all represented: a history of, a guide to collecting, and a gallery containing barbed wire and barbed wire accessories.
Where the museum really shines is in its history section. Specifically, whoever maintains the website tries their damnedest to force a connection between the Titanic and barbed wire. You see, barbed wire inventor Alfred Rowe was on the Titanic. I'm sure you know how this story ends.
However, the writer tells us that Rowe's life “reads like an Old West novel.” That's simply not true. Rowe made painful rope, owned a large ranch, and met the frozen hand of God in the Atlantic Ocean. For comparison, Old West novels have sheriffs, deputies, bandits (or banditos!), damsels, home-made alcohol, shoot-outs, duels, fist-fights, train robberies, and other things people could otherwise find interesting, unlike barbed wire itself.
“Not too long ago, I began collecting crushed pennies and quarters. These are the coins you put in a machine and watch as a cylinder slowly spins and presses an image on the coin (such as in the ones pictured above). These coins are also known as elongated coins.”
This is a quote from Ronald Dupont's personal website, and if you're looking for someone to blame the current economic downturn on, feel free to pin it on people like him. Ronald is a collector of “crushed coins,” or coins that have been run through machines to stretch and imprint an image on them, thus robbing them of their monetary value. But hey, at least some of them look nice, like this Florida “life's a beach number” here:
Or this eagle, which we assume mourns the loss of patriots:
If you're willing to fall deeper down this rabbit hole you'll find a section dedicated to real-time eBay listings of crushed coins auctions. As of this writing, there are currently one-thousand and fifty. Assuming each of these coins are American, then there's at least ten dollars literally crushed out of circulation. Again, these people are monsters.
- - Handcuffs: http://www.topguard.se/store/images/350107_large.jpg
- - Bizarre Cookie Fortunes: http://forums.editingarchive.com/images/archiveitems/4fortune-big.jpg http://scienceblogs.com/zooillogix/elephant%20kiss.jpg
- - Toothpaste: http://www.toothpasteworld.com/images/Alcohol_toothpastes/WellingtonWhisky.jpg
- - Barbed Wire: http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTzmYMRvPDKmlivi9uDf6e45uZIfyWEc4HdprmTlz1eGOahaG4&t=1&usg=__5ni7TVEDkh0WTCfJ7-orUbQmpTk= http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcR4D-_h4T4wGrgwKkStghKCg7lBi703kiRebScy8cjwpwDynfg&t=1&usg=__i1Omb-fOsD4H230m_Y1RyExzSUM=
- - Elongated Coins: http://www.ronald-dupont.com/coin71.jpg http://www.ronald-dupont.com/weeki1.jpg