Close

Innovation of the day: The electric fence

Who: Bill Gallagher Senior

Innovation: The electric fence

What does it do?

Touch an electric fence and you'll find you'll get a nasty shock. It's as simple as that.

What problem does it solve?

It all began in the 1930s, in New Zealand, no less. Gallagher's innovative juices started flowing when he cleverly set up an electric circuit to charge the car that Joe the Horse was using as a scratching post. I assume Joe the Horse didn't use the car as a scratching post for very much longer. Gallagher built his first electric fence in 1937, which was used as part of stock management on his underdeveloped farm. He founded Gallagher Group, the company that went on to perfect the electric fence design and establish power fencing as an essential way to manage stock on farms.

A success?

Absolutely. Gallagher Group is still going strong today, and farmers are still using electric fences.

Do you have an innovation to share? Enter the Innovator Awards and you may be up in lights.

Idealog has been covering the most interesting people, businesses and issues from the fields of innovation, design, technology and urban development for over 12 years. And we're asking for your support so we can keep telling those stories, inspire more entrepreneurs to start their own businesses and keep pushing New Zealand forward. Give over $5 a month and you will not only be supporting New Zealand innovation, but you’ll also receive a print subscription, an Idealog t-shirt and a copy of the new book by David Downs and Dr. Michelle Dickinson, No. 8 Recharged (while stocks last).