John Warne “Bet-A-Million” Gates was a barbed wire tycoon from Texas who risked his fortune in the 1870s betting that barbed wire would change the course of the frontier. Gates gave a demonstration in front of the Hord Hotel in San Antonio to show the effectiveness of barbed wire. He made a corral with the wire and filled it with longhorn cattle. The barbed wire successfully contained the livestock and resulted in more orders for the wire than the factory could fill. The wire did, indeed, prove to make a difference in the old frontier and made “Bet-A-Million” Gates a rich man.
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