The Fence Post

Louis E. Page, Inc. - The Story of an American Company

March 7, 2014 | by Rick Hoffman

Louis E. Page

 

The story of America is the story of millions of people who had the dream of starting their own businesses that they could pass on to their children and future generations to come. It is the story of courage, tenacity, determination and hard work. It is the story of successfully adapting to ever changing markets, customer needs and economic conditions. It is the story of Louis E. Page, Inc.

Louis E. Page, Inc., like millions of other small companies, may not be a household name. But it embodies the spirit of the American entrepreneur. Founded in 1893 by Louis Eugene Page, the company originally sold hay to feed the horses pulling the horse-drawn wagons. Business was good, and by 1910, Louis and two of his brothers were making their living from the hay business. Then came a major market change as gasoline powered vehicles began to displace horse drawn wagons. The company had to adapt to survive. 

As an established hay dealer, Louis E. Page, Inc. turned to its many farm and feed supply store customers. At this time, there was a growing demand for litter and bedding materials for both the dairy and horse trade. To fill the need, the company acquired exclusive rights to distribute Planter Peanut shells in New England. However, peanut shells were soon supplanted by a better product – sugar cane bagasse. Louis responds by becoming the exclusive distributor in New England for the only US sugar company producing business. This product also proved to be excellent horticulture mulch and some of the large New England nurseries bought it by the rail carload.

Louis E. Page, Inc. advertisement

In the thirties Page added peat moss – both coarse grind designed for horse bedding and finer grind for horticultural purposes. Europe was the only source of supply at this time and Page made several trips to Europe to secure sources. 

Business was booming! And then, more changes. By the fifties, independent truckers began hauling hay and peat moss directly from the producers to the farms, thus eliminating the need for the middleman. Louis E. Page, Inc. would have to adapt again to survive.

At this time, feed and farm stores were still the most important segment of the company’s customer base. New products were needed to enable the company to continue to grow and prosper to meet the changing market needs. The first new products added were Belgian barbed wire and Mexican baler twine. Selling these new products required warehousing and the company responded by opening a warehouse and greatly expanding its product offering.  Customer response encouraged the addition of new products, establishing Louis E. Page, Inc. as the leading New England distributor of wire mesh, fencing and related products. They sold a large variety of products from Belgian, Dutch, German, Austrian and the leading US mills. Business was booming!

Then, dynamic changes in the market happened again with the advent of power, “big-box” retailers like Home Depot, Lowes, and Tractor Supply in the eighties and nineties. Many of the company’s oldest customers were left in the wake of these powerful companies and were forced to close their doors. Louis E. Page, Inc. was again forced to adapt and change to survive. Relying upon their years of experience and varied customer base, they focused on value-added selling by combining its hundred years of experience with the highest quality products available and outstanding customer service. Page also became the go-to company for specialty and other hard-to-find products not offered by other distributors or retailers. They were also one of the first in the industry to see the potential of the internet, launching its website in 1999. Talk about a long way from selling hay for horse-drawn wagons!

Today, business is again booming! The company is still family owned and operated.  Owner Duncan Page is third generation, has 42 years with the company, and like his predecessors, he is constantly looking for ways to meet the ever changing needs of the market and customers. Louis E. Page, Inc. now has a large and diverse customer base which includes all 50 states and several foreign countries. This customer base includes fence companies, contractors, government entities, construction companies, manufacturers, landscapers, nurseries, energy producers, architects, wildlife management companies, pest control companies, zoos, beagle trainers, duck farms, farms, ranches,  orchards,  homeowners, and yes, farm and feed stores, and many more. The company distributes and sells the industry’s leading brands of wire and plastic fence, mesh and netting and other related products made in the US, Belgium, Italy, Canada, China, Mexico and other countries. 

Louis E. Page, Inc. is a perfect example of a company that has had to constantly reinvent itself to survive and prosper. From its humble beginnings of selling hay to horses to selling wire products for the most demanding applications for small fence installers to Fortune 500 companies, Page continues to evolve, adapt and grow.  We believe that “old” Louis would be proud!

Happy 121st Anniversary!!!

Rick signature  Rick VP sales Louis E. Page, Inc.

                     

                           

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Topics: Louis E. Page Inc.

Deer Fence - Black Vinyl Coated 1" Hexagonal Mesh, 90" high

October 5, 2013 | by Duncan Page

deer in yard

There are several different types of products available that can be used for deer fence. 1' hexagonal mesh that is coated with Black PVC can be used very effectively. The rolls are 7-1/2' (90") x 100'.

This black vinyl coated (VC) hexagonal poultry netting deer fence will last a long time. After 20 gauge galvanized wire is woven into a 1" hex mesh, the galvanized before weaving (GBW) roll passes through the vinyl coating process. A tough, flexible, thick coating of black PVC is tightly bonded to the wire. The resulting vinyl coated deer fence is very corrosion resistant. It is also extremely resistant to cracking, chipping and weathering. Inhibitors in the vinyl protect it from UV degradation. Black color makes the mesh blend in with the landscape.

This mesh works well as a deer barrier fence. When deer encounter a black fence, they know there is a barrier but cannot see it distinctly. They are much less likely to jump a fence if they cannot clearly see the top to clearly judge the distance. Extra tall 90" height eliminates piecing together narrower rolls. The inherent resiliency of this woven mesh allows the fence to give upon impact. Check out the advantages.

 

Deer Barrier Fence black vinyl coated hex

Advantages

  • Extra tall 90" height
  • No need to piece shorter rolls together
  • Lower labor costs, shorter installation time
  • Flexible mesh is designed to give upon impact
  • Material is highly resistant to rust and corrosion
  • Unobtrusive barrier - black color blends with background
  • Weather proof - long lifetime due to zinc and PVC protection

Uses

  • Protect individual trees and shrubs
  • Ideal to use in populated suburban areas
  • Barrier fence to keep deer away from gardens and plantings

 

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Topics: deer fence, vinyl coated wire

Deer & Orchard Fence by Red Brand

October 3, 2013 | by Duncan Page

deer orchard fence   lg resized 600

Deer and Orchard Fence is a Red Brand fence product made by Keystone Steel and Wire in Peoria, Illinois. It features hinge joint construction. Each vertical stay wire is tightly wrapped around horizontal line wires making a secure barrier fence. The joint acts as a hinge that gives under pressure, then springs back into shape. The Class 1 galvanized top and bottom wires are 11 gauge. The "filler" wires are 14-1/2 gauge. Galvanized wire resists weathering and normal wear and tear.

This fence was previously known as Poultry and Garden Fence. The unique spacing of the horizontal line wires keeps predators out of orchards, vineyards and gardens. The openings of the fence are graduated - smaller at the bottom, larger at the top. Wires are spaced 1" apart at the bottom. The top spacing is 4". Vertical stay wires are spaced at 6" intervals.

Rolls of Deer and Orchard Fence are available in three different sizes:

  • 48"x165' - 2048-9-14.5 style
  • 60"x165' - 2360-6-14.5 style
  • 72"x165' - 2672-6-14.5 style

Benefits

  • Economical galvanized fence
  • Larger 4"x6" openings at the top
  • Smaller 1"x6" openings at the bottom
  • Horizontal wires are crimped to allow for expansion
  • Woven construction enables fence to conform to uneven terrain
  • Ideal for keeping small critters away from where they're not wanted
  • Use for making a pen to protect rabbits, chickens and other small animals
  • Longer lifetime reduces frequency and high cost of repair and replacement

Uses

  • Chicken runs
  • Rabbit enclosures
  • Garden perimeter fence
  • Nuisance wild life barrier
  • Wood post and rail fence backer
  • Protect fruit trees and berries from browsing animals

Would Deer and Orchard Fence be the ideal fence for you to use?

 

 

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Topics: deer fence

Why You Need Black Vinyl Coated Apron Fence

August 10, 2013 | by Duncan Page

apron fence

Galvanized Before Weave

Premium quality Red Brand Galvanized Apron Fence, manufactured by Keystone Steel and Wire in Peoria, IL, is the only 17 gauge, 1-1/2" heavy hexagonal netting made in the USA. The wire used is fully dimensional 17 gauge, on the high end of the acceptable tollerance limit.

Keystone makes this roll as Galvanized Before Weld (GBW) material. They weave previously galvanized 17 gauge wire into the 1-1/2" hex netting. 17 gauge (.054") is much heavier than the standard 20 gauge (.0348") used in weaving standard chicken wire. Consequently it is a much stronger product and will last a lot longer.

Red Brand Apron Fence is available in two roll sizes: 60"x150' (48" high with a 12" apron) and 72"x150' (60" high with a 12" apron). The roll is made with a single line wire running the length of the roll, 12" up from the bottom. This wire acts as a guide line when you are bending the 12" section out 90 degrees to form the apron.

Vinyl Coated

vinyl coated apron fence

Keystone does not have the ability to vinyl coat their Apron Fence. It 60" rolls are sent to another quality US mill to be custom coated. This mill specializes in vinyl coating all types of wire mesh, including mesh used in building lobster traps. Here a high quality, thick and flexible coating of UV treated Black PVC is tightly bonded to the wire mesh. The coating is so tightly bonded that it resists scraping. It cannot be easily scraped off with a fingernail. And it will not peel off easily.

The finished product is first quality in every respect. Expected lifetime is hard to predict. Local environmental conditions in the air, soil and rain have an impact on the length of time fencing material will last. These conditions vary enormously from one part of the country to another.

Knowing the material is produced by two of the leading mills in the United States can give you confidence that this product is the highest quality available. The extra handling and shipping involved in moving the material from one mill to the other does add to the cost. But the quality and endurance is there in every roll and speaks for itself.

apron fence garden

Using the fence

Vinyl coated Apron Fence is very easy to use. The smooth finish makes it easy to handle and install. The unique 12" apron prevents animals from burrowoing under the fence, keeping raccoons, foxes and other predators out of birds and pets in. The apron can be turnd in either direction - to the outside to make a barrier or to the inside to make a pen.

Installation is easy since there is no need to dig a trench. Bend the mesh along the guide line. Just lay the apron on top of the ground so that vegetation grows up through it. This will securely anchor it in place. Digging animals will start at the fence itself, not realizing they have to start 12" away with their digging. This is a very effective barrier.

There are many uses for Apron Fence as a perimeter fence, such as:

  • Many individuals and clubs use it to fence in training pens for their beagles. Due to the high qualty of the product, replacement and repair costs and concerns are kept to a minumum.
  • It makes an ideal fence around a garden. The black color of the vinyl makes the mesh virtually invisible against the background. You can get an unrestricted view of your garden.
  • Vinyl coated Apron Fence has been used in building game bird pens. The black color is a visibility advantage here as well.

If you are looking for a quality product that can provide an attractive, secure barrier on the ground surface as well as vertcally, consider using vinyl coated Apron Fence.

 


 

 

 

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Topics: apron fence

Why Should You Use Galvanized After Weld Wire Fencing Materials?

August 8, 2013 | by Duncan Page

Are you looking for galvanized welded wire fence?

Do you know you have a choice?

There are two types of galvanized welded wire fencing materials: GBW (Galvanized Before Weld) and GAW (Galvanized After Weld). Visually they appear very similar. But taking a closer look, you can see the difference. And after they have been installed, the difference becomes more remarkable with the passage of time. Which one is a better value, longer lasting, more readily available?

 

GBWGBW weld point with burn

As it's name implies, Galvanized Before Weld fencing material is made as follows: Galvanized wire is fed into the welder. At the weld point where the wires cross, the zinc is burned away during the welding process. Sometimes you can actually see the burn (as in the picture above). This is the most obvious way to differentiate between GBW and GAW wire mesh. Look for the burn. Of course when this happens, the wire is left unprotected from rust and corrosion. And this is the spot in the wire mesh that collects water when it gets wet. The water and any corrosive entities it contains will hang out in the intersection, slowly eating away the steel.

GBW welded wire mesh is a utilitarian, readily available generic product. It comes in a wide variety of different gauges, mesh sizes and roll sizes. This type of mesh and fencing material has many different uses. If you want an inexpensive mesh with a moderate lifetime expectancy, GBW is the ideal choice.

 

GAW

GAW weld points

Galvanized After Weld wire mesh is a superior, higher quality, longer lasting product. After being welded, the mesh is drawn through a bath of molten zinc. The wire intersections are thoroughly sealed and protected from exposure to environmental sources of corrosion and rust. As seen in the above picture, corrosive elements have no access to the wire or weld points. The heavy layer of zinc will protect the underlying wire for years, even when exposed to harmful chemicals and other environmental stressors.

GAW fencing materials are far superior to GBW. And they will last years longer than GBW. This is why they are the perfect choice to consider when you want a galvanized welded wire fence. Your initial investment cost is higher. But that is more than offset by the extended lifetime of the wire. Not only will you get years of use from your fence. But also you will save on the expenses of repairs and replacement. Why go through those frustrations and hassles?

GAW meshes are the best choice for animal cages as well. The heavy galvanizing will stand up to corrosion from feces and urine. The need for cage replacement will be diminished greatly. Higher initial cost of a quality product will ultimately save you money.

In general, GAW products are harder to find. There are few retail stores that sell them, partly due to their greater expense. But the demand for these higher quality welded wire fencing materials is not very strong. That's because most people do not know about Galvanized After Weld and that there is a huge difference.

When people say the wire is galvanized, they are usually thinking about the generic GBW products. GAW never comes to mind, even though they might prefer to buy a higher quality product. The assumption is made that since the wire is galvanized, it will last for years. However, if they only knew, they could purchase something far better that would satisfy then for a lot longer.

 

So what do you think? Do you have any projects where using a higher quality product makes sense to you?

Is quality more important to you than price?

 

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Topics: galvanized after, GAW

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