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.
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!!!
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.
- 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
- Protect individual trees and shrubs
- Ideal to use in populated suburban areas
- Barrier fence to keep deer away from gardens and plantings
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
- 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
- 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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
Are you thinking of putting up a woven wire fence?
Do you need to contain animals within an enclosure?
Do you want to exclude animals from an area to protect your plants and vegetation?
Do you know that there are different types of coatings available to protect woven wire fencing materials from rust and corrosion?
Think about fence coatings as you think about paint. It's a way to protect your fence from the day to day elements: humidity, harsh chemicals from the soil, fertilizers, acid rain, etc.
It is important to select the right type of coating for your fence. Environmental factors, including humidity, acid rain, blowing sand or dust, salt and fertilizer can have a detrimental impact on the lifetime of your fence. The proper coating protects your fence from these elements and can keep it looking great for years.
There are three different coating options available on agricultural type woven wire fences. These are the types of fences used for deer and other wildlife as well as farm animals such as cows, horses, etc.
Class 1 zinc coating is the standard, basic and most readily available type. It has a coverage of .28 ounces of zinc per square foot. In most non-coastal climates, Class 1 zinc coated wire has an approximate life of 2 to 11 years until rust occurs.
Class 3 galvanized coating features .80 ounces per square foot, approximately 2-1/2 times thicker than standard Class 1 galvanized coating. As a consequence, in most non-coastal climates, it has an approximate life of 13 to 30 years before rusting. When you calculate the time, cost and hassle of replacing and repairing a fence, spending slightly more initially for a Class 3 product makes a lot of sense. Most DOT projects specify Class 3 fencing materials.
ZA Zinc Aluminum coating is 95% Zn, 5% Al. This is a new zinc-aluminum hybrid coating developed and produced exclusively by Bekaert. Salt spray tests have shown that it will last more than three times as long as Class 1 and close to the same as Class 3 galvanized woven wire fence. ZA uses less coating than Class 3. You save money when you buy a ZA coated product. And you're assured years of trouble-free use.
ZA + Black Paint
ZA+Paint is the newest innovation from Bekaert. Black polymer paint is combined with ZA coated wire. This provides longer fence life in an attractive color. Black blends with the background and becomes virtually invisible. This coating is designed to provide maximum protection from the most corrosive environments. It has a longer expected lifetime than Class 3 coated wire. With ZA + Black paint, you get a good looking woven wire fence with an exceptional lifetime. It will keep its appearance for years.
Not all specifications are available with every type of coating. For example the ZA + Black paint is currently available in three specifications of Deer and Wildlife fence with graduated openings and 2"x4" woven horse fence.
If long life and lower overall total costs for fence installation is important, determining the best coating for the type of environment where the fence will be installed is crucial to ensure you choose the best fence for your needs.
What environmental factors do you have to contend with in your location? Anything unusual?
Watch this Federal Highway Administration video to learn all about snow fence and its benefits.
There are two parts to this video:
- Part 1 - Benefits, focuses on the cost and effectiveness of snow fences. Collector-type snow fences are described. There are significant cost savings and reduction in accidents when snow fences are used along highways.
- Part 2 - Key Elements, describes design elements in simple terms. Guidelines are presented for estimating wind transport of snow and the effective fence capacity required. Other topics discussed: construction methods, design, installation, and placement.
Much of this information about snow fencing material is applicable to smaller scale homeowner uses as well as larger town and state highway DOT uses. Rolls of wood snow fence and plasitc snow fence are available. These are easier to use and handle than a permanent structure.
Is there a snow fence in your future?
Do you know how to use galvanized fence staples? I certainly didn’t. I didn’t realize there was anything to know.
Fence staples or u-nails as they are also called aren’t very complicated, but there is a minimum amount of knowledge you should have to make sure the staples secure your fence the way they’re intended to. Being one whose staple knowledge was insufficient to use them, I consulted an expert who kindly took the time to educate me. Steven Sarson (watch his video about Low Carbon Wire vs High Tensile Wire) of Bekaert has many years of experience in the fencing industry and sent me an email that was very informative and I’ve included it in its entirety below.
Here are my general ideas on stapling wire to posts:
Smooth wire electric – Loose staple every wire. Keep spaces consistent by using a measuring stick with spaces marked on it. Start from the bottom when stapling. Most animals will go under the fence rather than over.
Barbed Wire – Loose staple every wire. Use a measuring stick. Mark the wire positions. I prefer to start at the top when installing multiple strands of barbed wire so successive wires don’t get hung up.
Woven Wire – Always loose staple the wires. Wire expands and contracts with temperature change and also needs to be free to move under the staple so the brace takes the impact and not the stapled post. Here is the pattern I use:
- High Tensile field fence (Fixed Knot, Hinge joint) – Loose staple the bottom two wires, every wire after that, and the top wire. In the bottom of a dip and at the crown of a rise, staple every wire to maintain spacing as the wire goes up and down.
- Horse Fence and Low Carbon Field Fence – Typically, I loose staple every wire due to the elongation of LC wire. The staples are needed to hold it up.
These guidelines are by no means meant to be an official standard, but are a guide to what I’ve used over the years.
Great stuff Steven! Honestly, I would have pounded the staples home if I followed my intuition. That way they would be secure. The LOOSE staple concept was revelation to me. Follow the same instruction for welded wire fencing materials.
To those of you who are professionals, this is probably not news. Anybody else have tips out there? We’d love to hear them.
When thinking about installing fencing, you should first consider the environment in which it will be placed.
- Is it near the coast?
- Is it exposed to extreme changes in temperature?
- Will it be located in a wet or humid environment?
- Will it be in close proximity to corrosive chemicals, etc…?
Identifying these factors will help you determine the best type of fence product and coating for your needs.
GBW - Galvanized Before Weld
Let’s start with the basic low cost GBW welded wire fence. This product is available in a wide variety of styles and sizes for lots of different applications. This is what most “Big Box” stores sell.
- The good news? It is inexpensive.
- The "bad" news? It has a shorter life because it is more susceptible to rust and corrosion.
- The reason? The wire is welded before it is galvanized. The welding process can “burn-off” the zinc on the weld points. This makes the wire more vulnerable to rust and corrosion.
The initial strength and gauge of the GBW wire is the same as GAW and VC. But the finish is not nearly as durable resulting in a shorter usable lifespan.
If price rather than quality is the most important factor, then GBW might be a good choice for you.
GAW - Galvanized After Weld
GAW welded wire is dipped in molten zinc after being welded or woven. The wire is fully encased in zinc for greater protection and longer life. This is especially important if the fence is to be installed in coastal areas, and if rust and corrosion are primary concerns.
- The good news? Extended lifetime
- The bad news? It is slightly more expensive than generic GBW meshes.
- The reason? After the wire mesh is welded or woven, the finished product is drawn through a bath of molten zinc. The wires are thoroughly galvanized. And most importantly the welded joints are completely covered and protected from the elements. Moisture, which tends to collect in these areas, is prevented from contacting the underlying wire.
If quality and long life are the most important factors in how you will make your decision, GAW is a great choice. The thick galvanization present on the wires adds years of life to the fence. GAW fencing materials will long outlast commonly available GBW products. You have to look harder to find GAW wire fencing materials, but your search will be rewarded with years of service. Avoid the needless expense and hassle of frequent replacement. Buy a product that will last!
VC - Vinyl Coated
VC welded wire has been coated with a layer of PVC after the mesh is welded up. The vinyl covers the mesh and provides strong protection against the element.
- The good news? Extended lifetime and attractive appearance
- The "bad" news? It can be more expensive than GBW and GAW products.
- The reason? The addition of the PVC coating adds an impervious barrier, protecting the wire from Mother Nature's harshest elements. Protected wire will not rust as quickly.
If you want a product that is not only attractive but is also able to withstand environmental stressors, VC welded wire mesh is the perfect one to use. Black mesh becomes virtually invisisble.
Note: It is very important to know what to look for when considering VC wire fencing materials. The best possible protection and longest life expectancy is offered by a product that is vinyl coated over GAW wire mesh. You will have rugged double protection. You will not be disappointed.
SS - Stainless Steel
SS welded wire fences provide the greatest level of protection and long life in any environment. The product is more expensive up front, but can save lots of money and time in the long run because the fence will not need to be repaired or replaced. Stainless Steel wire needs no additional coating because it will last for years and years.
- The good news? Very long lifetime with little maintenance required
- The "bad" news? It is more expensive.
- The reason? Stainless Steel is a more expensive material. But in certain applications it will ultimately prove less expensive.
Stainless Steel wire needs no additional coating because it will last for years and years in practically any environment.
Did you know there are so many varieites of wire mesh fencing materials available to you?
Do you have some new ideas about what you would like to use on your next project?
The Desert Tortoise
You may not realize it, but the Desert Tortoise is struggling to survive after millions of years of life on earth. The desert tortoise in the Mojave Desert (north and west of the Colorado River) was federally listed under emergency provisions of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 as endangered on August 4, 1989 and permanently listed as a threatened species on April 2, 1990. The tortoise was listed because of direct losses and threats to tortoise populations and habitat.
One of the major reasons for loss is death by vehicles on roads and highways. Other causes of loss include habitat lost to urbanization, Upper Respiratory Disease Syndrome, agriculture, road construction, off highway vehicle use and others. All of these activities fragment the tortoise habitat which may reduce a tortoise population below the level necessary to maintain a minimum viable population.
The U.S. Endangered Species Act makes it illegal to harass, collect, or harm tortoises and provides for penalties of up to $50,000 in fines and one year in prison for each count.
The desert tortoise is the largest reptile and the only wild land tortoise found in southern Nevada. It also exists in western California, southwestern Utah, western Arizona, and northwestern Mexico. A tortoise will live in the same general area of less than one square mile during its lifespan of 50-100 years. It ranges in size from 2 to 15 inches and is soil colored. Because of the color and shape, they can be very difficult to see.
The need for turtle or tortoise exclusion fence
To help protect tortoises from getting on roads and highways, Tortoise Exclusion Fence, also referred to as Turtle Fence, is being installed throughout their habitat. Many construction projects are now even required to have an on-site biologist conduct a thorough survey of the job site and flag all burrows prior to construction. Construction crews are also required to complete a desert tortoise education program.
Tortoise exclusion fence is required and specified in many bids where highways and roads or solar fields will be constructed in tortoise habitats. It is installed to keep the tortoises out of harms way on highways and in solar fields.
Tortoise Exclusion Fence is designed specifically for preventing tortoises from gaining access to highways and roads and any other designated areas. It is made of galvanized welded wire which has a mesh opening of 1” horizontal by 2” vertical and is 36” wide. The fence is constructed of 16 gauge or heavier wire and can be GAW (Galvanized After Weld), GBW (Galvanized Before Weld) or VC (Vinyl Coated) depending upon the specifications required.
The fence material is buried a minimum of 12 inches below the natural level of the ground to prevent tortoises from burrowing underneath. This leaves 22-24 inches above ground. In situations where burying the fence is not practical because of rocky substrate, the fence material should be bent at a 90 degree angle to produce a lower section approximately 14 inches wide which will be placed parallel to, and in direct contact with, the ground surface. It is installed using 5 to 6 foot steel T-posts, hog rings and smooth or barbed livestock wire. Distances between the T-posts should not exceed 10 feet, unless the desert tortoise fence is being attached to an existing right-of-way fence that has larger interspaces between posts. See the US Department of Interior specifications and drawings for tortoise fence.
Installing the proper tortoise exclusion fence will protect the desert tortoises from possible extinction, while protecting you from fines and possible imprisonment.
Let’s all work together to save the tortoises!