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The Impact of Steel on the Houston Rodeo

February kicks off the world’s largest live entertainment and livestock exhibition, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. And without steel and pipe, this Houston attraction wouldn’t be the same. From the stage and stadium to the animal enclosures and gates, all rodeo patrons see first-hand how steel and pipe is the star of the show.

In honor of one of the Houston Rodeo, we’re taking a look at how steel has revolutionized farming and ranching. John Deere invented the first commercially successful steel plow in 1837, which cut through the hard prairie soil of the Midwest better than iron-cast plows. Then in 1915, William J. Hickey patented the cattle guard to prevent livestock from crossing a road or railway, while allowing wheeled vehicles to pass through without having to open and close gates. Cattle guards are constructed from heavy wall steel pipe and steel channel.

Building off his father’s original design, Cyrus McCormick improved the cutting part of the mechanical reaper by developing a sickle, made of a thin steel bar, which had sharp, saw-like teeth. Patented in 1834, his reaper, unlike others, cut the grain to one side of the horse team and separated the grain to be cut from the stalk to be left standing.

Steel revolutionized the farming industry, and its use can make a huge difference on your next project. Visit Texas Iron & Metal to see the widest range of material choices available, from carbon and alloy steel to stainless and aluminum, and find the right material for your project. Now that’s supply on demand!