Skip to main content
Select Source:

wire

wire, metal filament, strand, or solid rod usually having a round cross section. Metals and alloys used for wiremaking are chosen for high tensile strength and ductility or for their electrical conductivity, weight, melting point, or other properties, depending upon the use to which the wire is to be put. The size of a wire is the measure of its diameter. For convenience, the different wires are numbered in order of decreasing size, the number being known as the gauge, or gage; the higher the gauge the smaller the diameter. The number of gauges used and their sizes differ according to the kind of wire and the country's standards of measurement. In the United States the American wire gauge, known also as the Brown & Sharpe wire gauge (abbr. B. & S.), is used; in Great Britain and Canada the British, or imperial, standard wire gauge (S.W.G.) is employed. For steel wire the steel wire gauge (also known as the Washburn & Moen, the Roebling, or the American Steel & Wire Co.'s wire gauge) is employed. Wire is widely used in conducting electricity and in making fencing, screens, netting, springs, and mesh or cloth. Very thin wire is used in various scientific instruments. A wire mesh is often used in glass (wire glass) to prevent shattering and to increase strength and safety. Wire rope (cable) is made by forming wires into strands that are then wound on a core. Wire has been used since the 3d millennium BC In early times the metal was hammered into sheets, then cut in strips and shaped with hammer and file. The modern method of drawing wire is believed to have originated in Europe late in the 13th cent. In this process the metal is pulled, or drawn, through a number of holes, each smaller than the one preceding, until finally it is passed through the hole having the desired diameter. Metal plates with such holes are known as drawplates or dies. Success in drawing wire through the drawplate formerly depended upon the physical strength of the wiredrawer (or wiresmith), since machinery was not used until the introduction of power-driven cylinder blocks to pull and coil the wire. With the establishment of telegraph lines in the late 1800s, the production of wire expanded into one of the greatest industries of the 19th cent.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"wire." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"wire." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/wire

"wire." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/wire

wire

wire / wīr/ • n. 1. metal drawn out into the form of a thin flexible thread or rod. ∎  a piece of such metal. ∎  a length or quantity of wire used, for example, for fencing or to carry an electric current. ∎  Horse Racing a wire stretched across and above the track at the finish line of a racetrack. ∎  an electronic listening device that can be concealed on a person. 2. inf. a telegram or cablegram. • v. [tr.] 1. install electric circuits or wires in: wiring a plug they wired the place themselves. ∎  connect (someone or something) to a piece of electronic equipment: a microphone wired to a loudspeaker. 2. provide, fasten, or reinforce with wires: they wired his jaw. 3. inf. send a telegram or cablegram to: she wired her friend for advice. ∎  send (money) to (someone) by means of a telegram or cablegram: he was expecting a friend in Australia to wire him $1,500. 4. snare (an animal) with wire. 5. (usu. be wired) Croquet obstruct (a ball, shot, or player) by a wicket. PHRASES: by wire by telegraph.down to the wire inf. used to denote a situation whose outcome is not decided until the very last minute: it was probable that the test of nerves would go down to the wire.get one's wires crossedsee cross.under the wire inf. at the last possible opportunity; just in time.DERIVATIVES: wir·er n. ORIGIN: Old English wīr, of Germanic origin, probably from the base of Latin viere ‘plait, weave.’

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"wire." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"wire." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/wire-0

"wire." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved August 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/wire-0

wire

wire (piece or length of) metal in the form of a slender rod OE.; network of this XVI. OE. wīr, corr. to MLG. wīre (LG. wīr), ON. *vírr in víra virki filigree work, rel. to OHG. wiara (ornament of) finest gold; prob. f. base *wi- of L. viēre plait, weave (cf. WITHE).
Hence wireless XIX. wire-puller one who exerts underhand influence. XIX (orig. U.S.). wireworm larva of click-beetles. XVIII. wiry (-Y1) XVI.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"wire." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"wire." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/wire-1

"wire." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved August 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/wire-1

wire

wire Strand of metal made by drawing a rod through progressively smaller holes in metal dies. The drawing process toughens steel, so that a cable made from steel wire is much stronger than an undrawn steel rod of the same diameter. Copper and aluminium wires are used to make electric cables. If flexibility is important, each conductor is made of several fine strands of wire.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"wire." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"wire." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/wire

"wire." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved August 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/wire

Wire

Wire

Rock band

For The Record

Selected discography

Sources

Abrasive and idiosyncratic, Wires contribution to rock music has been a unique one. Though it has never achieved widespread fame, the British group has been hailed as an influence on such better-known bands as REM and Sonic Youth. During its nearly 25 years of on-again, off-again existence, Wire has often subverted the rules of conventional songwriting and ensemble playing, managing to harness disjointed rhythms and fragmented lyrics that teeter on the edge of chaos. Critics have termed their revisionist approach to rock postmodern, and the band has claimed the playfully unsettling spirit of Dada artist Marcel Duch-amp as a key inspiration. Considered part of the British punk rock uprising of the mid-1970s, Wire passed through a techno-pop dance phase in the late 1980s before returning to its more abstract roots in the following decade. The band entered the twenty-first century as an active touring and recording entity, sustained by a loyal following.

Wire was an unlikely musical venture from the beginning. At the time of the bands formation in South London in October 1976, only lead guitarist George Gill had experience playing in rock groups. Among his bandmates, singer/guitarist Colin Newman, guitarist Bruce Gilbert, bassist Graham Lewis and drummer Mark Field (who adopted the pseudonym Robert Go-tobed) were all art school students with only a basic familiarity with their instruments. At the time of Wires launching, the deliberate primitism of the punk rock movement made such limitations a virtue as much as a handicap. The bands sparse, severe sound made them seem in step with the trend, though they never felt truly a part of Londons punk circles. There was a lot about the punk scene that was social, Newman said in a February 2000 interview with New Music Express writer John Robinson. And there was a definite hierarchy, a definite pecking order. We were rank outsiders, and we werent playing by the rules. We werent playing shoddily on purpose. We played as well as we could. We quickly evolved the kind of thing we wanted to hear.

Though Wire was more avant-garde than many of the British punk bands of the era, they shared in the rebellious spirit and sense of possibility that typified the movement. I never thought we were a punk group, apart from the access, Gilbert told writer Jon Savage in the liner notes to Wires 1989 compilation CD On Returning. But the thing one should carry was the optimism that things can actually change. Its quite interesting to be at close quarters with a revolution, however minor.

Wire parted company with guitarist Gill before signing a record deal with the EMI-distributed Harvest label. Pink Flag, the bands 1977 debut album, was noteworthy for both its edgy, alienated ambiance and its biting instrumental attack. The mood of its 21 songs swung from the darkly insinuating Reuters to the surprisingly tuneful Mannequin and Ex Lion Tamer. Such short, assaultive numbers as 1-2-X-U provided inspiration for such 1980s American punk groups as Black Flag and the Minutemen.

More than anything else, it was the deconstruction of rock musics stylistic conventions that made Pink Flag such an influential release. The structures were rock n roll, but taken apart and put together in different ways, Lewis told Savage. This is how they go, but not quite. They swerve. In the same interview, Gilbert reflected on the irregular, clipped form of the bands compositions, noting that We hadnt thought of the songs as being any length. Thats how long they were, and when they stopped, another one started. It meant that you could get 22 of them into 43 minutes. Assessing Pink Flag, Mark Coleman wrote in the Rolling Stone Album Guide that On a formal level, its an astonishing achievement, pulling punk away from the rock revivalism of the Sex Pistols and the Clash without sacrificing its energy or gut level impact. Indeed, these songs are enormously expressive and offer much to the listener.

In 1978, the band released Chairs Missing, an album that refined their first albums sonic thrust and reflected greater input from producer/keyboardist Mike Thorne. Still present was the bands lyric obscurity and desire to disturb as much as to entertain. I Am The Fly crackled with tension and anger, while Outdoor Miner painted a fractured lyric landscape over a strangely sweet melody. Another track, French Film Blurred,

For The Record

Members include Bruce Gilbert, guitar; George Gill, lead guitar (left group in 1977); Robert Gotobed, drums; Graham Lewis, bass, vocals; Colin Newman, vocals, guitar.

Formed in 1976; signed with Harvest Records, released first album, Pink Flag, 1977; disbanded, 1980; reformed in 1984, signed with Mute Records in Britain (Enigma in U.S.), released The Ideal Copy, 1987; Gotobed leaves, band continues as Wir, 1990; Gotobed returns, Wire resumes performing and recording, 2000.

Addresses: WebsiteWire Official Website, www.pinkflag.com.

had overtones of a horror film soundtrack. The subtleties of texture found on Chairs Missing were developed further on Wires third album, 154, released by Harvest in Britain and by Automatic/Warner Bros, in the United States in 1979. Even greater sonic extremes were explored on this album, stretching from the quietly chiming Blessed State to the slow, ominous A Touching Display and the harsh-yet-danceable On Returning.

Despite signs that Wire was poised to reach a larger audience, the band broke up during the summer of 1980 and went on to pursue a variety of individual projects. Newman released a series of solo albums during the early 1980s, including A-Z, Not To and Commercial Suicide. Gilbert and Lewis were even more prolific, recording together as members of Dome, Duet Emmo and He Said. Gotobed became a session drummer, working with Newman among others, and ventured into organic farming as well. Still, the possibility of Wires return remained an open one, and by the end of 1984 the band was reactivated. The foursome began working together again in a stripped-down, keyboard-less format. The idea was very simpleit was put together because of equipment and the fact that we didnt have any money, Newman told Cash Box writer Karen Woods. We just had guitars, bass and drums We didnt know what we were going to do, but we didnt want to get involved in a whole big comeback scene, which could have been very embarrassing and very tasteless. So we decided to start a new Wire, and see whether we liked it

The fruits of these efforts were realized on The Ideal Copy, released by Mute Records in Britain and on the Enigma label in the United States in 1987. The album found Wire more in harmony with the tastes of the marketplace, incorporating sampled sounds and synthesizer-driven rhythms into its approach. The ironic, austere edge of the bands early days seemed in accord with dance music sensibilities of the 1980s. In his review of the album, Rolling Stones Barry Walters noted that producer Gareth Jones takes the cool, detached approach developed by Mike Thome for Seventies Wire and makes it attractively cold. The Ideal Copy is music begging for a CD player.

Appearing a year later, A Bell Is A Cup (Until It Is Struck) followed up the previous album with a similar mix of intriguingly oblique lyrics and pulsating beats. Such tracks as Kidney Bingos and Boiling Boy were both mysterious and instantly catchy. Critics again praised the bands ingenuity at extracting something exotic from basic elements. Wires music is animated architecture, wrote Michael Axerrad in his Rolling Stone review of the album. Wire wont blow you out of the room; itll just keep you from leaving it.

Wires fondness for unusual recording strategies was evident on their next release, 1989s Its Beginning To and Back Again. Though it began as a collection of in-concert recordings, IBTABA (as the album was also known) was revised so extensively in the studio that the live tracks all but disappeared. We removed the crowd noise from the pieces and started replacing things, Newman told Billboard writer Chris Morris. Its sort of addition by subtraction. The album yielded a United States single, Eardrum Buzz, which reached the top five on Billboards Modern Rock Tracks chart.

The band entered the 1990s by releasing Manscape, an album that relied on computer-generated rhythms more heavily than in the past. Following its release, drummer Gotobed left the group and the band continued on as Wir, releasing The First Letter in 1991. While the bands output was reduced in subsequent years, its influence was evident in the music of such rising British groups as Elastica and Blur. Several compilation albums, beginning with On Returning (19771979) in 1989, helped to keep Wires recorded legacy alive. By 2000, Gotobed had rejoined the group and Wire toured Britain and the United States once again. Third Day, a limited-release CD of new recordings available via the Internet, appeared early in the year.

Despite detours into individual projects, the four members of Wire have kept their band an ongoing collective effort, revising their stripped-down yet malleable sound over a quarter century. Its an object, Newman said of Wire in his New Music Express interview with Robertson. Were in it, but it isnt us. Maybe its about having a bit of humility: if you do something and if it works its not because I do something or he does something, its because the energy created is greater than the sum of the individuals. There are egos involved, but when you do something really good it becomes egoless.

Selected discography

Pink Flag, Harvest, 1977; (reissue), Restless Retro, 1989.

Chairs Missing, Harvest, 1978; (reissue), Restless Retro, 1989.

154, Automatic/Warner Bros., 1979; (reissue), Restless Retro, 1989.

The Ideal Copy, Mute/Enigma, 1987.

A Bell Is A Cup (Until It Is Struck), Mute/Enigma, 1987.

Its Beginning To and Back Again, Mute/Enigma, 1989.

On Returning (19771979), Restless Retro, 1989.

Manscape, Mute/Enigma, 1990.

Sources

Books

DeCurtis, Anthony and Henke, James, editors, The Rolling Stone Album Guide, Random House, 1992.

Larkin, Colin, editor, The Encyclopedia of Popular Music, Muze, 1998.

Robbins, Ira A., editor, The Trouser Press Guide To 90s Rock, Fireside Books, 1997.

Periodicals

Billboard, July 29, 1989.

Cash Box, July 22, 1989.

Musician, July, 1987.

New Musical Express, February 5, 2000; February 19, 2000; March 11, 2000. Rolling Stone, September 24, 1987; August 25, 1988.

Online

Pinkflag, http://www.pinkflag.com(May 18, 2000). Wireviews, http://www.snub.dircon.co.uk(May 18, 2000).

Barry Alfonso

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Wire." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Wire." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/wire

"Wire." Contemporary Musicians. . Retrieved August 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/wire

wire

wireacquire, admire, afire, applier, aspire, attire, ayah, backfire, barbwire, bemire, briar, buyer, byre, choir, conspire, crier, cryer, defier, denier, desire, dire, drier, dryer, dyer, enquire, entire, esquire, expire, fire, flyer, friar, fryer, Gaia, gyre, hellfire, hire, hiya, ire, Isaiah, jambalaya, Jeremiah, Josiah, Kintyre, latria, liar, lyre, Maia, Maya, Mayer, messiah, mire, misfire, Nehemiah, Obadiah, papaya, pariah, peripeteia, perspire, playa, Praia, prior, pyre, quire, replier, scryer, shire, shyer, sire, skyer, Sophia, spire, squire, supplier, Surabaya, suspire, tier, tire, transpire, trier, tumble-dryer, tyre, Uriah, via, wire, Zechariah, Zedekiah, Zephaniah •homebuyer

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"wire." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"wire." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/wire

"wire." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved August 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/wire