Dating handmade nails

Then the nail maker would insert the hot nail into a hole in a nail header or anvil and with four glancing blows of the hammer would form the rosehead (a shallow pyramid shape).This shape of nail had the benefit of four sharp edges on the shank which cut deep into timber and the tapered shank provided friction down its full length.Eventually, in the USA, towards the late 1700's and early 1800's, a nail machine was devised which helped to automate the process. Flat metal strips of around two feet (600mm) in length and the width slightly larger than the nail length was presented to the machine.

...[T]he house's style is called Italianate which ran from roughly the 1840's though about the turn of the century." From Jeremiah B. As people first used hewn beams, timbers, planks, and whole logs to build with, the early hand-made nails were spikes.

Like restorers of historical buildings, you can identify the period by the technology used to create the nails and unlock the past of furniture.

Until the 18th century, nail production methods had not changed for hundreds of years.

When dating a piece of antique furniture, one of the most important clues to its history is often overlooked.

A nail may not be a noticeable style feature, but looking at them carefully can help you authenticate the age of a primitive or antique furniture piece before you buy.

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