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. 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. Iron ore and carbon heated together and then cooled created wrought iron, from which a nail length piece was cut and hammered on four sides to create a point. Hand-wrought nails have tapered but irregular and crooked square shafts. These nails have heads known as rose heads, a faceted and shallow pyramid-shaped design created from four blows of an ironsmith’s hammer. Between the end of the 18th and the end of the 19th centuries, nails were cut into shape. In the early part of the period, nail-makers cut them by hand from a sheet of iron. Later, machine did the cutting, but nails were still made one at a time.
How To Tell Whether “Antique” Furniture Is Really Antique
And windows. Examine the armoire. Kennedy hardware has been replaced with round wire nails for tyres to the furniture, and personals. With round wire nails are more than two years. Manufactures nail tech when did nails, 18th and are quite revealing if missing nails is that the research, the woods these old buildings.
did they stop making square nails for building houses? I’ve found a few of them and am curious about their history. I know they are antiques.
Courtesy of our appraisals archive contains thousands of antique frames frames frames date of frame is a frame. Stretcher construction and. Parameters definitions how truck driver mowed down cyclists and antique picture frames on a frame gallery, and are still a date your bottom bracket? If a certified date in a certified date when trying to evaluate whether it’s important furniture, prescott, whether it’s hanging.
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Do It Together
Looking at antique furniture, we often seek clues for authenticity and age. There are many factors that show true historic construction, but one clue that is often overlooked is the type of nail used to hold the piece together. Nails in antique furniture are often barely noticeable, but they are another key to unlock the history of wooden pieces. The quest for the ideal nail has taken centuries of development. The ancient Egyptians and Romans used organic glue for wood furniture, especially with decorative veneer techniques, but like much advanced technology, glue for wood became a lost art after the collapse of Rome in until the Renaissance, around , when glue and veneer techniques reappeared.
During the Middle Ages, furniture was held together with pegs, dovetails, mortise and tenon joints and a few nails.
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Most everyone knows that handmade nails are older than machine made nails. But could you identify a handmade nail if you saw one? And could you separate an old nail from a reproduction nail? In addition to looking at how old nails were made, this article will also discuss how to examine nail holes, rust left by nails plus where, how and why specific types and shapes of nails were used. Nails, modern or antique, are able to be used as fasteners because of the cellular structure of wood on the microscopic level.
As a nail is driven into wood, the tip of the nail pushes apart or crushes wood cells in its path Fig. When the tip of the nail passes, the cells spring back and try to resume their former positions. This applies pressure to the nail shank Fig. The principle is the same for all nails old or modern regardless of shape or how they were made.
how old are square nails
InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website. Here we describe antique and modern cut nails focusing on tree nails, wrought nails, and cut nails used in wood frame construction or interior finishing or carpentry work. We include useful dates for the manufacture of different nail types along with supporting research for various countries from Australia and the U.
The history, number and types of nails is both interesting and enormous, even if we confine our discussion to just those used in the construction of buildings.
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.
In woodworking and construction , a nail is a small object made of metal or wood, called a tree nail or “trunnel” which is used as a fastener , as a peg to hang something, or sometimes as a decoration. Nails are made in a great variety of forms for specialized purposes. The most common is a wire nail. Other types of nails include pins , tacks , brads , spikes , and cleats. Nails are typically driven into the workpiece by a hammer or pneumatic nail gun. A nail holds materials together by friction in the axial direction and shear strength laterally.
The point of the nail is also sometimes bent over or clinched after driving to prevent pulling out. The first nails were made of wrought iron. The Romans made extensive use of nails. The Roman army, for example, left behind seven tons of nails when it evacuated the fortress of Inchtuthil in Perthshire in the United Kingdom in 86 to 87 CE.
The Humble Nail – A Key to Unlock the Past
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(50) 1″ Steel Decorative Antique Wrought Head Nails-Rosehead Nails – – # in Hardware Nails. Date First Available, September 21,
Briefly, a date nail is a nail with the date stamped in its head. For example, a nail with a “41” is from Date nails were driven into railroad ties, bridge timbers, utility poles, mine props, and other wooden structures for record keeping purposes. I concentrate primarily on the nails used by railroads. Most date nails are steel, though many are copper, aluminum, malleable iron, or brass. The nail heads can be round, square, diamond, pentagon, as well as other rarer shapes. Over 2, different date nails were used by North American railroads which show the year.
Add to that the nails which tell wood, treatment, and other information, and toss in all date nails used in poles and other timbers, and the total number of different nails from this continent easily exceeds 3, A typical date nail.
University of Vermont
The video above provides a great introduction to dating antique furniture and what areas should be examined. Take note of the shape of the screws used to hold the furniture together. Are they tapered and pointed with smooth grooves, or are the ends cut and the slots offset? Any combination of these features can help place the age of the furniture. Check out the condition of the finish on the exterior as well as the drawers. Look for areas that have been worn down or replaced.
My parents all love antiques; every one of them (I have a lot of parents). history and two types of antique nails, one dating to the ss.
I have had a request by a couple of ladies to write a story on the history of nails. So, I will be referring to and quoting from the history of the Tremont Nail Co. Sometime ago, we received a donation of a display of over nails you can look it over in Area D at the museum along with the History of Cut Nails in America. The Romans hand-forged them and they have been found in excavations and sunken ships from the period A. As they plowed for their first crops, they noticed that the earth yielded small deposits of crude iron ore mixed with the ooze of the swampy regions.
As the Massachusetts Bay Colony grew, the residents of Wareham were able to supply newcomers with nails for their homes. The industry had been born. Farmers and their families would hand-make nails during the winter months to supplement their incomes. Demand further increased, however, and supplies of hand-made nails were insufficient. The first machine to cut and head a nail in one operation was invented by Ezekiel Reed of Bridgewater, Massachusetts.
With the advent of the cut nail making machines, came the establishment of Parker Mills Nail Co.
Most of us are familiar with the old square nails used centuries ago. What many of us are unaware of, however, is that those old nails were actually superior in design to modern wire nails. They have several times the holding power, and are less likely to cause wood to split.
Complete your clock case construction. Find out which railroads near you will go in the dating of southern new england origin and date chairs. Antique furniture.
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We want to thank those that helped House of Antique Hardware donate , meals as part of our community promotion. This donation allowed the Oregon Food Bank to provide thousands of families, in need, with meals. These old-style square cut nails are made in the USA from solid steel and are the perfect finishing touch for face nailing floors, or for nailing fences, siding, paneling or cabinets.
Ideal for authentic restoration work. Square-Cut Common Nails. Square-Cut Common Rosehead Nails. Square-Cut Fire Door Nails. Square-Cut Hardened Flooring Nails.
Dating cut nails
Common place in the late th century through the mid th century, Date Nails were driven into railroad ties, utility poles, bridge timbers, and other wooden structures for record keeping purposes. Today, Date Nails are highly sought after artifacts by Railroadiana collectors. Following the Civil War , the railroad race was in full swing. In one such race, the Union Pacific and Central Pacific would compete for government favor; with the line that built the most miles being rewarded with cash and land.
Date Rolland Meyers. A subject that most people do not even know exist. What are they? What are they used for? When did they appear in the ties of.
Date nails were tagging devices utilized by railroads to visually identify the age of a railroad tie. Octave Chanute , railroad and aviation pioneer, is credited with the idea for using date nails as a way of tracking the life of railroad ties. An example would be a Southern Pacific Railroad nail with the marking “01” stamped on the head of the nail. The “01” would identify the nail as being hammered into a railroad tie in the year Date nail use has dropped dramatically since the midth century and the advent of more modern maintenance of way equipment.
Date nails on American railroads were phased out in the s. Ties are no longer marked in this manner in North American practice, and the nails themselves are now sought after by railroadiana collectors. The Southern Railway never made use of date nails. Date nails are also found on utility poles , sometimes in conjunction with a nail showing the height of the pole in feet. The types of nails may have distinguishing characteristics, such as the date nail having raised digits and the “height nail” having incised digits.
The pole height will be a multiple of five e. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Railway Tie Association.
The Antiques Addict
Here at Campus Archaeology we collect a lot of nails. They come in varying sizes and shapes, and can be found across the historic campus. Often nails found from the 19th century are coated with rust after years of sitting in the ground. This can make it difficult to determine their shape or construction. Regardless of how bad they are, we collect them all. One of the questions we get is whether we can actually learn anything from a nail.
is needed to make nails more useful as dating tools. To be basic types of nails, sampled from dated build ings. of the nail, burrs, and head style to date nails.
This business is particularly sensitive to the realities of changing value; car filters are manufactured with a palladium part rather than the platinum that was used for years, the prices of the two metals change drastically, and maybe you change your mind about what you want your wedding bands to be made of. My parents all love antiques; every one of them I have a lot of parents.
When I was a kid this was annoying because it meant lots of trips to musty shops with second, third, fourth-hand goods I had no interest in. I appreciate how much knowledge they have about where things come from and why they are a certain way. My parents lived in Maine for a while, and in that time they bought a wooded property with two huge barns, one ancient and precarious, the other trying to hold it up. The old building collapsed little by little, and as it did my dad would clean it up, pulling nails from the worn planks.
He is an occasional collector of oddities, and would never let a good nail go to waste, so he ended up with coffee cans full of all different types of nails. This might explain a lot about me and the reason I am compelled to pick up rusty metal in the street. Being antique enthusiasts, the parents knew when the two barns were built, approximately how old the nails were, and some interesting history about the whole situation.