After re-heating the rod in a forge, the blacksmith would cut off a nail length and hammer all four sides of the softened end to form a point.Wire nails will be found in a building put up in the period from then to date.Try contacting the Northeast Document Conservation Center for information on how to save a treasured piece of above-ground archaeology.Sally Zimmerman, Senior Preservation Services Manager Got a question about an old house you need answered?Cut nails continued to be widely used until the turn of the 20th century.Due to advances in steel production, the manufacture of modern wire nails began in the 1880s and predominated by the late 1890s when round-head nails started to be produced.
Historic New England shares the region’s history through vast collections, publications, programs, museum properties, archives, and stories that document more than 400 years of life in New England.
Mass production of nails began in America in the 1790s with the manufacture of early machine-cut nails.
Cut nails were created by shearing the nails off of a rolled iron plate.
As explained earlier, the first cut nail machines replicated the handmade nail - the square tapered nail with a rosehead.
Because the process still involves a man (or woman) presenting a strip of metal to a machine, the resulting nail is necessarily imprecise - that is each nail can look a little different to the next one.