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Date nails with numbers or letters stamped in their heads were used to convey information about whatever they were hammered into.For example, a date nail in a railroad tie might identify when the tie was laid or, if it shows letters, the type of preservative used in the wood.Hundreds of patents for barbed wire, also called barb wire or barbwire, were granted at the end of the 19th century, as entrepreneurs tried to capitalize on the new demand for wire fencing.
It might look more like a horizontal blob on this nail.
It indicates that the nail was made by American Steel & Wire Co.
A scribe line was made by the Cabinet Maker when marking out the dovetail joints, it is not always present by any means but can help to re-inforce an opinion.
Briefly, a date nail is a nail with the date stamped in its head. Most date nails are steel, though many are copper, aluminum, malleable iron or brass.
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.
Date nails were driven into railroad ties, bridge timbers, utility poles, mine props, and other wooden structures for record keeping purposes.
For a good site on date nails from poles, go to Scott Weed's site:
The nail heads can be round, square, diamond, pentagon as well as other more rare shapes.
There are over 2,000 different date nails used by North American railroads that show the year.
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