Piece of History: Nailed It
Paul found this as he was taking down the plaster in the upstairs bedrooms, sticking out of the door frame.
This one’s not rocket science, but let’s do this anyway. Click for more…
It’s called a square nail, or a cut nail. A young whipper-snapper like me had never come upon something like this before so I found this one particularly interesting–at least interesting enough to do a Google search.
The peak manufacture and use of this type nail is consider to be between 1820 -1910. This fits with the timeline of when the house was build in 1890.
We can pretty safely assume these nails are original to the house because after about 1920, wire nails came into use. They were cheaper and much faster to make since they could be completely made by machine. As a random fun fact, the old square nails can hold more than four times better (?) than modern round ones (I don’t know what four times better means, but it sounds cool). Apparently, some of the old square nails were so valuable that old buildings were burned down just to retrieve the nails.
Square nails are still being made and sold — usually for restoration work (but they are expensive). So we’ll save any that we find during our renovation.