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4just1don 05-06-2009 09:07 PM

What aprox. years did they cease using square nails??
We were discussing house age yesterday. Older part of this house has ALL square nails,siding,trim,inside and outside.

Then I guess they started out without a kitchen,cause the kitchen was added later. Old part is north- south, gable end roof. Kitchen addition done later was a east -west gable, added onto existing house. SO from aerial view of house,roof ridge forms a "T". Kitchen is all round nails.

Couldnt been MANY years between the two,,,does this narrow down house age any???

Oh and while we are asking dumb questions,,,is there ANY value of antiquity to saving square nails? Are they worth 'anything' over iron value??

Michael Thomas 05-06-2009 09:28 PM

Leah Frances 05-06-2009 09:32 PM

You can still buy square nails - new or used. :laughing: I keep a few around in a jar for fun. Otherwise = scrap.

The truth is, while nail shape can give you some general idea about relative age (kitchen was built at a different time as the rest) they aren't conclusive. Have you tried looking at your municipality's record office? I have been able to date the age of some boxwoods on my property based on a photo of a neighbor's house that I found in at the local historical society.

Don't forget to talk to the Old Timers. My mailman's mother used to live on the farm that is now my neighborhood. She remembered a blacksmith shop on my property - and subsequent research confirms her story. Cool.

Scuba_Dave 05-06-2009 09:32 PM

I have a box of square nails too

Are they BIG square nails
or about the same size?

Michael Thomas 05-06-2009 09:33 PM

It's called a "cut nail",

history is here:

Leah Frances 05-06-2009 09:35 PM

I do keep all the broken crockery, brick and anthracite coal I dig up out of my yard. Can't put a spade in the ground without finding one or the other. The bricks I stack and use in landscaping projects. The anthracite I wash and put in a mason jar. It looks pretty.

4just1don 05-06-2009 10:44 PM

Now we see why your such a warm lady,,,coal fired.

Interesting bit of history of nails. I suppose this puts house built between 1900 and 1910 or so because they said 90% of nails in former were cut,by 1910 90% were wire (round) nails.

There are several 'burn' pits still visible in the back yard. they are gonna get a cap of dirt soon. I am sure there would be barn remnants there too,,cause everybody had to have a barn to store there horse and buggy

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