Dating square cut nails
An estimated 15,000 nails were used in building this house.[A] "[...] Victorian is not a style, it was an era. Pictured are Carl and Ina Pigott and their son, Frederick Pigott, Jr.These steel wire nails can be made much faster and cheaper. Since we can date nails so well they are helpful in determining the age of sites that we find.By 1886, 10% of all nails were round bodied steel wire, and by 1913 90% of all nails are this type. If we discover a site with only Type A cut nails we know that it was likely an early farmstead dating before the university period. The wire is fed into a machine that cuts it lengthwise, tapers the point and hammers the opposite end to create a head in one stage.Unlike previous machines requiring human aid or multiple steps, this is a single stage.The house was renovated in 1995, and carpenters Jim and Hank Carder saved the nails and made the above display.
The house is wood-framed with wood flooring and sub-flooring throughout. Though lacking traditional "gingerbread" trim, the fascia is adorned with scalloped escutcheons. At the time, dimension lumber (2 x 4, 2 x 6, etc.) measured the full dimension.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.During the 1880’s, machines were developed to produce nails from inexpensive steel wire.This is the first time that nails begin to have the round shafts that we are more accustomed to seeing.