Dating machine cut nails
These coatings heat up through friction while the nail is being driven, then quickly cool and set to lock the nail in place.
The diameter of the shank is determined by the type of nail.
Nails were so valuable in the early American settlements that in 1646 the Virginia legislature had to pass a measure to prevent colonists from burning down their old houses to reclaim the nails when they moved.
Two early nail-making machines were patented by Ezekial Reed of the United States in 1786 and Thomas Clifford of England in 1790.
The length of a nail is measured in a unit called the penny.
This term comes from the use of nails in England in the late 1700s when it referred to the price of one hundred nails of that size.
The nail is driven in up to the first head, leaving the second head protruding.
Nails may have been used in Mesopotamia as early as 3500 and were probably made of copper or bronze. By the 1500s a machine was developed which produced long, flattened strips of iron, called nail rods.
These strips could then be cut into lengths, pointed, and headed.
Finishing nails have a very small diameter shank in order to make the smallest hole possible.
The most typical nail point is a four-sided tapered cut called a diamond point.