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One hundred larger 10d (10 penny) nails cost 10 pence. Thomas Jefferson, a true Renaissance man, made nails on his plantation.Until the very end of the 1700's, most nails in better furniture had a head that was rose-cut or faceted like an old miner's cut diamond.

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Here are examples of hand-forged nails with tapered square shafts and hand-hammered heads from the 1700's: This immigrant's pine trunk was made about 1800, and has the original hand painted inscription: Catherina Iud aus (from) Konigsberg (in East Prussia, Germany) uber (via) Bremen nach (for) Neu Iork (New York).

Although some hardware has been added , it has beautiful rose-cut, hand forged nails securing the original iron bindings.

These nails fairly accurately date furniture to the 1900's, although it is worth remembering that sometimes modern nails were added in subsequent repairs.

Machinery was developed to produce cut nails in the 1900's, and they are still used in flooring and concrete applications, where holding power is paramount, and power nailing tools are standard.

The ancient Egyptians and Romans used organic glue for wood furniture, especially with decorative veneer techniques, but like much advanced technology, glue for wood became a lost art after the collapse of Rome in 476 until the Renaissance, around 1400, when glue and veneer techniques reappeared.

During the Middle Ages, furniture was held together with pegs, dovetails, mortise and tenon joints and a few nails.

Carpenters still speak of nail sizes by the penny, abbreviated d for the Latin word for penny, denarius.

The name refers to the price of nails in England in the 1600's: the price of 100 nails for one penny gave the size: 100 4d (4 penny) nails cost 4 English pennies or pence.

One nail at a time was heated and laboriously pounded out to shape with a hammer on an anvil.

Nails were fairly valuable, and ruined buildings were often burned and nails were scavenged from the ashes to reuse.

Here are examples of the modern straight-sided manufactured wire nail: The simple nail serves as a key to furniture dating.

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