InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website. This article series describes antique and modern cut nails focusing on tree nails, wrought nails, and cut nails used in wood frame construction or interior finishing or carpentry work. It includes useful dates for the manufacture of different nail types. Page top photo: sprites. A physical examination of old or antique nails and fasteners and other building hardware combined with questions about the country, city, and building or other location where the nails were found can offer clues to the probable age and original purpose of the old nail or spike.
Image from Wikipedia. The humble plough is a tool first used by the Chinese and Romans, helping their expansive empires to thrive by producing reams of food for their citizens and armies.
The metal component of the plough was forged with wrought iron, which was the best material available until steel came along. The seed drill is another critical invention for farming, used for sowing crop seeds and burying them to a specific depth. Image from Skinner Auctioneers. As one of the hardiest and most malleable substances available, wrought iron was a common choice for horseshoes.
Wrought iron essentially comes in two different types: charcoal and puddle iron. Charcoal iron was primarily used from the Iron Age to the end of the eighteenth century and produced through a charcoal fire. Puddled iron, used since the dawn of the industrial era, is made from cast iron Missing: dating. Dating a building with Nails. Before Hand-Wrought Nails; Early Machine Cut Nails (Crude) Early Machine Headed Cut Nails; Modern Machine Cut Nails (source of the illustration above: Thomas D Visser - "Nails: Clues to a Building's History" - See also his book "Field Guide to New England Barns and Farm Buildings"). Jul 10, Wrought iron is a popular choice for gates, fences, balustrades, and other decorative cts of properties. But the material has a rich history dating back 5, years, and because of its versatility, strength, and durability, was used in a weird and wonderful range of applications.
Image from Etsy. Before trucks were invented, horse-drawn wagons were the fastest way to transport people and commercial goods. The first wagons were used as early as the 1st century, with metal wrought iron wheels a core component.
Image from Alibaba. Wrought iron can be moulded into intricate decorative shapes, which made it a popular choice for fancy storage racks. Wrought iron is a soft, ductile, fibrous variety that is produced from a semifused mass of relatively pure iron globules partially surrounded by slag.
It usually contains less than 0. It is superior for most purposes to cast iron, which is overly hard and brittle owing to its high carbon content.
Dating back to antiquity, the first iron was smelted directly from iron ore by heating the latter in a forge with charcoalwhich served both as a fuel and a reducing agent.
Its composition is primarily iron, carbon, and silicon, but it may also contain traces of sulfur, manganese, and phosphorus. It has a fairly high carbon content of 2 to 5 percent. Unlike wrought iron, for instance, cast iron is strong, heavy, nonmalleable (it can't be wrought or worked, bent, stretched or hammered into shape), and is more benjamingaleschreck.comg: dating. Wrought iron may also be dated approximately by its texture. Until the very end of the eighteenth century, sections of wrought iron were derived by forging of billets by hand or waterpower; this resulted in a more or less uneven surface texture, and very sharp corners. A foreshortened view of a bar displays well the irregularities of the benjamingaleschreck.comg: dating. The point or sharp tip on early cut nails and hand-wrought nails was often made by filing. Is the point on your nail symmetrical or irregular suggesting hand-sharpening? Photo: flat-hammered tip of a hand-wrought iorn spike. More help: NAILS & HARDWARE, AGE - topic home where we give a chronology of types of nails from B.C. to the present.
While still hot, the reduced iron and slag mixture was then removed as a lump and worked wrought with a hammer to expel most of the slag and weld the iron into a coherent mass. In Europe it was found that wrought iron could be produced indirectly from cast iron made in a blast furnace.
One of the most widely used such indirect methods, called the puddling processwas developed by Henry Cort of England in It involved melting cast iron in a hollowed hearth and then agitating it with a bar so that the carbon in the cast metal was removed by the oxidizing gases of the furnace. As the carbon was removed, the proportion of solid decarbonized iron progressively increased, and the resulting thick mixture of metal and slag was then run through a squeezer, which removed much of the excess slag and formed a rough cylinder for subsequent rolling into a more finished product.
Wrought iron began to take the place of bronze in Asia Minor in the 2nd millennium bc ; its use for tools and weapons was established in China, India, and the Mediterranean by the 3rd century bc.
Wrought iron has been used for many centuries, and is the "iron" that is referred to throughout Western history. The other form of iron, cast iron, was in use in China since ancient times but was not introduced into Western Europe until the 15th century; even then, due to its brittleness, it could be used for only a limited number of purposes. Dating back to antiquity, the first iron was smelted directly from iron ore by heating the latter in a forge with charcoal, which served both as a fuel and a reducing agent. While still hot, the reduced iron and slag mixture was then removed as a lump and worked (wrought) with a hammer to expel most of the slag and weld the iron into a coherent mass.
The chief advantage of iron was simply its far greater availability in nature than that of copper and tin. Wrought iron continued to be used for the proliferating implements of peace and the arms and armour of war for many centuries. In the 19th century it began to appear in building constructionwhere its strength in tension resistance to pulling apart made it superior to cast iron for horizontal beams.
The invention of the Bessemer and open-hearth processes led to the supplanting of wrought iron by steel for structural purposes. Telling wrought iron from mild steel is often more difficult for the layman, as both will bend, and not break Frequently, however, work in mild steel is readily identified by the lower standards of workmanship often used. Look for evidence of electric welding, mild steel is often given away by more active corrosion, which tends to run out of the joints and stain paintwork and stonework.
This is seldom the case with wrought iron. Wrought iron may also be dated approximately by its texture. Until the very end of the eighteenth century, sections of wrought iron were derived by forging of billets by hand or waterpower; this resulted in a more or less uneven surface texture, and very sharp corners.
Ultimate Guide to Vintage Cast Iron
A foreshortened view of a bar displays well the irregularities of the surface. Rolled bars, on the other hand, produced from the beginning of the nineteenth century, are perfectly smooth, and the corners can display a small radius.
The sample is nicked by cold chisel or sawing to approximately half depth and doubled back cold to show the fracture. The sample is polished in a plane parallel to the length of the bar, and the exposed bright surface examined for signs of a grain caused by linear slag inclusions.
Typically a puddled Wrought Iron will exhibit a more or less dead reddish spark, whereas steel will have more or less bursting white sparks caused by the inclusion of carbon alloyed with the constituent iron.