Antique wire and nails do more than mark property lines and hold timbers together. They tell the story of America in the decades after the Civil War, when railroads linked the coasts and the age of open-range cattle ranching came to an end. Hundreds of patents for barbed wire, also called barb wire or barbwire, were granted at the end of the 19th century, as entrepreneurs tried to capitalize on the new demand for wire fencing.

Functional square or cut nails, so called because they were cut from sheets of iron, preceded ones made from steel wire. Date nails with numbers or letters stamped in their heads were used to convey information about whatever they were hammered into. For example, a date nail in a railroad tie might identify when the tie was laid or, if it shows letters, the type of preservative used in the wood. Date nails in telephone poles, also known as pole nails, often marked the pole's height.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Nailhunter

Nailhunter

Scott Weed's pictoral guide to date nails, or nails which have some kind of company, functional, or otherwise descr… [read review or visit site]

Alloy Artifacts

Alloy Artifacts

A tool collectors’ dream, this site is a deep repository of photos and info on 20th century hand tools and the co… [read review or visit site]

Old Woodworking Machines

Old Woodworking Machines

This collective website, which started as an online discussion forum, now also includes a large database of manufac… [read review or visit site]

Drainspotting

Drainspotting

Josh and Cam Larios have created this site enabling people to upload and 'tag' photos of historic or artistic manho… [read review or visit site]

A Millers Falls Home Page

A Millers Falls Home Page

Randy Roeder has carved out a niche for himself with his fine website devoted to the history of the Millers Falls C… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Most watched eBay auctions    

Firkin 10" Primitive Wood Sugar Bucket Wood Handle With Lid Square NailBlue Lidded Hanging Wall Box Square Nails Good Patina 19th CAntique Railroad Date Nail Hammer - Scarce Early Obsolete Steam Era Hand Tool3 Antique Victorian Picture C Iron Nail Hanger Sulfide Glass Tie Back Estate Lot #87 – Misc. Railroad Date Nails – Total 63 - Tie Nail AntiqueAntique Primitive Bucket Crock Bench Old White Paint Hand Cut Wood Square NailsVintage Box Of Square Cut NailsWw1 German Barb Wire Mint With History From Memetz Wood On The Somme20 Vintage Square Cut Nails From New England Farm House 3" And 3-1/2" Lengths1890 Adv Glidden Steel Barb Wire Fence - Il Ellwood Mfg -jc Voorhees, Anita IowaRoman Ancient Iron Nail !! Rare & Straight Shape @ 64 Mm !Stunning Barb Wire Style Vines Georges Briard Or Culver 22kt Gold 4pc Glass Set Antique Cast Iron Barbed Wire Fence Stretcher Farm ToolBag Of 25 Railroad Date Nails - 1920's Thru 1940's - Mixed Dates - 10 Bags AvailVintage Large Square Cut Nails For Woodworking Or CraftsSuperb “iron Curtain” Original Barbed Wire Souvenir 1989 – Hungarian-austrian 22 Railroad Date Nails 1922-19296 Gold Tone Barbed Wire Twisted Metal Cocktail Stirrers Swizzle Sticks61 Different Steel Railroad Al Date Nails 1908-1973Wwi Us Barbed Wire CuttersWw2 German Barbed Wire.kurland Frontline Relic.23 Railroad Date Nails 1930-1939Lot Of 2- 1948 Rail Road Date Nail 2.5" One Inverted, One Raised1951 Rail Road Date Nail 2.5" Antique Barbed Wire, Twisted Ribbon, Historical Collectible Antique Twisted Barbed Wire, Historical CollectibleOld Primitive Boot Jack/square NailsRailroad Date Nails Short 30 36 38 63 Long 12 18 25 321964 Rail Road Date Nail 2.5" Antique Rose Head Hand Forged Spike / Nail