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Aaron
Dating Cut Nails
Aaron

I don't know if this is a good place to ask, but it seemed like the best option on this site. My wife and I are restoring an old log house, and don't know the date of construction. It has a "stove room" or "German three room" floor plan which is kind of uncommon. Does anyone know much about dating cut nails? On many of them the burrs are indistinguishable, but where they are, they seem to be on opposite corners which would make them a "type a". The big nails are what held what I believe are the original interior plank dividing walls to the summer beam. The smaller L heads nailed the lath to the logs on the first floor. The smaller wide headed nails were in the lath in the only room that appeared to have ever been plastered upstairs. The three oddball nails are just that; oddballs that we found nailed into the logs here and there after removing the plaster. I think the plaster was added sometime after the house was built. We found a brass button in the crack of a log behind the plaster. So the logs must have had at least several years to dry out and crack when the button was put there, before it was plastered. The button appears to have a spun back which would date it to 1760-1785. I have found mention of a nail factory being one of the first industries in the nearest town which was layed out in 1787. I haven't found any other info on the factory though.

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