Well this next question is again a bit off the line from what we were talking about but I was just asked a question about supplying a bit of the history of square square nails for dating purposes.
From my research over the years square nails began being cut by newly patented machines about 1820 in Massechusets, and were improved upon year by year with new and better nail cutting machines. When you access the patent office records slight improvements and styles were to come forward as the patents and machines were put into service. This continued until the cutting of round nails was developed in the late 1800's and slowly edged out cut nails in the early 1900's at least around here.
These improvements usually came in the form of the nail heads, and the shank or body of the nails themselves.
One thing that I have wondered about though is did the square nail production in the States also run parallel with ahead of or behind say Britain or Europe.
Maybe Ken Hume could comment on this question I have always puzzled over this fact, realizing that Other countries also developed their own special patents to cover things such as cut nails for their own areas.