And what are your thoughts on my earlier theory that it was natural for nail technology to have developed here in the US b/c of the abundance of lumber, thus the pressing need for nails. I don't have a clue about lumber availability in the UK/Europe at the same time (roughly 1700-1900). Surely it was shipped to England from America.
My guess is that the reason so many building and wood processing advances (such as nail technology, circular saws, boring machines, the Square rule, balloon framing) were made in North America in the 19th century is that we had one of the biggest, longest lasting, most widespread building booms ever. We were growing like crazy -- this is where all the building was happening.