I liked Chris How's paper too. It's a peek into an obscure area of study, just like timber framing. I guess there's really quite a bit about old "nayles" to uncover. This is a great example of using the forum as an exchange. Much thanks to Chris How for allowing us a peek at his work, which must have taken no small effort: over 100 footnotes in a 15-page paper.
What I found interesting was not only did the US invent the cut nail (pg. 12), but in the 1790s, America found it necessary to import nails from Brittan in order to keep up w/ demand (pg. 10). Seems one had the innovation, the other the means to supply.
And like our "Great Chicago Fire" of 1871 that necessitated building innovations (for better or worse), London also burned in 1666 that saw significant softwood exportation to England (pg. 5), all effecting building tech. / methods including nails.
And to have been on hand for the iron vs. steel nail competition in Boston in 1892 (pg. 11)... must have been a moment for sure. The iron nail won the battle, but ultimately lost the war.
Great stuff. Big thanks to Chris How for sharing his work. And thank you Ken for contacting him.
Neat stuff. I hope Northern Hewer is getting closer to his earlier question of when cut nails went out of use first, be it US or UK. Though we are getting insights, it seems like a less than definitive answer eludes us. Seems to be the case in many TF-related topics!!