I guess we can say stud framing is considered modern in terms of our outlook on wood frame construction. Balloon framing appears to have been developed in Chicago / Midwest in the early to mid-19th century. I suppose early iron cut nails were used to nail the softwood frames together. Most of what I've uncovered through reading suggests pointed wire nails (what we refer to as "common nails") became mainstream in United States around 1900. Therefore, can we assume older house frames were fashioned with cut nails? Anyone out there who can verify?
Houses around here that were built ca 1880-1910 were balloon framed and used cut nails. These dates are a general rule of thumb with the usual exceptions and local variations. My house was built in the late 20's and it used wire nails.