Are railroad date nails worth anything?
Are railroad date nails worth anything?
A collection from the Great Northern Railway sold on Ebay last year for $1,100. A single, particularly rare, 1952 nail from the Santa Fe line was auctioned off for $600. Railroad companies started using date nails in the 1800s to record the dates of chemical treatments on their ties.
How do I find my railroad date nails?
Briefly, a date nail is a nail with the date stamped in its head. For example, a nail with a “41” is from 1941. They are usually 2 1/2″ long, with 1/4″ shanks. Date nails were driven into railroad ties, bridge timbers, utility poles, mine props, and other wooden structures for record keeping purposes.
What do the numbers mean on railroad nails?
Few railroad artifacts capture the eye like date nails. These small thumbnail-sized steel pieces of Americana bear a 2-digit number indicating the year a crosstie was manufactured. The various shapes and styles make each one unique and reflect changing styles across the decades.
What are the nails in railroad ties called?
Date nails were tagging devices utilized by railroads and utility companies to visually identify the age of railroad ties or utility poles. Octave Chanute, railroad and aviation pioneer, is credited with the idea for using date nails as a way of tracking the life of railroad ties.
What are railroad nails worth?
So, if you want to buy railroad spikes, you can get a single one for about 80 cents to a dollar. However, you’ll pay a lower price when you buy the spikes in bulk, and they’re usually measured in pounds.
How do you date an old nail?
Moreover, dating nails may seem like a real challenge since they do not have a general identification feature. But a physical examination of the old nails your metal detector found can determine their age. Looking at the nail’s spike, shank, and head will help you determine how old they are.
How often do railroad spikes get replaced?
every 50 to 50 years
On the other hand, railroad spikes need to be replaced every 50 to 50 years, depending on the weight they withstand during their lifespan.
Can you sell old railroad spikes?
Scrap yards have been prohibited from accepting railroad spikes without the proper authorization to prevent situations like these from reoccurring. So, as a private individual with no ties to a railroad company, you cannot walk into a scrap yard and expect to donate or even sell railroad spikes to them.
How do I identify old railroad ties?
On railroads where you can find older ties still in place, look for a date nail hammered into some of the ties themselves. Date nails were used in railroad ties as early as 1901 as a means of tracking the age of ties and thus planning for their replacement as part of railway maintenance.
What years were square nails used?
Square-head nails were made from the late 1700s until about 1830. Most were machine-cut and finished off by a blacksmith who squared the heads. From 1830 to 1890, cabinetmakers used headless, machine-cut nails that are a tapered, rectangular shape.
How do you date a railroad spike?
Look at the tie plate details if tie plates are found with the spike or nearby. Look for date nails on railroad ties that may be nearby. (More on date nails is just below).
How do you date antique furniture nails?
Dating Square Nails Rectangular holes may indicate that the piece was built from 1800 to the 1880s. Round nail holes point to more recently built furniture. Look in hidden places like the backs of drawers for empty nail holes. The color of the nail hole can provide additional dating information.
What year did they stop using cut nails?
Reprinted from the Waterford Foundation Booklet of 1958. Handmade (wrought) nails, of soft malleable iron with rectangular shanks, drawn by hammer blows to a point were used in house construction from time immemorial until about 1800, when cut nails superseded them.
Is collecting railroad spikes illegal?
As we mentioned earlier, it’s illegal to take railroad spikes from train tracks, and you may not even find them when you check. So, if you want to try some of the projects railroad spikes are suitable for, you may have to buy the spikes.
How much is a railroad tie worth?
With hardwood ties, you pay about $12 for a log. The tie is worth about $20. The sideboards may be $3-4 per log if it’s junky, maybe more if they are red oak #1 com or better. So if you can do 100 ties a day you can earn maybe $1100 a day before expenses.
How old is furniture with square nails?
Square-head nails were made from the late 1700s until about 1830. Most were machine-cut and finished off by a blacksmith who squared the heads. From 1830 to 1890, cabinetmakers used headless, machine-cut nails that are a tapered, rectangular shape. Modern wire, brad or penny nails were introduced around 1890.