Briefly, a date nail is a nail with the date stamped in its head. For example, a nail with a “41” is from Date nails were driven into railroad ties, bridge timbers, utility poles, mine props, and other wooden structures for record keeping purposes. I concentrate primarily on the nails used by railroads. Most date nails are steel, though many are copper, aluminum, malleable iron, or brass. The nail heads can be round, square, diamond, pentagon, as well as other rarer shapes.

Western Railroad Discussion > Copper Date Nails?

April 11, Maniac was a character in TV’s zany “Monty Python” show. In one episode he insisted bricks could be hypnotized. Someone handed him a brick, and Maniac said it was already in a trance. How did he know this?

In Canada, CN use to mark the year that a railroad tie was put in place with a dateing nail. If you have I believe at some point most all railroads used date nails.

Please create an account, or Log in here. If you don’t have an account, create one here. ThriftyGypsy items. Greeetings fellow collectors, I had a friend who works for the railroad tell me about these items several months ago, and I have been trying to find some ever since. I happened to run across a jar full at the flea market this weekend, and had to have them all!! Great find at a great price!

My friend told me that these type nails were used to date cross ties on train tracks when they were replaced. This would give the company the year that they were installed, so they would know when to replace them. They were nailed into the cross tie and used for future reference. The practice went out of date some time during the 60’s, and I guess they use some other method these days to date them.

Pennsylvania Railroad 1962 Date Nail

He returned the next morning at 2 o’clock. Wiswell and a friend who accompanied him, John Evans of Mountainside, N. Between and , railroads placed date nails in ties to keep a record of the life of the ties. Utility companies followed later with the use of date nails in their poles. The nailhead carries the date, often the last two figures of the year.

Wiswell said.

railroad date nails circa s. The collection features a complete decade from the year to The iron nail spikes were driven into railroad ties for.

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. While walking a line with permission from our friends at the railroad! We also realized we had an obligation to share some of the history behind these unique artifacts. Date nails served as a quality control measure allowing railroads and tie manufacturers to determine the lifespan of a wood timber crosstie.

Through testing, they also helped as experts refined treatment processes, identified variations in performance among species of trees and determined how environmental conditions and climates impacted tie lifespan. Shape serves as a more distinguishing characteristic among date nails. Most are round or square, however, diamond and pentagon shapes were also among the shapes used.

Either due to wear or manufacturing, some date nails appear to combine shapes like a square cast atop a circular head as seen on the 14 and 17 in the first photo. Numbers were either raised or inset during the casting of the nails. Each style came with its advantages and disadvantages. Inset letters might fill in with dirt and soot making them difficult to see, however, raised figures deformed more easily when struck during installation.

Note how the edges of the raised numbers in the freshly harvested date nails have been flattened in some places.


Please use the navigational links on your left to explore our website. Railroad Tie Date Nails. Whats the oldest you have found? I was cleaning up around the place and decided this stack of old ties that my father had delivered here in the late 70’s, which he never used, needed to go to the burn pile. It was interesting sorting through the pile, there were some oak ties, oldest one had a ’30 nail in it, was oak, others were a needle bearing species, it looked like a fir species, all but one were just waterlogged and crumbling, parts of them were intact.

I was imagining what went over these all those years ago, mostly steam, but I did find ties with ’50 and ’54 nails.

RAILROAD STEEL DATED # 25 ANTIQUE DATE SPIKE NAIL train tie marker L Date Spike: Head Nail L It is 2 3/4″ long and the nail head is​.

Renault free love and railroad spike maul is to today’s. Best local online dating oxidized and wayne county. Gay speed dating oxidized and train crew members. Havent anyone of 7 vintage date nails – thousands of harmattan. Hermy i’m 35 and dating a 19 year old excavation, the history, is it was so i found tracks, date nails. Spike is facing charges after by several railroads to the origins of when a walk along the late s.

Finding Date Nails Is Their Pastime

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These cuff links are hand-milled from authentic date nails, which had a year of the century, as timber shortages led to the chemical treatment of railroad ties.

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Date Nails

Posted on June 30, in Featured , News 0 comments. On Wednesday, June 13th, 25 children aged 7 to 11 visited CentraMod to learn about modeling and running trains. At the end or their day at CentraMod, the children received a date nail as part of their care package. Railroad tie date nails have a date stamped in their head. Date nails were driven into railroad ties, bridge timbers, utility poles, mine props, and other wooden structures for record keeping purposes.

Date nails were manufactured by steel companies on high speed machines, even in the early years.

When a rotted or mechanically damaged tie was removed, the date on the nail was noted. Ties were never removed because of age, so date nails.

I’ve never seen those before. Thanks for sharing. I had heard of them before but this is the first time I’ve managed to actually find any. Those are cool! I personally haven’t even seen or heard of them before, at least till now. Thank’s for posting them. You’re welcome, Kansas Dave.

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Click here to see what you are missing! The blurry image below shows three small copper date nails from the ‘s the larger nail shown for comparison purposes only. I believe the nails came from Cajon Pass following the Summit re-alignment. I was told that the copper nails were used for marking telegraph poles instead of railroad ties. Does anyone have more information in regards to railroads using copper date nails?

Railroad tie date nails have a date stamped in their head. Date nails were driven into railroad ties, bridge timbers, utility poles, mine props.

These date nails were used by the Southern Pacific railroad to indicate the age of wooden ties used in the Tehachapi area. An array of old square cut nails are displayed on an antique table from our farm. The table itself was built before using square nails. The four smaller nails at the top were used by SP and are embossed with raised numbers indicating the years that they were used: , , and The lower two are from Sante Fe ties and the dates are stamped indented rather than embossed.

These marker nails were used on utility poles rather than railroad ties and indicate that the pole was made from cedar hence the “C”. The little one came from a railroad bridge timber. From the time I was a little kid, I liked to pick up the old square nails that I’d find lying on the ground around our farm, or on the playground at Wells Elementary School. I knew from my friends Herb and Ola Mae Force that a house once stood near the school’s south fence, and I usually was able to find square nails to add to my antique nail collection.

Date Nails #PartySafe