Dating old nails
It is 2 1/2" long, 1/4" in diameter, rnd = round head (& shank), I = indented figures, stl = steel, (07) = code for American Steel & Wire, 18 = the date.
(These and all other photos of single nails on these pages were taken by Tom Meyer.) For a photo of a date nail in a tie in the track, click here.
The date nail is outside the rail, at the bottom of the picture.
Both registration and sign in support using Google and Facebook accounts. Lengths run from a paltry 3/4" up to 3", with shank diameters running from 1/8" up to 5/16".The nail heads can be round, square, diamond, pentagon, as well as other rarer shapes.By the early 1920's, however, most of these railroads had returned to the practice of placing nails in every treated tie.Each railroad conducted its own experiments, so the nails used on one railroad will not be like those on other lines.Some lines found the record obtained by this method to be a failure, so beginning 1909 some railroads concentrated their record in special test sections.