The New Student's Reference Work/Nails

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Nails.  The making of nails by hand has been an established manufacture in Birmingham, England, for 300 years.  Before the successful but very gradual introduction of machine-made nails, 60,000 men, women and children were engaged in the industry in that district.  They all worked in small shops or sheds attached to their houses.  In 1861 the number employed was only 20,000, and nearly half were females.  Handmade nails were supplanted by cut nails, which in turn have given way to wire nails, except for horseshoe nails. They are made by machinery from specially prepared steel wire.  The wire is fed from a reel into a machine, and at each turn of the flywheel a nail is headed, pointed and cut off.  The wire runs between rolls that straighten it and so cause the nails to be straight, and the length of the nail and the size of the head are made what is wanted.  Five hundred small nails a minute can be made, or 125 large ones.  Over 500,000 tons of wire are annually made into nails in the United States.  New England is the center of American nailmaking; Taunton, Mass., the world’s tackmaking center.