History of nail

A nail produced using a micro-strip – Enitra Sp. z o.o.


A product most often made of metal, sharpened on one end, and with a head on the second end.

It is used to connect various elements by nailing them together.

There are woodworking nails, wire nails, tar paper nails, cobbler nails, railroad nails, boat nails, decorative nails etc.

The origin of nail is unknown. It probably derives from wooden dowels that connected elements also made of wood, e.g. boat boards, structural elements of buildings etc.

In 1961, in Inchtuthill, Scotland, a “treasure” was dug out, which contained 15 to 40 cm long iron nails of the total weight of 7 tonnes, made of local iron ores by soldiers of the Roman army in the 1st century AD. We may imagine the effort needed to produce them by knowing that each nail was produced manually by melting iron from ores in primitive furnaces, and then forging thus obtained iron into a wire, at the same time creating a head and a sharp end. Due to difficulties associated with transportation of such a heavy load, the nails were buried, probably in fear that they would be used by the local population to produce weapons. By the way, its hardly surprising – the value of nails was so high that very often people burnt old houses to sieve and recover the nails from ashes. 

Mechanical procedures of nails production were introduced only in the Middle Ages. Then, the first machines that cut nails from steel sheets, and at the same time created nail heads, were constructed.

In 1795, in Newburyport, Jacob Perkins, driven by the desire to make profit, built a machine that could produce 60 thousand nails per week. Since then, the nail has become a daily-use product.

Currently, nails are made using special presses – so called nails making machines, which are automatic devices that are capable of producing up to 800 nails per minute. The automaton and the product transport are driven by
micro-strips made by Enitra Sp. z o.o.

Very large nails, e.g.: railway nails, are made by forging.

Prepared by: Aleksandra Pelesz