Finding Date Nails Is Their Pastime

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we’ll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer – no Kindle device required. To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number. Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? A guide to the history, identification and collecting of railroad spikes dating from the origins of America’s railroads in the early ‘s to today’s modern standards. Includes 74 illustrations and bibliography.

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It has been given to celebrities, elected officials, and others who have made important contributions to passenger rail service. Going back to the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad in , golden spikes were used by railroads in ceremonies to mark the completion of important projects. George Falcon, publisher of Key magazine an entertainment and dining guide for the Los Angeles and Orange County area , got the idea for the Golden Spike Award in the mid’s from actress Debbie Reynolds, a train lover whose father worked as a conductor on the Southern Pacific Railroad.

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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. Some subway lines did also.

Railroad Spikes

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A guide to the history, identification and collecting of railroad spikes dating from the origins of America’s railroads in the early ‘s to today’s modern standards​.

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Spikes & Nails 1923 Unused Square Head and Shaft Steel Railroad Date Nail.

So the spikes I would assume are atleast as old as the rail. I work for BNSF railway was told about dates on the rail but no info on the spikes. How to date railroad spikes. I went for a walk along the railroad track by my inlaws house and found a bunch of spikes.

Railroad Spikes: A Collectors Guide A guide to the history, identification and collecting of railroad spikes dating from the origins of America’s railroads in the.

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Common place in the late th century through the mid th century, Date Nails were driven into railroad ties, utility poles, bridge timbers, and other wooden structures for record keeping purposes. Today, Date Nails are highly sought after artifacts by Railroadiana collectors. Following the Civil War , the railroad race was in full swing. In one such race, the Union Pacific and Central Pacific would compete for government favor; with the line that built the most miles being rewarded with cash and land.

In order to keep pace with this expansion, the timber needed to produce crossties was in high demand. Left untreated, wooden crossties had a life expectancy of only five to seven years. Based on the frenetic pace of laying new track and the subsequent demand of timber supplies, rail companies hatched the idea of treating the ties to increase their life expectancy. Not knowing which type of wood and treatment methods would be the most effective and economical, railroads began to experiment with varying treatments in the mid to lates.

To monitor the results of differing test sections of crossties, railroads settled on the idea of using Date Nails for record keeping purposes. The oldest known Date Nail used in the U. Most Date Nails were made of steel, though copper, aluminum, iron, and even brass were also used. Nails were driven into ties at either the treatment facility or at the time they were installed into the track. Nail heads were produced in a variety of shapes — round, square, diamond, pentagon, and other rarer shapes.

Spikes & Nails | Surplus Network

InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website. In our images above and also in Alyssa’s railroad spike photos below you’ll notice that the head of these large railaroad spikes sport an offset head. The larger lip of the offset head on these large spikes, also called crampons, was used to secure the bottom edge of the rail to the steel plate upon which the rail rests.

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Has anyone ever been walking along RR tracks and “found” a few spikes? And taken them with you? I’m thinking of doing such, but only if I find them, I’d never steel I do it all the time, the railroad isn’t going to re-use them any more than a carpenter will re-use the nails he pulls out. So I guess you are helping pick up trash and doing the right thing by recycling it. Also don’t forget to pickup those “slices” of RR track, dosent take a whole lot of work to make them into fullers and cutoff hardys.

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An historical overview of the common railroad spike which fastens the rail to the tie via a tie-plate.

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Golden Spike Award

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Since the industry was founded a railroad spike, or some type of fastening device, has been employed to hold the rails firmly in place to a tie, or some other form of lateral support. The entire track structure includes the rail, tie, tie-plate, and ballast system all of which have a very important and specific function. The earliest spikes were simply crude nails and within today’s modern industry the most common type has been in regular use since the early s when used in conjunction with wooden ties.

In addition, following the development of concrete ties specialized clips have become common, which essentially perform the same function but appear nothing like the typical spike. The spike is one of the most widely recognized pieces of railroad equipment by the general public; whether you work in the industry, enjoy studying it, or even have no interest in trains at all virtually everyone understands what a spike is and its basic function.

During the industry’s early years, however, developing today’s railroad spike took some time since there was no established practices in regards to either rail fastening systems or much of anything else related to the operation of trains. As our country’s first common-carrier the fledgling company’s engineers and surveyors often had to guess and use their own intuition regarding how to lay out and construct the right-of-way.

Colonel Stephen H. Long of the U. Army and chief engineer Jonathan Knight. They decided upon an easy 0. As it turns out, steam locomotives could handle stiffer grades but required easier curves. Similar issues were encountered in figuring out what materials to use for the track structure and its width.

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 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.

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Marginalized by history, the Chinese workers were more than a nameless group of laborers. The Central Pacific Railroad needed a large workforce to meet the challenge of building a railroad over the Sierra Nevada. Using only hand tools, Chinese workers comprised ninety percent of the labor force that achieved this impossible task. Chinese immigrants experienced extreme prejudice from white workers who felt threatened by them dating back to their arrival in California for the Gold Rush.

Their experience culminates with the first congressional act designed to restrict the immigration of an entire race of people—The Chinese Exclusion Act of Explore the inside of this private railcar once owned by the pioneers of railroad photography, Lucius Beebe and Charles Clegg. Click Here to View the Exhibit. After the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad in , many Californians turned to farming the fertile Delta.

Ice-cooled railroad cars transported locally grown fruit and produce. The railroad helped to create the foundation for the movement known today as farm-to-fork. What really happened at the Gold Spike ceremony on May 10, ? Who attended? How many participated? Was the last spike really made of gold?

Sealing railroad spikes