Dating antiques country origin updating a brick fireplace
This entire hand-done process leaves a multitude of clues on the handmade screw, just waiting for our inspection.
Starting with the top of the screw, the head, evidence of handwork is abundant.
This was usually done in laborious fashion with a file.
When the smith had the length he thought was needed for the job, he simply cut or snipped the threaded shaft.
The pitch, the angle of the thread to the shaft, will vary considerably from thread to thread as will the depth of the cut into the shaft that produces the thread.
The screw on the right is a modern gimlet screw, post 1848, with tapered shaft, even threads, pointed tip and centered slot. The handmade nails of the period derived much of their holding power from the ability to drive the nail through two surfaces and bend it over on the back side, i.e. But that solution would not work for securing the top on a chest of drawers or table top without either driving a nail through the top from above or clinching it on the top to hold it fast.And the overall shape of the entire screw is cylindrical rather than tapered, as is the case in modern screws.Because of the individual nuances and variables in the handwork process, no two handmade screws are identical.Screws with these characteristics were produced until early in the 19th century.
Around 1812 a machine was introduced that made screws on a lathe but the War of 1812 slowed its distribution and development.Note the flat spot on the shaft, the irregular threads, blunt tip and the off center slot.