Antique Railroad Date Nail
We have RR Date Nails form the '20s to the '60s. Please specify via message if you have a particular decade you favor (until sold out). each nail is 2.5” long And the heads are about about 1/2” in diameter. They mostly number in the 30’s.
Date nails were tagging devices utilized by railroads to visually identify the age of a railroad tie. Octave Chanute, railroad and aviation pioneer, is credited with the idea for using date nails as a way of tracking the life of railroad ties. Different railroads used different sized nails with either alpha or numerical markings. An example would be a Southern Pacific Railroad nail with the marking "01" stamped on the head of the nail. The "01" would identify the nail as being hammered into a railroad tie in the year 1901.
Date nail use has dropped dramatically since the mid-20th century and the advent of more modern maintenance of way equipment. Date nails on American railroads were phased out in the 1970s. Ties are no longer marked in this manner in North American practice, and the nails themselves are now sought after by railroadiana collectors. The Southern Railway never made use of datenails.