Have you ever heard of a railroad date nail? Date nails were first invented in the 1820s in Europe and used by the American railroads from the 1870s and 1880s. Used for record keeping purposes, date nails were placed in railroad ties, bridge timbers and utility poles. As railroad tracks expanded across the landscape - the demand for timber was exponential, as each mile of track requires about 3,000 railroad ties. Railroads began to experiment with treating the wooden ties to expand their life - marking the moment of their installation. Due to local sourcing, each railroad used different nails to test treatments used to help the crossties last as long as possible.
Their use peaked during the 1930s, coinciding with the Great Depression and the railroad-riding hobo culture of music and story that is a cornerstone of American folk music.
Our Railroad Date Nail Cufflinks and Pins are a piece of wearable history - perfect for lovers of travel, story and adventure.