An original 7" mm long Roman nail found in Scotland This shape of nail had the benefit of four sharp edges on the shank which cut deep into timber and the tapered shank provided friction down its full length. A replica of the hand made nails found on board the 'Mary Rose' Machine made nails It was not until around that the first machine for making nails appeared, but that tended really to automate much of the blacksmith's job. This old photograph from the early 's shows a typical nail shop - notice the machines are pulley driven But still, the process was labour intensive with a man or woman attending each machine. Hand made nail top Cut nail middle Wire nail bottom Restoration There is currently an enormous interest in preserving our heritage and much of that heritage is in the shape of the buildings that remain as evidence of a bygone age. A new cutting tool is removed from the smiddy fire As explained earlier, the first cut nail machines replicated the handmade nail - the square tapered nail with a rosehead.