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The cut-nail process was patented in America by Jacob Perkins in 1795 and in England by Joseph Dyer, who set up machinery in Birmingham.
The process was designed to cut nails from sheets of iron, while making sure that the fibres of the iron ran down the nails.
From the late 16th century, manual slitters disappeared with the rise of the slitting mill, which cut bars of iron into rods with an even cross-section, saving much manual effort.) Families often had small nail-manufacturing setups in their homes; during bad weather and at night, the entire family might work at making nails for their own use and for barter.
Nails are made in a great variety of forms for specialized purposes. Other types of nails include pins, tacks, brads, spikes, and cleats.
Nails are typically driven into the workpiece by a hammer or pneumatic nail gun.
Later new ways of making nails was created using machines to sheer the nails before wiggling the bar sideways to produce a shank.
For example, the Type A cut nails were sheared from an iron bar type guillotine using early machinery.