Dating old houses

08 Mar

Timber-framing is an ancient way of building with posts and beams cut directly from felled trees to make a framework which can stand by itself.The walls were then made solid by filling in the frame with cheap and light materials.All the evidence examined establishes this fact, with the following exceptions; namely, that long after 1800, wrought nails, to stand the jar, and because they would clench, continued to be used in the facings of window shutters; in the battens of doors; in the overlap of boards (old style) in lathed room partitions: or on door latches, etc., until about 1850.But these exceptions are not typical of the nails used to build houses after 1800.It was made from rectangular strips of malleable iron, several feet long, and about a quarter of an inch thick, called nail rods, which were furnished to the black-smith or nailer, who, holding one of them in one hand, heated its end in his forge, and then, on the anvil, pointed it with the hammer on all four sides.Next, he partly cut it, above the point, on the "hardy," with a hammer blow, and then, inserting the hot point into the swage hole, of his so-called 'heading tool,' he broke off the rod and hammered the projecting end so as to spread it around the top of the hole; after which, the cooling, shrunken nail was easily knocked out of the orifice.An analysis of these results in the context of the economic and social changes of the sixteenth century by Richard Suggett and members of the Dating Old Welsh Houses Group will be published by the Royal Commission in autumn 2014.By Richard Suggett, Senior Investigator Historic Buildings Subscribe to the Heritage of Wales News and sign up for the full feed RSS, just click this RSS button and subscribe!

dating old houses-57dating old houses-11

Numerous other houses have been dated and the results are now available on Coflein.Over the years, houses are given facelifts through renovation, repair and replacement which can often mask deterioration hidden beneath the surface.Over the years, we’ve worked with many home inspectors and they have some tricks for figuring out the age of a house.• Mercer Museum • Construction Dating Information, especially Hardware, Center for Historic Preservation, Middle Tennessee State University • Nail Chronologies for Historical Archaeologists, David Moyer, RPA, Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist• Cut Nails After 1800 • Hammer-Headed Cut Nails • Stamp-Headed Nails • Wrought-Iron Door Hinges • Cast-IRon Door Hinges • Quirked, Ovolo Door Panels • Machine-Made Door Panels • Door Latches with Straight Lifts • The Norfolk Latch • Blake's Cast-Iron Thumb Latch • Pointless Wood Screws • Sawed Laths • Conclusions The following observations are based upon notes taken upon the recent examination of about one hundred and twenty old houses in Bucks county and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, built in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and it seems probable that the conclusions apply not only to old dwellings in Pennsylvania, but also to those in New York, New England, and the Southern states, where the same builders' material, carpenters' methods, tools and hardware were used during the period in question.The conclusions are as follows: that old houses may be dated within reasonable limits by the nails used; the hinges; the door panels; the wrought-iron thumb-latches; the Norfolk latches; the cast-iron thumb-latches; the wood-screws; and the sawed laths.