Nails are most commonly used to fasten pieces of wood together, but they are also used with plastic, drywall, masonry, and concrete. Nails are usually made of steel but can also be made of stainless steel, iron, copper, aluminium, or bronze.
In this video, you can hear the story of how, in 17th century, an English ironmaster from a small town in England recaptured preeminent position of his town for making and supplying iron nails at a low cost!
Richard Foley (1580–1657) was a prominent English ironmaster. He is best known from the folktale of “Fiddler Foley”. Richard himself is likely to have traded in nails rather than making them. In the 1620s, he became a partner in a network of ironworks in south Staffordshire, which were undoubtedly the source of the family’s fortune. According to the folktale, he went to Sweden where, posing as a simple fiddler, he succeeded in discovering the secret of the slitting mill, which was enabling the price of English nails to be undercut. He returned home and set up a slitting mill at Hyde Mill in Kinver, thus making his fortune.