Nail Notes--December, 2000

Subject: Nail Notes 12-14-00
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2000 14:25:05 -0600
From: Jeff Oaks <>
Organization: University of Indianapolis

Two weeks ago I started this issue of Nail Notes, and after delays
caused by various natural disasters (floods, earthquakes, etc) which are
totally out of my control, it is finally here.  Only two items this
time, but more will be coming soon---after all, the next edition of
Nailer News is due in my mailbox any day now, and I'll be sure to list
the contents for you in an effort to get more of you to join the TDNCA.

Happy holidays!

New Santa Fe treatment tags

Charles and Kathleen Young have recently moved to Kingman, AZ, the site
of a big 1922 test section of the Santa Fe---over 35,000 ties were
placed under observation when they constructed the second track of the
main line there.  This was one of those tests in which copper treatment
tags were nailed to test ties with date nails. For example, a tag
reading CRM meant:  CR = 5 pounds per cubic foot of creosote by the
Rueping process, and M = sawn Arizona pine.

Codes for treatments are listed as CR, SR, M, OZ, ZM, and Z in the 1948
APWA and AREA volumes.  22 letters of the alphabet are used as codes for
the species of wood---all letters except C, N, Q,and Z.  For a full
explanation, see my book, Vol II, pp. 303-304.  Here are the tags the
Youngs have recovered, with the locations:

CRG    CZE   MB    OZA    SRH    ZMB
CRK    CZJ    ML    OZD   SRJ      ZMD
CRM    CZP   MH   OZF    SRY     ZMG
CRO    CZS    MM  OZJ                 ZMJ
CRP                         OZO
CRK    HMZ    ML    OZF    SRU    ZMP
CZA     SZA    ZMA

Note that they have found three treatment codes not previously known:
CZ, HM, and SZ.  Most likely these were not part of the origial 1922
test, but were added later.  We have no idea yet what these codes might
stand for.  Cathlene writes:

"We have found chem tags at only these siding or work sites,  that are
every seven miles.  Starting at Berry at the edge of the city of
Kingman,  Hualapai and Hackberry.  Found on top of the ground and below
the surface in the burned areas of trash sites.  Always close to the old
building footings or concrete slabs.  90% have been burned and all look
like they have been pulled.  We did find one in a old fence post on a
ranch close to Hackberry.

"Strange, at this point in time we have found very few duplicates at any
one site.  However these sites may have been hunted by others, years
past by."

You can contact Cathlene & Charles at

Date nails and books for sale

James Taylor, a collector active in the 1970's, is selling his nails and
books.  He has:


(1) A complete date set of Santa Fe nails:  one for every year
1901-1969.  He is selling this as a set---it will not be broken up.

(2) Many other Santa Fe nails, round square and pentagon, ranging in
date from 1907 to 1969.  Among the extras is a 10 lb bag of 1920-1950
Santa Fe nails.

(3) Santa Fe letters:  various X, both rnd R and rnd I ZM, and rnd I,
rnd R and sqr I ST.

(4) Wabash.  About 60 nails ca. 1930-1945

(5) Canadian National 26-28, 30, 34-39, 44-46

(6) Union Pacific 20, 25, 27, 29-36, a code 0, and two switch nails:
8FT/6" and 13'/6".

(7) Southern Pacific 27, 28, 30, 32, 33, 36-39, 42

(8) NYNH&H 23, 27-34

(9) Rock Island:  ninety four 25's

(10) Milwaukee Road 26-28, 30-32, 35-40, 63 (the 63 cannot be Milwaukee
Road---is this a typo?)

(11) Assorted nails:  The St. Louis Rocky Mountain & Pacific B6.  "6" =
1906, and "B" is probably the wood, perhaps Beech.  Also a rnd R W
(Tri-States Tel & Tel.), and a set of window markers 1-25


See the scan for a photo:

(1) Kriegh, _Date Nail Collector's Handbook_ (1971)

(2) Doud, _Date Nail Handbook and Price List_ (1971)

(3) Shaw, _And Now Its Nail Time_ (1971)

(4) Lewis, _Date Nails Brought Up to Date_ (1973)

(5) Lewis, _Date Nails Brought Up to Date, Vol 2_ (really the second
edition) (1975)

(6) Wiswell & Evans, _Date Nails Complete_ (1976)

(7) Glover, _The "Bobbed Wire" III Bible_ (1972)

(8) other papers, like two old TDNCA membership booklets

James has not made up prices for the items yet.  If you are interested,
you can contact him at:

James Taylor
20398 Donkey Sled Rd.
Bend, OR 97702
Tel:  541-617-9896
Fax:  541-617-9897


Subject: Nail Notes 12-20-00
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2000 09:46:42 -0600
From: Jeff Oaks <>
Organization: University of Indianapolis

Hi folks,
     The Fall 2000 Nailer News arrived in my mailbox yesterday, and not
a day too soon!  I'll give you a rundown on the contents, and I'll
include a number of other items.

The Shelbyville, KY nail show

Bruce Gordon, show host, has moved.  His new address and phone number
are on my web page:

The street name of the show location was spelled wrong before, too.  It
is Burks Branch Rd.  This should be corrected on the back cover of the
Nailer News, too.

The Nailer News, Fall 2000 contents

1-2    "What's Rare and What's Not!"  Our quarterly editorial by editor
Charles Sebesta is on rarity vs price, or supply vs demand of date
nails.  One thing I learned:  A bullseye 4R sold last year "by sealed
bid" fetched $751.00!  That's a record for a date nail.

2      "Is it a variation or a worn die?"  Jim Sinsley shows photos of
two NL/37's.  I think they are variations, Jim.  The NL on the second
nail is shifted left compared with the other nail.

3.     "From the Editor's Desk"  Nine minor pieces of information.

4-5    "Metal Detecting for Date Nails" by Tom Meyer.  Tom gives us tips
and four photos explaining this method of finding date nails.  He also
has a half page "Date Nails Needed"

6      "People", by Rolland Meyers.  Nice stories of actual human
contact in the nailing world.

7-14   "A series of articles" by me.  These include pieces I wrote about
in previous Nail Notes.  Among some new or improved pieces are "Spokane
International finds", "Delaware & Hudson nails", "The Maine Central (05)
30", and "The Boston Elevated Railway".

15-18  "Book Review" by me.  I review the book _The Wood Crosstie:  A
150 Year Success Story_ by Paul D. Webster.

19     New Members and a cartoon

20     An ad for the next nail show.

To subscribe to the Nailer News you need to join the TDNCA.  Dues are
$16.00 and should be sent to Jerry Waits, 501 W. Horton, Brenham, TX
77833 (409-830-1495).

Boston & Maine square raised 26's

Larry DeMatteo <> found some sqr R 26's on B&M.
This nail is listed under B&M in _Date Nails Complete_, and I had it
listed in my 1994 book _Date Nails by Railroad_.  I took it out of the
list by June 1995, though I don't remember why.  Let's reinstate it!  Add

2 1/2  x  1/4  sqr R      stl (07) 26

to Boston & Maine.

The Western Maryland copper Hubbard nail

If you don't know what a Hubbard nail is, see my book, page 5 of Vol I,
or _Date Nails Complete_.  Briefly, they are large headed nails used to
mark assorted information for poles.  The Western Maryland RR used a
copper Hubbard in poles along its tracks, and David Heise
<> took a photo of one.  Here is the pic:

David wrote "I have found two of these near Hagerstown, MD, on ex
Western Maryland Railway  lines, in telegraph poles, one with the
stamped number as shown and one  without.  The reverse has the word
"company" twice."

The 51 is probably the date.  The Hubbard nails are normally stamped
"HUBBARD COMPANY" under the head.  David's nails have the error "COMPANY COMPANY".

Collector has extras

Thomas H. Harding <> has been collecting since 1972
and has a strong collection of Sante Fe and Kansas City Southern nails.
He has many extras in those two collections, mainly Sante Fe.  Also he
has some LN, MO, & SP.

"I would be interested in trading or selling my extras.  I might be
interested in selling my entire collection."

You can contact him at:
Thomas H. Harding
P.O. Box 737
Ballinger, TX
915 365-3721
Fax 919 365-2342

Santa Fe elevation plate question

Steve Mc Cue <> in Tucson has the following question:

"I am looking for someone to explain the difference in some Santa Fe
elevation plates. I saw some on ebay right now that have the number
stamped on them. I have the same one as the #1 shown. However, mine has
a definite star stamped next to the 1 and the ones on ebay have no
stars. Just curious, why is this?"

I have never seen a star stamped in a plate, but then I haven't seen
many plates!
Grand Trunk tags

In the October 24, 2000 Nail Notes I included a link to photos of
aluminum tags in some new Grand Trunk ties:
(--1--) (--2--)(--3--) (--4--)(--5--)

Rae <> makes this comment:

"If the # disc's only went thru the switch, they are test ties, the
check out the stress of the switch, and how the condition of the the
ties hold up, cause the condtion of the  switch ties, went from new to
old #5's and I dont remember seeing that type throw rod before.  just a
guess"   ---And a good guess, I guess!

If I have forgotten to include an item for Nail Notes for one of you,
remind me---I am pretty disorganized at times.

Happy nailing and happy holidays,

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