1913 NAIL STRIPPERThis Is The Forerunner Of The Units You See On Roofer's Tool Belts About the turn of the century, especially in California, the growth of commercial agriculture began to boom. Both fruits and vegetables were packed in wooden crates and lots of crates were needed. Today most of the boxes are cardboard or plastic. T were no nail guns or power staplers in those days as it was all done by hand labor. The crates were assembled and nailed by hand. When nails were purchased, they were furnished in kegs filled with bulk nails. If youâe(tm)ve ever tried to use bulk nails, theyâe(tm)re slow to pull out of the pile and they will wipe your hands out in short order. In 1913, a man named Dick Smith invented this nail stripper. You dumped a handful of the bulk nails into it, shook it a little and the nails dropped into several slots with the heads all up top. If you lifted the slotted unit up fast enough on its pivot, the nails would drop into two more slots ready to be grabbed and hammered into the crates. This is a simple idea, but when you look at this unit, youâe(tm)ll really appreciate the amount of precision fabrication and soldering that it took to build it. It even has an adjustment for the size of the nails. The entire thing is enclosed in a self-contained folding box that measures 8 by 17 inches. The second part that you see in the photo that looks like an elongated dustpan with a tin bottom, sits under the slots and catches any nails that might escape when youâe(tm)re working fast. When you catch enough nails, you pull the pan out and dump them back into the slots. It also can be used to clean up the nails on the workbench. Tâe(tm)s one of these nail strippers in the Vacaville Museum in California if you want to see one. If you were doing the nailing in those days, this great little unit would really speed up your work and make it a lot easier on your hands.
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