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Bishop, J. Leander (John Leander), 1820-1868 / A history of American manufactures from 1608 to 1860 : exhibiting the origin and growth of the principal mechanic arts and manufactures, from the earliest colonial period to the adoption of the Constitution : and comprising annals of the industry of the United States in machinery, manufactures and useful arts, with a notice of the important inventions, tariffs, and the results of each decennial census
Volume 3 (1868)

Manufactures of Taunton,   pp. 319-331

Page 326

were granted before the close of the last century for cutting or cutting
and heading nails, brads, etc. The first in which the two operations
were combined was obtained by Isaac Garretson, of Pennsylvania, in
November, 1796. In May of that year, Peter Zacharie, of Maryland,
registered a patent for cutting nails and brads. The machine of Ezekiel
Reed, first mentioned, as it was afterwards improved by his son, Jesse
Reed, of Kingston, Massachusetts, and others, was one of the most
valuable pieces of mechanism ever devised for the purpose, and is ex-
tensively used at this time. Of numerous patents granted to Jesse
Reed for improvements connected with nail making and other mechan-
ical operations, the first in this branch was registered in June, 1801,
and was for making nails out of heated rods. le obtained ten addi-
tional patents between that time and 1825, chiefly for cutting and head-
ing nails and tacks, the first bearing date February, 1807, and including
a wheel appliance in 1809. The addition of nippers to Reed's machine
was the subject of a patent to S. Chubbuck, of Massachusetts, in 1835.
The patent right to his machine, which completed the nail at one ope-
ration, was purchased by Thomas Oldwine and others, of Massachu-
setts, who put upwards of twenty machines in operation at Malden,
Massachusetts, and established two other factories in the iron region
of the Schuylkill valley in Pennsylvania, which subsequently became
the principal nail producing region of the Union. Fifty-two machines
in operation in these establishments were capable of making fifteen
hundred tons of nails annually, with the aid of sixty men and boys.
The machine was afterwards adapted to cutting brads by Oldwine. In
1816, Red patented a tack machine, or an improvement on the old
one, which enabled a single hand with one machine to cut and head at
a single operation sixty thousand tacks in a day. These machines, to
which Reed added in 1825 a feeding apparatus, were already in opera-
tion at Pembroke and at Abingtop, Massachusetts. At the latter
place, in 1815, one hundred and fifty millions of card tacks were made.
We may add that among the early patents for this manufacture was
one granted in 1805 to Increase Kimball, for a machine for making
nails, brads, and sprigs, for which originality has been claimed.
The great value of the cut nail machinery thus introduced, and per-
fected at great labor and expense, was first brought to the notice of the
public in the report of Albert Gallatin, Secretary of the Treasury, on
the manufactures of the United States, made to Congress in 1810. He
there stated that two-thirds of the whole quantity of iron flattened by
machinery, in the United States, was used in the manufacture of cut
nails, which had extended throughout the whole country, and being
altogether an American invention, substituting machinery for manual

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