As Lost Art Press reports, company director Luc Kemp "is running the factory as it was in 1888 as much as possible." Check out their antique-but-functional production machinery, some of which have names: Why vegetable oil?
Nails have better flexibility and can bend as the wood moves. Not always: Modern-day nails, which are made from cut wire and have chisel points, can split the wood as you drive them in.
Recently there's been a bit of excitement in the community as Maine-based Lie-Nielsen Toolworks has announced they're going to start carrying forged nails from Rivierre, a French company that has been manufacturing nails since 1888—and still operates out of their original 19th-Century factory!
Nails are sometimes referred to by their length in inches, but more often the traditional terminology of the penny is used.
Dating from the days when nails cost a lot more than they do today, the term penny identifies the size of a nail.
The largest common nails are colloquially known as spikes. Box nails are generally available in lengths from one inch to three and a half inches. Finishing nails are (surprise, surprise) used for finish work.
When the nailhead will show in the final product (as with moldings, for example), finishing nails are often used because their barrel-shaped heads are small and can be driven below the surface of the wood using a nail set (a technique called countersinking).
Nails are made of brass, aluminum, and copper, though most often of steel.
The steel may be plain or galvanized, the latter being the right choice for damp applications where a rust-resistant nail is required.
The idea, which was originally conceived in 2014, is the work of developers at North Carolina State University who wanted to find a way to help their female friends stay safer while dating and going to bars.