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Rosenberg Treasure: Texas Nail and Wire Company

Texas Nail and Wire Company

Rosenberg Treasure of the Month

Last Updated: January 4, 2021 by Rosenberg Library | History


This month, Rosenberg Library will exhibit a souvenir box of the first nails produced in January 1928 by the Galveston-based manufacturing company Texas Nail and Wire. The nails will be displayed on the library’s second floor near the east entrance.

First Wire Nails Manufactured in Texas
Souvenir nails from the first batch produced in Texas by Texas Nail & Wire Manufacturing Co. of Galveston. Rosenberg Library
Information Insert Included with Box of Nails
Informational insert included with the souvenir box of nails from Texas Nail & Wire Manufacturing Company, January 17, 1928. Rosenberg Library

Chartered in November 1927, Texas Nail and Wire Company operated a state-of-the-art factory adjacent to the Galveston port.  The sprawling plant was located along Harborside Drive between Piers 16 and 18, and the firm employed 60 workers.  Texas Nail and Wire was a subsidiary of Black Hardware (founded in 1910) and was managed by John L. Somers.

Texas Nail and Wire Company Factory
A portion of the Texas Nail and Wire Company factory can be seen on the right side of this ca. 1930 photo of Harborside Drive. Galveston and Texas History Center, Rosenberg Library

Between 1790 and 1810, various nail-making machines were introduced in the United States, and hand-forged nails were eventually replaced by machine-made types. Texas Nail and Wire produced nails using soft iron called “rod” made by Bethlehem Steel Company and shipped from Pennsylvania to Galveston. The plant was equipped with 60 nail-making machines, each of which could produce nails of various shapes and sizes. On average, each machine could generate several hundred nails per minute. In addition to nails, Texas Nail and Wire produced iron spikes for industrial use as well barbed wire for fencing.

Every week, several tons of nails were produced in Galveston. It was the only manufacturing plant of its type in the region, with the closest similar factory located approximately 700 miles away in Birmingham, AL.

In 1945, the Illinois-based Dickson Weatherproof Nail Company assumed ownership of Texas Nail and Wire. Dickson continued to produce nails in Galveston until its closure during the 1970s. The plant was razed in 1975.


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Rosenberg Library

Rosenberg Library has offered over a century of community service to the Galveston area, and is the oldest public library in Texas in continuous operation. The building itself was dedicated on June 22, 1904, the birthday of its patron, Henry Rosenberg. The Moody Memorial Wing opened in 1971, more than doubling the floor space and allowing for a children’s library, a history center, several galleries to showcase museum collections, and later, a computer lab. The Library accepted its first museum piece shortly after it opened in 1904. Since then, thousands of rare and interesting objects from around the world have been added to the collection. Each month they display a “Treasure of the Month”. Learn more by visiting the Rosenberg Library page and the Gifts of Henry Rosenberg section.

2021-01-04T13:19:14-05:00

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This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.

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