For this edition of Collection Selections, we’re taking a look at this early 1900s Pearson’s Nailer, a predecessor to the modern nail gun. To use it: simply fill the upper canister with nails, shake and tap it until they’ve fallen into their respective slots, and strike the punch rod to drive consecutive nails below.
The beauty in this design lies in several details such as the elegant fibonacci-curled springs, a simple mechanism to allow one nail at a time to pass into the chamber with each strike, as well as the converging nail channels mimicking a tributary to minimise jamming.
Patent # 876,086
Martin Pearson patented his first nailer design in 1892, improving upon it in the early 1900s to develop the one you see above. While it was unfavourable for its initial purpose of nailing shingles, the invention found popularity in the production of crates the following decades. When this piece was donated to the museum in 1977, the donor believed it had previously been used at a local farm.
Read more from the Robbinsdale Historical Society (where the nailer was produced).