"I found quite a few references regarding the manufacture of nails and "sales" that were bartered to change hands. The letter below, written around 1650, concerns the trade in iron produced in ironwork in Massachusetts.
"...We acknowledge wth yow, that such a staple commodity as iron is a great meanes to enrich the place where it is, both by furnishing this place with thar commodity at reasonable rates, & by bringing in other necessary comodityes in exchange of iron exported....so if your iron may not be had heere without ready money, what advantage will that be to vs, if wee have no money to purchase it? Itt is true, some men have here Spanish mony sometimes, but little comes to our smiths hands, especially those of inland tounes...but if wee must want iron so often as our money fails, yow may easily judge if it were not better for us to procure it from other places (by our corn and pipestaves, &c) then to depend on the coming in of money, wch is neur so plentiful as to supply for that occacon...." Mass. Records, III, 92.
Nail history begins at 3500 BC!"