The first 38 years of my career were spent in a joinery shop, during which time I came across wide varieties of nails, which I used to put aside. Word spread that I began collecting and many of my colleagues would bring me old or unusual nails, thereby enabling my collection to grow. I then changed my job to working for a construction company. This often involved the renovation of old farm buildings and public houses and once again, I began to find even more old and unusual nails, which have been detailed in the list.
When I started displaying them around vintage steam fairs, members of the public would donate to my collection. I also have two friends that are constantly on the look out for old nails to donate.
I also buy nails at antique fairs, boot sales and flea markets. Small amounts of nails are bought from dealers (mostly French nails).