Puzzle, A Problem in Nails

Puzzle, A Problem in Nails

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Description
This disentanglement puzzle consists of two entangled bent nails that are to be separated. They fit in a paper envelope, distributed by the American Steel & Wire Company, a subsidiary of United States Steel. A mark on the envelope reads in part: A PROBLEM IN NAILS.
The American Steel and Wire Company became a division of U.S. Steel in 1901, and remained a division until 1964.
A solution to the puzzle is given in a 1920 A.C. Gilbert publication cited below. Slocum and Botermans discuss the history of the puzzle.
Compare MA.335296, MA.335928, and one of the puzzles in MA.335288.
References:
A.C. Gilbert Company, Book of Instructions for Use with Gilbert Puzzle Parties...., New Haven: A.C. Gilbert Company, 1920, p. 6. A copy of this booklet is online at gamearchives.org, accessed July 26, 2017.
Jerry Slocum and Jack Botermans, Puzzles Old & New: How to Make and Solve Them, Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1986, esp. p. 97.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
Puzzle
puzzle
date made
1901-1960
maker
American Steel & Wire Co.
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 1 cm x 9.8 cm x 7 cm; 13/32 in x 3 27/32 in x 2 3/4 in
ID Number
MA.335296
catalog number
335296
accession number
314637
Credit Line
Gift of Edith R. Meggers
subject
Mathematics
Mathematical Recreations
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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