Door panel detail, door into addition.

Door detail from house on Michael Korns, Sr. farm

This door was from the west end of the north wall of the old house on the Michael Korns, Sr. farm in Southampton Township, Somerset County PA. This door was on the first story, and entered into the wing addition that at one time extended from the north wall.

My belief is that this is a post-circa 1883 door that was installed at the time of the addition of the north wing of the house. Note the wire finishing nails that retain the molding around the panels. Also note the round-headed wire nail in the frame of the door. In this fragment from the same original photo, one can see a round-headed wire nail in the gray-painted door frame. Wire nails like these weren't used in the United States until circa 1883.

Henry C. Mercer's 1923 article "The Dating of Old Houses" says that machine-made doors can be identified by molding that is nailed around the door panels, which is clearly the case in this door. For a complete copy of the article, click here, but be forewarned that it is a 4680KB PDF file and will take a long time to download. The nailed-on molding means the door was made no earlier than circa 1835. The wire nails mean that the door was made no earlier than circa 1883. The door isn't original to the construction house, in my opinion.

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