The Virtual Corkscrew Museum's Daily Newspaper
Tuesday, April 15, 2003
Over the Top
Chicago, Illinois, April 15, 1924 - Vaughan Novelty Manufacturing of Chicago was founded in 1910 as the Crown Throat & Opener Company. At the time they produced a number of pocket type cap lifters. Their line now includes a wide range of products including a combination button hook bottle opener, screw driver and cigar cutter; the "Dairy" lifter; a can opener with bottle opener and corkscrew; the "Dainty" corkscrew; an "Over the Top" opener; the "Perfection" opener, the "Never Chip" wall mount plus several key style and figural openers. But none of these products has found as much success as the "Nifty."
The "Nifty" is a combination cap lifter and corkscrew which was patented by Harry L. Vaughan on December 5, 1916 (U. S. Patent No. 1,207,100). Millions of them have been produced and stamped with hundreds of different advertisements for Vaughan customers. A counter display of Nifty openers reads "Heavier, Stronger, Better. Nickel-plated. The easy way to start a cork, lift up on handle. Sold all over the world."
Harry has now come up with a new bottle opener that has a much larger surface for advertising and can snap the cap off a bottle in the blink of an eye. This latest Vaughan invention is a lever-like bar which has a hook to engage the bottle cap. The opener is placed over the bottle cap with the hook under one edge of the cap. Pressing the handle down removes the cap. Today Vaughan received United States Patent Number 1,490,149.
Vaughan intends to market the product under the name "Over the Top." The opener can also be made with a corkscrew affixed to the underside of the lever. Vaughan says "The ever growing business coming to me from all sections of the world, serves to increase the feelings of responsibility I have always felt towards my friends among the Bottlers. Their loyalty incurs upon me the duty not only of maintaining the quality and service that brings me their yearly specifications, but of constantly improving, by every possible means, the machinery of factory and office by which I serve these valued friends."
What are these?
The answers will appear in tomorrow's edition of The Daily Screw.
©2003 Don Bull, Editor