The Virtual Corkscrew Museum's Daily Newspaper

Saturday, July 19, 2003

News Index

White & Winkler

Newark, New Jersey - In March of 1903, Frank White and Fred Winkler applied for a patent on their new can opener. On this date in 1904 United States Patent 765,450 was issued to the pair and Fred assigned his rights to Frank. The thrust of their "Can-Opener" patent was to provide a tool that could cut the tops off cans either in a circle or a straight line with a means for catching the cut portion. While it was not a part of their claim, the head of the implement included a bottle cap lifter.

The tool was marketed under the name Sure-Cut and was produced with a variety of shapes of wood handles. Some of the handles were drilled out on the end to accommodate a Cllough wire type corkscrew. The tool was also sold for advertising purposes with the round handle allowing plenty of room for a message. One Detroit, Michigan example reads "Compliments of The Peerless Products Company, Manufacturers of High Grade Liquid Malt Extract Already Prepared, 3520 Mitchell Near Gratiot, Phone Melrose 2464, 5046, 5047, We Deliver."

The bar of the handle is marked "SURE-CUT" CAN OPENER PAT. 7-19-04. Two versions of the head can be found. The first like the patent drawing has a slot to slide it onto the bar and it is held in place by one rivet. It is marked CAP LIFTER CAN OPENER. The later version required less bending to manufacturing by eliminating the slot and fastening the head with two rivets. The head was also used on the more common type loop metal handle.

Special Feature

My First Screw by Josef L'Africain

I started collecting corkscrews because of being assigned a magazine article* on a antiques dealer in Georgetown. After seeing the hundreds and hundreds of corkscrews in his shop, I decided to try finding them on my own. I place a maximum limit of five dollars on my purchases. My First Screws were found in Damariscotta, Maine. There were actually two of them: A Haff patent with the patent applied for mark and a double helix Clough corkscrew. Funny thing was, I regretted buying the double helix shortly after picking it up. It was so perfect, I thought it was new.

*Click here for Josef's Article.

Letter to the Editor

Gone Fishin' Revisted

Yesterday's "Gone Fishin' Revisted" reminded me of my 1997 buy in Costa Rica. A nice fishing and hunting knife from Brazil.

Jean Grignon, Quebec, Canada

News Index

©2003 Don Bull, Editor


The Virtual Corkscrew Museum