The Virtual Corkscrew Museum's Daily Newspaper
Friday, June 13, 2003
Tongues vs Prongs
Bad Neustadt, Germany, June 13, 1989 - Wolfgang Tischler got German patent number 8,704,060 on March 18, 1987 for his prong cork remover. Today he was granted United States Patent Number 4,838,128 under the title "Bottle Opener". Tischler's idea of using prongs to insert on either side of the cork to remove it is nothing new. The idea has been around for over 100 years. Tischler complains that previous examples are difficult to use as each metal tongue, as he calls them, must be freely inserted and it takes two hands to accomplish it. Once one tongue is inserted, the other must be fixed in place and the whole assembly wiggled to get the tongues in place. This then may cause a loose cork to be pushed into the bottle.
Tischler solves the problem by constructing a guide sleeve that can be placed over the bottle neck. He contends that once the sleeve is in place, the sliding halves of the top assembly with prongs attached, can be shoved down individually between the cork and the bottle. The prongs bulge inward keeping the cork jammed in place and thus easy to extract.
It is interesting to note that in his patent application, Tischler refers to his invention a number of times as a "corkscrew" even though there is not "screw" present.
©2003 Don Bull, Editor