The Virtual Corkscrew Museum's Daily Newspaper
Tuesday, June 24, 2003
Germany - On this date in 1976 Johannes Liebscher and Rolf Schülein were issued German Patent 2,628,352 for a frame type corkscrew with a rollover locking handle. The very detailed patent contains 15 pages of description and 2 pages on drawings. On January 23, 1979 the pair received U. S. Patent 4,135,415 for the corkscrew. The patent was assigned to and manufactured by Leifheit International GmbH in Nassau, Germany. Here is the abstract of the patent which is just a small portion of the numerous pages:
A corkscrew includes a support consisting of a supporting ring adapted to engage a neck of a bottle, and a support bracket connected to the supporting ring. An elongated spindle having a cork-engaging helix at its leading end and a threaded portion at its trailing end is mounted on the support for turning relative thereto and also for longitudinal displacement. A nut engages the threaded portion of the spindle and has handgrip portions, and a locking element embraces the nut and is pivotable relative thereto between a locking position in which it connects the nut to the spindle for joint turning and longitudinal displacement, and an unlocking position in which it releases the spindle for longitudinal displacment during the further turning of the nut. The locking element has an actuating portion which engages an abutment surface of the support when the helix has penetrated into the cork to the desired extent, the engagement of the actuating portion with the surface pivoting the locking element into its unlocking position whereupon the cork is drawn out of the bottle. A biasing arrangement, such as a torsion spring, is interposed between the nut and the locking element, urging the latter towards its locking position. The supporting ring has an elastic lining which contacts the neck of the bottle.
Did you actually read all of that? It just goes on and on and on!
Leifheit currently offers corkscrews under the Leifheit name and the Birambeau names.
Above: The Liebscher & Schülein corkscrew in original package and a page from the 1978 Leifheit catalog.
Letters to the Editor
On a Shoestring
Oregon - Regarding yesterday's "Can you open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew?":
Yes.... I have on many occasions and won many a bet. The cork puller is a bootlace with a large knot at one end, simply push the cork inside the bottle then slide the knot under the cork (it wants to float to the top) then pull like crazy. It really works.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida - Regarding yesterday's "Can you open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew?":
I have seen this idea in print several times before...and in one case, a repeated 'slap of the hand' on the base of the bottle was deemed to be enough to pop the cork. I personally don't believe that it works. About six years ago I tried striking the end of a bottle a couple of dozen times; nothing happened to the cork. I think the screwless person would be better served by wrapping the bottle in a tee shirt, smashing it with a stone, and allowing the wine to filter into a shoe or two.
©2003 Don Bull, Editor