The Virtual Corkscrew Museum's Daily Newspaper
Thursday, May 15, 2003
Marburg, Germany - A German firm that entered into the production of gas cork ejectors at an early stage was an old established firm founded in 1879 in Steinbeck-Hallenberg in Thuringia, Germany. The well-known manufacturer of corkscrews is Monopol at Frauenbergstrasse 33, 3350 Marburg, Germany. The firm is active today producing a wide variety of corkscrews. Their only attempt to market gas cork ejectors was in the early 1960s when they introduced the Kork-Ex. This sleek design was produced using aluminum blue oxidized casing. A small box wrench was supplied to remove the top for replacement of the "Sparklets" type gas cartridge. There were two versions: On the first a lever on the side was depressed to open the gas cartridge and on the second a button on the top was pushed down.
On February 14, 1963, Monopol filed an application for a patent on their Kork-Ex designed in the form of a rocket. The body was now a tapered design accompanied by a bayonet fit shield that served as a cork stripper. Assembled it would stand proudly on the bar like a small rocket to be launched. Once put to work, the bottom of the rocket hovered over the bottle directing the needle to the center of the cork. Once in the needle was fully inserted, the "nose cone" of the rocket was depressed and the cork was blasted out of the bottle. German Patent No. 1,872,302 was issued for the rocket on May 16, 1963. Monopol also produced a corkscrew with a similar design.
Like the Kork-ex, two versions of the Rocket were produced. The first was like the patent drawing and has a lever on the side which is used to open the gas cartridge. A locking collar near the top of the nose keeps it open for safety when the assembly is being turned into the cork. In the second version, the design has been simplified and the nose is depressed to activity the cartridge.
The rocket with the lever on the side had a three fin base which could be pulled off to pull the cork from the needle. The second model has four fins and a plate built into the top of the base, strips the cork from the base as it is being pulled off.
©2003 Don Bull, Editor