The Virtual Corkscrew Museum's Daily Newspaper
Monday, May 26, 2003
The Father of the Waiter's Friend
Rostock, Mecklenberg, Germany - On this date in 1882, Carl Friedrich Albert Wienke obtained German Patent Number 20,815 for his single lever corkscrew. Wienke's corkscrew design became so popular that it has since the invention been copied and re-engineered many times over. Because it could be easily collapsed and stored in a pocket for convenient retrieval, it gained instant fame with waiters worldwide. Wienke was undoubtedly the "Father of the Waiter's Friend."
Through the efforts of Rudolph Dolberg, the following April, Wienke got a British Patent (No. 2,022), in May a French Patent (No. 155,314), and in August an American Patent (No. 283,781).
Wienke's priority claim was "A corkscrew composed of a handle provided with a spring, an arm pivoted at one end thereof, constructed to be seated upon the upper edge of the neck of a bottle, and serving as a fulcrum for said handle, and a corkscrew pivoted to the handle in rear of the fulcrum-arm, both the latter and the corkscrew being adapted to be closed upon said handle."
Three different markings from Wienke corkscrews. The first two are on the handle and the third on the neckstand.
Solingen, Germany - Exactly fifteen years after Carl Wienke, Father of the Waiter's Friend, obtained his patent, German Registered Design Number 76,642 was issued to Eduard Becker. Becker was already well-known for his split frame corkscrew marketed under the name "Columbus" and had been licensed by Wienke to manufacture his corkscrew.
Two different "Hebel" markings from Becker corkscrews.
©2003 Don Bull, Editor