The Virtual Corkscrew Museum's Daily Newspaper
Tuesday, May 27, 2003
Brooklyn, New York, May 27, 1862 - In his Patent Letters, Charles Chinnock has written "This invention is a simplification of all mechanical corkscrews, doing away with all combination screws, pinions, levers, or cams and using only the screw which pierces the cork as the power for lifting it." Chinnock's idea has been rewarded with United States Patent Number 35,362.
Chinnock explains the secret to his invention with "When used, the fame is placed on the top of the bottle, the shank and screw is pressed down to enter the cork, and the crank is then turned around forcing the screw into the cork till the shoulder strikes the top of the fame. As the downward motion of the screw is then stopped, the cork rises on the screw till it is drawn."
Although Chinnock describes a crank handle and uses one in his drawings, his corkscrews are made with a simple wood "T" handle. The markings can be found on the side of the opener barrel.
The Internet - On any given day a search for "corkscrew" on the ebay auction site will result in a view of around 2000 listings. Here are five recent sales of note.
Alfred Sperry's 1878 American Patent Lever Corkscrew - $2550
William Tucker's 1878 American Patent Lever Corksrew - $2400
Delavigne's 1872 French Patent - $1900
Louis Jenner's 1871 American Patent Picnic Corkscrew with watch key - $1500
William Brady's 1917 American "U-Neek" Patent - $975
Letter to the Editor
Regarding Peter Borrett's corkscrew inquiry in the March 23 issue - I acquired the same corkscrew about a year ago in Southern Ontario. The corkscrew was in its original fitted box. Unfortunately, the box and corkscrew are unmarked, but it appears to be the type of giftware box that was common in the 50s. I would also be interested in knowing more about this item if anyone has additional info to share.
Michael Williams, Canada
©2003 Don Bull, Editor