The Virtual Corkscrew Museum's Daily Newspaper
Wednesday, September 3, 2003
Hartford, Connecticut, September 3, 1878 - William W. Tucker has patented his "Improvement in Cork-Extractors." Tucker says to use his corkscrew, you start with the handle in the vertical position, then you turn the whole assembly to screw the worm into the cork. Once the ring meets the bottle neck, the foot engages the side of the bottle. to hold the device steady. The handle is then pulled down and the cork is extracted.
In his application Tucker includes an interesting description of the foot: "...a foot projecting downward, therefrom (the ring) and bifurcated, so as to (in a limited sense) embrace the neck of the bottle." We were awestruck by the word "bifurcated" so we had to look it up in our dictionary
Main Entry: bi·fur·cate
Pronunciation: 'bI-(")f&r-"kAt, bI-'f&r-
Inflected Form(s): -cat·ed; -cat·ing
Etymology: Medieval Latin bifurcatus, past participle of bifurcare, from Latin bifurcus two-pronged, from bi- + furca fork
transitive senses : to cause to divide into two branches or parts
intransitive senses : to divide into two branches or parts
- bi·fur·cate /(")bI-'f&r-k&t, -"kAt; 'bI-(")f&r-"kAt/ adjective .
Our vocabulary increased one-fold but we were not able to use it in a sentence.
The patent shows a handle with three "holes" as in the patent model shown above left. The produciton model has two holes and is marked with the patent date between the holes.
©2003 Don Bull, Editor