The Virtual Corkscrew Museum's Daily Newspaper

Friday, January 23, 2004

News Index

Unique U-Neek

Baltimore, Maryland - On this date in 1917, Wilson M. Brady was granted United States Patent Number 1,213,452 for his "Stopper-Extractor" invention. Brady had applied for the patent in January, 1915 when he was twenty-three years young. His goal was to "provide an improved construction of stopper extractor that will not mutilate the stopper during the extracting operation but will leave the stopper in practically as good condition ... as prior to its removal from the bottle."

Brady's patent was rather complicated detailing several parts that were not used in the final product know as the "U-Neek." The drawing shows four pins with their heads sandwiched between two plates. A third plate has four holes through which the pins are driven into the cork by pushing down on the top plate which slides up and down the stem. There is also a guide pin on the underside of the bottom plate. A spring in the stem retracts the upper plates and pins when not in use.

Once the pins are driven at their angle into the cork, the assembly is turned (or the bottle as Brady points out) breaking the adhesion between the cork and bottle. The cork can then be lifted out.

The production U-Neek is much simpler. The body is one cast piece. Three pins with heads are secured by a retaining ring. The pins are pushed individually into the cork. The handle has a crown cap lifter added.

News Index

©2004 Don Bull, Editor


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