The Virtual Corkscrew Museum's Weekly Newspaper
Sunday July 1, 2007
At the Dentist
Ever had one of those awful toothaches where you could sympathize with the pain these corkscrew characters are suffering?
You could try to ease the pain with the Red Cross Toothache Outfit. The early product cost 25 cents and included "cotton pellets, tweezers, corkscrew and Red Cross Toothache Drops." Later the Red Cross Chemical Works changed to a screw cap and upped the price to 30 cents. Instructions were "Use the tweezers to moisten one of the cotton pellets slightly with Red Cross Toothache Drops and place pellet gently in cavity."
Red Cross Chemical Works of Chicago filed for their "Red Cross" trademark on May 25, 1937. The term had been in use since 1876.
The manufacturer noted "This product is not affiliated with or sponsored by the American National Red Cross."
A postcard mailed in Prague in 1901.
If the toothache drops don't cure the problem, one may have to result to tooth extraction. George McCombs invented a scary corkscrew like device for this purpose:
George F. McCombs of Connersville, Indiana applied for a patent for his "Dental Tool for Extracting Lower Molars on October 25, 1920.
He likens his tool to a corkscrew with "Upon swinging the instrument toward the anterior of the jaw, the sharp and substantially pointed edge 18 of the cutting member cuts back toward the root, while the poined end of the lever is forced down on the buccal side of the tooth in such a position that by giving a twist to the instrument in the manner of a cork screw, the lever will lift and pry the tooth loose and case it to be twisted and forced out of the jaw bone."
Just like taking a cork out of a bottle!
U. S. Patent No. 1,389,954 was granted September 6, 1921.
Holy Smokes - Part 2
The May 11 issue had a story about Charles Bartholomew's patent for a combination pipe and corkscrew. We finally caught up with Charles in Pilar, New Mexico where he is now developing his website, pipescrew.com to sell his product. In an email to The Weekly Screw, Charles wrote "You may be happy, or just amazed to find out that the "Pipescrew" is quite a success. It seems that a lot of people can envision smoking a pipe and having a need for a corkscrew, of course I don't know what they are smoking." He attached a photo of the finished product:
Bartholomew's website offers this description "The pipescrew is a unique item, comprised of both pipe and corkscrew. It allows you to enjoy two of your favorite pastimes in style. It is artistically rendered from the finest Rosewood, beautifully finished and comes in it's own carrying pouch. It travels easily in a pocket, purse or glove compartment."
©2007 Don Bull, Editor