The Virtual Corkscrew Museum's Weekly Newspaper

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Number 485

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Donally's Perfect Cork Extractor

Reader Mark Woodard found the Donally advertisement in the October 1896 issue of the Brewers' Journal. Donallly Manufacturing Co. produced bottling equipment and was located at the corner of Bedford and Downing Streets in New York. During the 1890s Melvin and Amalia Donally patented a dozen plus inventions including bottle filling apparatus, bottle washing machines, and a bottle labeling machine.

The extractor was patented by Bernard Tormey of New York City on November 25, 1890 (No. 441,604). He shaped the handle so "it may be utilized to press a cork lodged in an unfavorable position in the neck of the bottle so that it will be forced downward into the body of said bottle to enable it to be readily extracted." He further notes "The device can be used for extracting corks from full bottles, jugs, &c., or from empty ones in which the cork has been pushed inward into the same."

Pinback Corkscrew

On July 21, 1896 George B. Adams of Irvington, New Jersey was granted U. S. Patent No. 564,356 for a pinback button. The patent was assigned to the Whitehead & Hoag Company. Reader Mark Woodard recently purchased a pinback badge with a twist. He found it in an online auction website of Americana and Collectibles. The pinback has the face of R. V. Pierce, M. D. - it has a corkscrew instead of a straight pin. It is quite apparent that this was a variant of the Adams patent and most likely used by customers who purchased Dr. Pierce's patent medicines in corked bottles.

Copy on the badge is "R. V. Pierce M. D., Pres. World's Dispensary Medical Ass'n".

Dr. Pierce was the author of The People's Common Sense Medical Adviser. The book was first published in 1895 and continued to be printed for many years with sales exceeding one and one half million copies.

In the October 10, 1895 edition of the Ann Arbor Register Dr. Pierce’s Favorite Prescription was reviewed with "The two most critical times in a woman’s life are the times which makes the girl a woman, and the woman a mother. At these times, Dr. Pierce’s Favorite Prescription is of incalculable value. It strengthens and invigorates the organs distinctly feminine, promotes regularity of the functions, allays irritation and inflammation, checks unnatural, exhausting drains, and puts the whole delicate organism into perfect condition. Almost all the ills of womankind are traceable to some form of what is known as 'female complaint.' There are not three cases in a hundred of woman’s peculiar diseases that Dr. Pierce’s Favorite Prescription will not cure."

A Plea for Help

In the past 4 1/2 years, The Weekly Screw has given you almost 500 issues of corkscrew news and it cost you nothing. You have seen over 4500 photos and hundreds of pages of corkscrew information - for free. Since 1994 The Virtual Corkscrew Museum has been built to over 2500 webpages and over 10000 photos. That, too, cost you nothing.

So now, I need a favor. Can you help? I'm looking for a corkscrew. It has a really crappy worm and might very well have found itself into the junk boxes of some collectors. Can you take a look in your collection / junk box for me? Thanks to readers Jack Poncelet, Barry Taylor, Sam Giori, Carroll Johnson, and Sal Robinson, I now have five of the corkscrew pictured in the 1950s Pal-Bell catalog. Here are the five:

As you can see, they all have the same crappy worm. Here's the picture from the catalog page with all but the one I need, Xed out:

Here's a larger picture of the one I want which appears to be the ugliest of the lot:

So, can any of your readers help??? Please email Don Bull, Editor.

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©2007 Don Bull, Editor


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