The Virtual Corkscrew Museum's Weekly Newspaper

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Number 518

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You can't pick up a newspaper or read on line news today without finding something about the increase in gas and food prices. Inflation has been a big concern for many generations. The clipping above is from a 1951 newspaper and the clipping below is from a 1979 newspaper.

Exploding Sparklets

Cesare Preve from Genova, Italy submitted this photo and reported "This product exploded in our home in Italy. We were lucky that the damage was limited and only slightly hurt my daughter-in-law .We don't remember where it comes from, probably a present from long time ago. The purpose of this message is only to tell you that these gadgets are VERY dangerous and to help you avoid other people to get hurt."

The Sparklets Corkmaster was manufactured by British Oxygen Company's Sparklet Works from the 1960s until 1981. Yes, they can be lethal - Leland Industires of Stirling, New Jersey was the U. S. distributor for the BOC Sparklets Works. Leland Stanford, President of Leland wrote, "Leland sold about 500,000 of the Corkmasters in the U. S. market. Interestingly enough, the largest consumer of the Corkmasters was the Department of Defense. These were used by elite military groups, which allowed them to silently kill the enemy by injecting CO2 into their bloodstream thus causing an embolism; death followed shortly."

In the final scene of the 1971 James Bond film Diamonds are Forever, Bond (played by Sean Connery) and Tiffany Case (played by Jill St. John) are offered a gourmet dinner. Mr. Wint (Bruce Glover) presents a bottle of wine to Bond and then prepares to open it. The threatening look above shows him ready to stab the cork with a Sparklets Corkmaster.

Giant Rosati

Ron MacLean writes "We recently received an advertisement for California wines with our newspaper. In one picture (attached) is a large Rosati type artwork with feet and a short Archimedean helix with a terribly mismatched rack & pinion."

Swamp Auger

Marilyn MacLean's Red Tailed Helix in the May 11, 2008 issue reminded us of this 1922 newspaper clipping. Ron MacLean added this footnote "Marilyn was just given the Red Tailed Helix Saturday morning by a good friend who made it for her from various old parts. You can't see in the picture but the wings are three different sized horseshoes on each side, the body a cast steel pipe with the head a heavy ratchet gear. The feet are lag screws welded to a 1/2" steel legs."

Perhaps the Swamp Auger can still be found in the "great woods of the North"!

Another Loss

June 2005 Binney Visit to Virginia

The Corkscrew World has lost another member. Fred Kincaid reports "I am sorry to inform you that Derek Binney has died after a long battle with cancer. Derek’s wife, Louise, called Nick Hunt yesterday; he will forward more details later. How sad it is to lose two of our collecting friends in the last week. Earlier this week, Barbara Ellis reported that former ICCA member Frank Ellis died of cancer Sunday."

Derek (b. 1954) was a member of the ICCA, the CCCC, and the Australian club OCCA (Organised Corkscrew Collectors of the Antipodes). He said his collection was "evolving" and he specialized in early steel and mechanicals.

Binney goes for a Smith Mountain Lake swim

News Index

©2008 Don Bull, Editor


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