The Virtual Corkscrew Museum's Weekly Newspaper

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Number 522

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News Archive

Corkscrew Whistles

In the January 14, 2007 issue, we featured a gallery of whistles with corkscrews. A few more were added in the January 21 issue. Since then a number of whistles with corkscrews have turned up on Internet auction websites. Some are a bit curious and perhaps modern made examples. Whistle collector Avner Strauss sent us these photographs of whistles with corkscrews.

A French gold whistle travel corkscrew and a two finger pull with whistle sheath from a German steamship line.

Two roundlet tool kits.

Left: A German Nickel Silver or English Silver Roundlet. Right: A nickel plated corkscrew whistle roundlet.

Left: Railway conductor ticket puncher. Right: a picnic corkscrew from Argentina.

A brass picnic and a Wilson patent.

Interesting piece on the left and a brass t-handle on the right marked A. T. W. BOSTON.

Early iron and a simple picnic.

On the left is a recent purchase from Argentina. On the right is an 1899 Converse patent with a possible retrofit sleeve having a whistle. Avner points out that he has seen two from Argentina and one from Australia.

The one on the left appears to be some recent handiwork from Hungary. When that was pointed out to Avner, he responded "Yes. Of course. But it seems he is improving!" And more tomfoolery on the right.

??? Answers ???

In the June 8 issue we ran this picture with the questions below.

Do any readers have information on these corkscrews? Origin? Years produced? Similar pieces? Some of them have Scottish dress pouches. The black face is in a pouch imprinted "The Spirit of Friendship". Please email information to .

We received this photo from reader Bob Kimball:

The figure is dressed in a sailor suit and on the back of the pouch is "S.S. Himalaya". The SS Himalaya was built at Barrow-in-Furness by Vickers Armstrong and launched 5 October 1948. The passenger ship was frequently seen in Australian ports. In October 1974 it left Sydney Harbor for its final voyage to the scrapyards in Taiwan. This corkscrew is obviously a souvenir of the ship and dates somewhere between 1948 and 1974.

We received this photo from reader Bernard Lamot:

Bernard wrote "I have a sailor and the Scotsman has on his head a hat. I have no information on these corkscrews.

Reader Wally Mellors wrote "The Black Spirit of Friendship screw appears to be of different construction to the others. I have only the black one which appears to be made of casein with the features machined into the black dyed surface. I am not 100% sure as there are no obvious machining marks and the black surface appears to be undercut a little, but I have tried drilling a sample of Erinoid and the cut appearance seems similar. If it is Erinoid, and I don't want to spoil my sample by testing it, this would put the date anywhere from the 1930s to the 1950s, probably nearer the 1950s. When attacked with a hot iron, casein does not melt but burns with a characteristic smell.

We are inclined to agree with Wally that the corkscrews are 1950 but we are still looking for information on the manufacturer, place of manufacture, dates, and any other information on these corkscrew.

Can you help? Do you have any of these corkscrews? Send some pictures and any details. Thank you.

Screwless Cork Removal (SCR)

From reader Robert Cordy:

Years ago, our "club" rented a charter bus for a trip to a baseball game. The bus trip had been touted as including wine and appetizers to help while away the time during the long trip to the stadium. But alas, no one thought to bring the all essential cork removal device.

One enterprising gentlemen said "Not to worry" and he preceded to pound the bottom of an inverted wine bottle. After a few minutes of such bottle abuse, with the still unrelenting cork firmly ensconced in said bottle, the bottle was passed to other "pounders" for a continuing assault on the poor bottle and contents. But, after many, many minutes of such hard labor the cork started its trip out of the birth canal.

And alas, the bottle relinquished its fermented contents to the tired, sore fisted, travelers. All of this without any fatal arterial bleeding*


P.S. The Dodgers lost...

*See the New York Times article of April 25, 1853 in the June 8 issue.

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©2008 Don Bull, Editor


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