The Virtual Corkscrew Museum's Weekly Newspaper

Sunday, November 23 , 2008

Number 538

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Corkscrews from Down Under

Hobson Corkscrews

Australian collector Ian Hunter visited the office of The Weekly Screw several weeks ago. Armed with an uncanny memory and ability to quickly spot Australian corkscrews he noted a few. There were, of course, the usual batches of cow horn corkscrews with spikes - one of which was marked Jameson and he coveted it for his own collection. Vowing to find something to trade for the Jameson, he went back down under. Today a package arrived with two of the corkscrews pictured above. With this note:

"You have a brown one marked HOBSON and MADE IN AUSTRALIA (top center of photo) squirreled away in a drawer otherwise filled with horn handle corkscrews. All Hobson corkscrews have a worm which screws into the shaft half way up the shaft and writing moulded into the plastic handles. They were made in the 1950s in Melbourne by the H. R. Hobson company which is now long gone. I am sending you two of these with advertising moulded into the handle."

"The first one advertises 'S. Wynn & Co., Coonawarra Estate, Modbury Estate" which is now a defunct winery although the name survives as a well-known brand."

"The second one advertises 'McWilliams Wines' which is still a prominent Australian winery."

Thank you, Ian. We were not aware that this corkscrew was used for advertising purposes in Australia.

Can Openers

Ian also sent two Australian can openers. He wrote:

"The first can opener I am sending is 'The Kwalty' which has a 1936 Australia patent. Very faintly above 'Kwalty' it is marked PAT NO. 21636. "

"In your bin full of can openers, you have a basic can opener marked PERSINWARE KWALTY MADE IN AUSTRALIA which I swapped with you a few years ago."

"The second can opener I am sending is marked HENRY LANE TRADE MARK."

"Although the 'Henry Lane' is a standard design, it is much harder to find than the Lane's Patent shown in The Virtual Corkscrew Museum at"

Finally, Ian writes "I expect you to now have the best collections of Australian corkscrews in the United States!"

Thank you, Ian. We are pleased the Jameson corkscrew is going home to Australia.

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©2008 Don Bull, Editor


The Virtual Corkscrew Museum