The Virtual Corkscrew Museum's Weekly Newspaper

Sunday, June 25, 2006

News Index

Boyer Hammer

A corkscrew advertising "Boyer Air Hammer, Consolidated Pneumatic Tool Co."
and a 1936 Consolidated Pneumatic Tool catalog.

In 1895, Joseph Boyer (1848-1930) was granted his first British patent for "Improvements in Pneumatic and similar Hand Tools". A patent for a Pneumatic Hammer followed in 1897 and he had two additional patents in 1897 and 1900 for Pneumatic Tool Improvements. In 1901 his Pneumatic Hammer was patented in Austria. These patents set the stage for the firms "Chicago Pneumatic Tool" and "Consolidated Pneumatic Tool Co.", manufacturers and sellers of the famous Boyer Hammer.

Consolidated Pneumatic Tool manufactured industrial power tools until 1982 in Aberdeen, Scotland. This was followed by the closing of the Fraserburgh plant by the Chicago Pneumatic, the U.S.A. owners before Atlas Copco acquired the firm in 1987. The current Consolidated firm sells Chicago Pneumatic parts as well as Duff Norton lifting equipment. Today Consolidated Tool reports to its parent company Chicago Pneumatic Tool in Utica, New York, which in turn reports to the Industrial Technique division of Atlas Copco in Stockholm.

Advertising on the roundlet corkscrew.

Using Boyer's Air Hammer.

Rosie the Riveter Connection

Readers will quickly recognize Rosie the Riveter on the left but look what she is holding
on her lap on the Norman Rockwell May 29, 1943 Saturday Evening Post cover.
(On May 22, 2002, the Rockwell painting sold for more than $4.9 million)

Rosie action figure complete with Boyer Air Hammer.

An 1897 stock certificate from Consolidated Pneumatic Tool Co."

The Duff Norton Connection

Figrual bottle opener collectors will recognize the jack opener in our story. The Jack has the advertising "Jacks Duff Norton" on one side and "Jacks Pittsburgh USA" on the other .It was a souvenir of the Duff Norton radio program "The House that Jacks Built."

Although Joseph Boyer received patents for his improvements to pneumatic tools from 1897 to 1901, it was Charles Brady King of Detroit who first patented the pneumatic hammer (he also built Detroit's first car in 1896 with Oliver Barthel). King's pneumatic hammer was developed by a Milwaukee foundryman and, in 1901, the Chicago Pneumatic Tool Company (CP) was formed in Detroit. This new firm produced the "Boyer" and "Little Giant" pneumatic tools. In 1923 they became the agent for lifting jacks from the Duff Manufacturing Company of Pittsburgh. Duff merged with Norton of Illinois in 1928 to form the Duff-Norton Company.

CP obtain license from Duff-Norton products for manufacture of their products in the United Kingdom

The Burroughs Connection

Joseph Boyer also left a lasting impression with his involvement with the inventor William Seward Burroughs who invented the first practical adding machine in 1888. When Burroughs needed a place to make his product, Boyer gave him a bench space at his St. Louis Boyer Machine Shop. Burroughs died in 1898 and Boyer moved the Burroughs Adding Machine Company to Detroit. Boyer died in 1930 leaving a company that was going strong producing 150,000 adding machines annually.

Clark Gable's Corkscrew

New York, New York - In their June 22, 2006 Entertainment Memorabilia sale, Christie's of New York offered a corkscrew from the estate of Clark Gable. The catalog copy read "A 14K gold penknife with stainless steel blade, engraved on the handle with the initials C.G. -- 3in. long; accompanied by five other knives including: a silver sterling dagger with elaborately decorated handle and scabbard; a steel dagger with jewelled handle and leather sheath; and two hunting knives with wood and metal handles"

The hammer price for the lot was U. S. Dollars 1,600.

Editor's Note: Thanks to Mike Gordon for the heads up on this corkscrew sale.

A Nifty Challenge

Durham, North Carolina - When John Stanley saw the comment "How about a list of advertising on Nifty corkscrews? The list would no doubt be quite long. Any interest?" in the June 11 issue, he immediately responded with a long list of Nifty corkscrews. The editor added his and the list has already grown to 281 - a small number, perhaps, compared to what the final tally will be. The list indicates four types:

Vaughan's 1916 Nifty Patent
See: April 13, 2003

Vaughan's Nifty with Prestolite Key
See: May 8, 2003 for Prestolite story

Harding 1928 Patent
See: August 14, 2003

All other types

Check out the list by clicking here. Email additions to: Don Bull, Editor

Williamson "Flash" Project

Wirtz, Virginia - Williamson "Flash" Corkscrews reported to date number 334. For more information on this corkscrew and the project see May 23, 2006 issue.

We reported in the May 23 issue one souvenir "Flash" from "Chicago's New Zoo at Brookfield, Ill.". The zoo was founded in 1934 indicating that this corkscrew is from that period. Reader Bob Gilbride reported a "Flash" from Santa's Work Shop North Pole, Whiteface Mountain, New York An Internet search for Santa's Workshop found that it opened in 1949. That places this Flash on or after 1949. So the Souvenir "Flash" corkscrews span the period of at least 1934-1949.

Although many of the "Flash" corkscrew have unique scenes from the place name on them, many use generic pictures with the location overprinted. A native American chief, a beach scene, a woodland scene, and a sailboat are some of the generic types.

For pictures submitted to date see:

For the current "Flash" list see:

Does anyone have any advertising brochures for the "Flash"? Email additions and photos to: Don Bull, Editor

Travels with Bill & Elizabeth

Bonita Springs, Florida - Elizabeth Murphy reports "The street sign sure had our hopes up for a winery nearby. Three Oaks? Sounds like a winery to me! The Coconut Hyatt in Bonita Springs has the Corkscrew Cafe and the Corkscrew waterslide and nearby is The Corkscrew Emporium.....sadly, more burritos and tacos than corkscrews." (Photos by Elizabeth Murphy and "starring" Bill Murphy).

Only one way to go on Corkscrew Road!

The Hyatt Hotel offerings.

Bill says "No corkscrews in there - just Buritos and Tacos.

News Index

©2006 Don Bull, Editor


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