The Virtual Corkscrew Museum's Weekly Newspaper
Sunday, July 2, 2006
New York, New York - On August 2, 1949 Louis Strauss was granted United States Patent Number 2,478,063 for his "Utility Tool Kit." Details were published in the August 2, 2003 edition of The Daily Screw. The tool has now been "reborn" and is offered by www.byrdknife.com.
Current advertising from Byrd
Editor's note: For a full size view of the Byrd Harp click here (PDF file).
New Swiftpull Pro
Salinas, California - In April Frank Chiorazzi Sr. of Franmara sent us a new Swiftpull Pro for comments. With the expiration of the Screwpull Lever Model patents, many copies followed. Frank was amazed that they all replicated the mechanism in terms of the spiral and its matrix. He pointed out "...when the first Screwpull Lever Model came out, all corks were natural. The machine performed well." He says it is more difficult to insert the hollow core Teflon coated spiral into the plastic injected and extruded corks. It is even more difficult to remove the corkscrews from the worm.
Franmara did extensive testing and found the auger type helix was the most reliable for all types of corks. The corkscrew they sent for comments is from the first limited production of 100 pieces. We have now used the Swiftpull Pro as our "go to" corkscrew for two months. We have had excellent results on all types of corks. We even drove a dry cork into an empty bottle a number of times to torture test it. The speed worm entered the cork effortlessly. In every case it extracted the corkscrew with ease. We did have one minor problem when the worm entered at a slight angle and broke the cork. That was all fault for not clamping the grips properly. We brought this to Frank's attention and this was his response:
"The matrix at the bottom was opened up to avoid making a new mold and still allow the auger worm to pass through freely. But the worm itself should be centered. The problem with this type of extractor is the handle grips clasped around the bottle assumes the grip will be true vertical. But it doesn't always happen. On average it happens but those outside rims on some bottles push it to one side or the other by a few degrees. Then you could get an angular insertion. These angular insertions with the open spiral worm can be machine or spiral breakers because the cork will not come off the spiral easily. The auger worm should go into corks easier and come off easier. The problem we encounter regarding centering seems to with the inner rubber grips that hold the bottle in place. You will notice there are two extra pieces (one on each side) of rubber sheet added there. There are two reasons: (1) to cope with the diverse configurations of outside bottle rims by creating a greater cushion that will allow "squeezing" to vertically align the opener with the cork. (It doesn't always work because the "squeezing" on some bottle configuration still makes the spiral go in a few degrees off center.) (2) The extra rubber makes the little black pins on each side of the rubber bumper extend outward. Only then will the opener extract without just backing out of the cork."
Now we hold the Swiftpull Pro properly and grip the bottle properly. As a result, we have no problems using this terrific machine.
We give the Swiftpull Pro:
4009 Chain Bridge Road, Fairfax, Virginia
Corkscrew Café, 51 W. Main St., Dahlonega, Georgia
Corkscrew Café, 55 Carmel Valley Rd. Carmel Valley Village, California
1919 Washington, Houston, Texas
The Corkscrew Inn, 2735 West 2nd, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
A five star bed and breakfast in the Kitsilano area close to downtown Vancouver.
Bottlescrew Bill's Old English Pub, 140 10 Avenue S.W., Calgary, Alberta, Canada
45 Graham Street, Central, Hong Kong
C. Giulio Cesare 47 - 10152 Torino, Italy
The Corkscrew Bar, Gregans Castle Hotel, Ballyvaughan, Co Clare, Ireland
Kustlaan 37, 8300 Knokke, West Flanders, Belgium
5, rue des Tailleurs de Pierre 67000 Strasbourg, France
2930 Pierre-Peladeau Laval, Quebec, Canada
The Cellar Club Bar at The Biltmore Hotel, Coral Gables, Florida is a members only club with annual dues of $495. It was formerly called the Corkscrew Bar.
Elgin, Illinois - Reader Joe Young reports "Have you ever seen a corkscrew picket fence? I haven't, but here is a wood handled Williamson corkscrew with advertising for 'The Cork Screw Picket Makes the best Fence' on one side and 'The Wilson Wire Fence Co. Holly, Mich. - Write for a Catalogue' on the other. I called the Holly, Michigan, library but they had no record of the Wilson Wire Fence Co. Maybe somebody out there in corkscrewland can help with more information.
Corkscrew Mystery Follow-up
Wirtz, Virginia - In the June 18, 2006 issue we asked about a formed metal corkscrew with over-the-top style cap lifter advertising "Moxie".
Reader John Stanley reminisced to the editor "If I did not let you know when we traded, the Moxie corkscrew came out of a New York City estate sale. The lady selling it also had an Electro-Chemical Engraving slider corkscrew. I assumed the owner may have had some connection with Electro Chemical and the Mystery Moxie corkscrew may be a promotional piece manufactured by Electro Chemical. They also produced a slide-out Moxie opener with very similar characteristics (formed metal, engraving, etc.)."
Slide out opener similar to the Moxie Mystery Corkscrew
Editor's note: Watch for an informative article on Electro-Chemical Engraving in an upcoming issue of The Weekly Screw."
Wirtz, Virginia - It is Independence Day (July 4) weekend in the United States. Sam and Kathy Lipscomb from Wilmington, North Carolina stopped by the Bulls' Corkscrew Museum for a nice visit to share a few corkscrew stories.
Don (left) and Sam play "Guess which corkscrew I'm holding behind my back."
Readers of The Weekly Screw are currently working on two corkscrew cataloging projects.
Updated June 29, 2006: The Williamson "Flash" souvenir corkscrew project began with the May 23, 2006 issue. The project has a list in PDF format (http://www.bullworks.net/daily/flashlist.pdf) and a pictorial catalog (http://www.bullworks.net/daily/flashpix.pdf).
Updated June 29, 2006: The "Nifty" project began with the June 25, 2006 issue. For these corkscrews there is only a list (http://www.bullworks.net/daily/niftylist.pdf).
The pages of both projects will be updated from time to time and notice will appear at the bottom of each issue of The Weekly Screw. Readers are encouraged to review the lists and submit their additions to Don Bull, Editor.
©2006 Don Bull, Editor