The Virtual Corkscrew Museum's Weekly Newspaper

Sunday, September 3, 2006

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Danville, Illiniois - The small devil is 1 1/4" and the large devil is 1 5/8". Both have the letters H R D S with crossbones on the back of the head. Some time ago I googled for H R D S without success. Recently one with the original box appeared on eBay with these details:

Hall's Red Devil Skull Poison Bottle Indicator Corkscrew from the Hall Red Devil Skull Co., Danville, Ill. Also included is the original box that a 1/4 gross of the corkscrews came in (unfortunately this is the only Red Devil corkscrew that was in the box). The corkscrew is approximately 1 1/4" in length and is in pristine original condition with no problems of any kind ... The original price of the Red Devil was 3 cents.

H R D S = Hall Red Devil Skull - mystery solved!


Ancaster, Ontario, Canada - Reader Ron MacLean reports "On eBay I recently acquired a wonderful Clough 1876 patent wire type corkscrew clearly marked NETTLEFOLDS.

As illustrated on page 58 of William Rockwell Clough (MacLean & Nugent) from an article from the March 1880 issue of Scientific Canadian. I found it in July 1985 while doing corkscrew patent searches at the Toronto Metropolitan Library. Also shown page 59 in William Rockwell Clough another similar example along with other Clough corkscrews from page 3 “Wire Corkscrews Manufactured by Nettlefolds in 1923” in British Corkscrew Patents from 1795 by Fletcher Wallace.

It should be noted that the Nettlefolds example is the same size but lighter, made from 12 gauge wire, not the heavier 10 gauge wire used by W.R. Clough."

Editor's Note: For more information on William Rockwell Clough and order form, see:

Speaking of Clough!

Boston, Massachusetts - At first this cane from the Alf Erickson collection appears to be a made up piece - like someone had taken a Clough corkscrew, stuck some brass on it, and shoved it in the end of a walking stick. However....

...a little tug and twist on the brass reveals the wood handle with matching swirls. Then ...

... take a look at the ends of the brass covers. And ...

Now think about this ... Wouldn't this be a great advertising gimmick for the Batchelder Uniform Company? If so, how many were made? Or was it a special presentation piece for the company owner? Or for employees?

Yes, it is a made up piece but made up for some special reason.


In the Register of the United Garment Workers of America collection, 1893-1994 at Georgia State University there is a box labelled "Fred M. Batchelder Co. (Boston), 1944."

At the Jamestown Historical Society there are four pair of dark green pants which are part of Jamestown Bridge toll collector's uniform. The label on them is "Fred M. Batchelder Co., Boston, Mass."

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©2006 Don Bull, Editor


The Virtual Corkscrew Museum