David Houck's Waiter's Friend

David Houck writes: We just purchased a waiter's friend that is similar to one pictured on page 175 in The Ultimate Corkscrew Book. It is the second from the bottom on the left and the one pictured says "Old Comfort". The one we bought is heavy iron including the worm. It is marked "Germany" on the cutter on one side and the other side is marked "W..SON" do you know anything about it? (Marking pictured below).

Ron: The corkscrew is the same patent registration as the knife in my Best for 2000 -D.R.G.M. 116521 April 10, 1899 by Ernst Steinfeld, Solingen (see below). C.T. Williamson Wire Novelty Co., Newark, New Jersey, imported examples of the patent from Germany from at least two different manufacturers (I think). This model is illustrated in an early 20th century catalogue of Williamson's. I have two examples both with hanging split rings, one with the neckstand marked "D.R.G.M. 116521 GERMANY WMSON" and another just marked "WMSON". The first is a heavier model with a wire helix and the second lighter example with a web helix. Both examples are bright nickel plated.

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