If you cannot find the answer to your question on this page (go to the "search" or "find" function under "edit" in your browser) or elsewhere on this website, email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or use the form at the bottom of this page. I will respond to you and the question and answer will be posted on this page.
When inquiring about your corkscrews, attach photos for better identification.
Please note: I do not offer appraisals on this page.
Questions and answers with photographs included:
Can you help Ron with his question about E. W. Teackle?
Steve Rasch: I recently acquired this corkscrew What can you tell me about it? The barrel is apparently aluminum. The large wing nut is marked NYLON on one side and AS FRANCE on the other. The small handle is turned to penetrate the cork and then the large wing to extract it.
Ron: This is a post WW II mechanical corkscrew with a cast aluminum barrel and nickel plated wire helix. It was originally fitted with a black nylon insert in the neck ring to prevent bottle chipping. They are often found with this neck insert missing. They do surface on Ebay occasionally but depending where you live may be difficult to find.
Gregory BruceI recently found a very interesting piece and now I'm puzzled as to whether it is a bar accessory (as in a holder for a corkscrew), or perhaps an inkwell. If you could provide any information I would appreciate it greatly. The underside has a trademark of a diamond with the letters 'yz' inside it and the head and cups are bakelite while the body and exaggerated shoes are carved walnut.
Ron: I have not seen this item before but looks somewhat like a pen holder with two ink pot receptacles, definitely not made for holding a corkscrew.
Don: I am inclined to say inkwell. The arms would appear to more likely hold a pen than a corkscrew. .
David Burke: I have, what I have always believed to be, an old and tarnished corkscrew which belonged to my grandmother and possibly her mother too. It is fairly nondescript but very old and I was wondering if you could possibly identify it for me. It is fixed in a frame and goes through a ring which fits on the rim of the bottle. As you turn it, the screw does not penetrate the cork as such, but draws it out of the bottle. it may be just a piece of junk but it has always fascinated me. there is some faint wording on the frame, which I believe says PLANTERS Patent MAGIC and the fourth word is unreadable.
Ron: From your description I believe you have an example of the English 1905 design by William H Plant, Prince's Chambers, Wolverhampton. They are usually marked PLANT'S PATENT MAGIC RD12140. The patent which was applied for in England was abandoned as the complete specification was not filed within seven months of the application. Nevertheless, along with the failed patent marking, it was manufactured and marketed as late as 1930. They were originally nickel plated and fitted with a forged web helix.
Jim Ryall: Can you identify the enclosed corkscrew marked S&A Co. Germany?
Ron: Your nickel plated steel web helix corkscrew is a typical early 20th century mechanical example fitted with a manual swivel locking collar to engage the lifting thread and was shown in early German catalogues as the Reissmann's patent. Later examples have a weighted swivel collar which engages the listing action automatically. Your example is a type often found marked Henry Boker. I am not familiar with the S&A Co. marking, it may be the distributor not the manufacturer. It was manufactured in many countries - Argentina, Belgium, England, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and of course the United States. This type of mechanical action is still popular.
Jeffrey DiMaio: Is there a special corkscrew on the market for opening larger bottles, ie. 6 litre?
Ron: To my knowledge there is no special corkscrew available today to open a 6 litre bottle. Large contemporary wine bottles tend to be manufactured with necks to accept standard cork sizes. I have never opened a 6 litre bottle but I would try a good wire helix corkscrew which may work well. In the early 20th century the Eire Specialty Manufacturing Co., Erie, Pennsylvania (Edwin Walker) manufactured a fixed 2 1/16" bell and a large 9/16" diameter wire helix to handle large necked corked bottles, crocks and jugs. Bottom of the handle is marked WALKER'S PATENTS and DO NOT PULL TURN CORK OUT. It would possibly do the job but unfortunately is rather difficult to find today.
Brian Thomas: I just bought a MONOPOL selfpulling, chromed steel, 7.9cm long corkscrew. It has what looked to be white, rubber protection ring at the end where the bottle seats. The handle has "Monopol" stamped on both sides. I am just curious of the age.
Ron: Your ball bearing action corkscrew was made by Monopol® Usbeck & Söhne, Frauenbergerstr., 33 35011 Marburg, Germany. Monopol originally started business in 1879 in Steinbach-Hallenberg in Thuringia, East Germany but moved to West Germany in 1948. They are usually nickel plated not chrome plated. If it is like the one in the picture with the larger white rubber neck ring it is perhaps somewhat earlier than the one one the right with a plastic neck ring. The plastic neck ring model is marked DBGM indicating it was registered as a German design after W.W.II. The ball bearing German design of this type was first registered in Germany in 1909.
Josef and Sue L'Africain: The handles of these champagne nippers are marked .925 with a signature that is too small for me to make out. The steel part of the nippers are marked INOX, Gucci and Made in Italy...any thoughts on their age would be welcomed.
Ron: Your attractive champagne nippers/pliers are mid 20th century. The .925 is the silver content of the handles and inox indicates made of stainless steel. The Gucci mark - possibly the handle shape was designed by Gucci? I have never seen a similar example before.
Charla: I was wondering if you might be able to give me some info on this pocket one. I think it might be missing a cover or something. It has: Made In Sheffield, England on the finger nail file.
Don: I have one in a leather case imprinted "Joseph Rodgers & Sons, Sheffield." Sheffield is the cutlery center of England and Joseph Rodgers was one of the largest producers. Your corkscrew/file is from the 1930-1940s period.
Josef and Sue L'Africain: I just picked this up...what do you think? The top says Grand Prix...with directions....the accompanying information offers a lifetime guarantee as long as you include 25 cents shipping.. The box reads Crossbow, Inc.
Ron: As you know from your box and instructions it was manufactured by Crossbow Inc., of Cincinnati. They were sold well into in the 1980's complete with a non slip circular pad to use as a bottle rest. They were made in two slightly different mechanical versions but with the same threaded lifting action with a two post dog clutch to engage the lifting mechanism.
Glenn and Susie Ruhl I am looking for the manufacturer of "Twistup" cork pullers. It is an "ah-so" type. I want to have a family logo printed on it.Do you know where I can get this done?
Ron: The Twistup prong type cork puller can be purchased from bestbuywine.com
Melissa: Can you tell me what the function of the brush on the side of old corkscrews was used for?
Ron: Brushes were often fitted on wooden and bone English corkscrew handles from the early 19th century up until the early 20th century. They were intended for use in removing dust from labels and debris from the bottle top when removing a cork. Brushes were used to a much lesser extent in France and Germany.
Sigrun Sturludottir: Reykjavik, Iceland: My parents gave me a Wriggle'n Twist Cork extractor and corker, Pat. No. 1525876. years ago which they bought at Selfridges, London. The spirngs have become twisted and flattened through years of use. Where can I find a new one?
Ron: The English Wiggle'n Twist Cork Extractor is no longermanufactured but examples do surface occasionally on Ebay. Cork extractors with similar spring blades/prongs are still being manufactured.Also check wineaccessory.com and barparts.com.
Maggie: I have purchased a small (1.75" x 4.75") wooden box containing a gimlet and tap. The label reads "The Lawrence Tap. Patented. FOR DRAWING AT WILLA SINGLE GLASS OF KOUMISS, CHAMPAGNE, SODA, ALE, OR OTHER EFFERVESCENT DRINK, YET PRESERVING THE REMAINDER." The label then proceeds to give directions for use and indicates that it is made by The Theo. Ricksecker Co., New York. A label affixed to the inside of the lid contains an advertisement for RICKSECKER'S SOAP. What information can you give me about the tap and the company?
Ron: The Lawrence Tap is a very collectable item especially in its wooden box (it was also marketed in a cardboard box). Examples are usually found marked BENTLEY'S PAT. OCT. 17, 1876 and THE LAWRENCE TAP. U.S. Patent No. 183,445 was granted to William & Richard Bentley, New York, N.Y. for a Bottle Faucet. Theodore Ricksecker was an well known entrepreneur of the time that marketed many different types of items. Judging from the numbers that have been found, The Lawrence Tap must have been produced at least up until the end of the19th century. Every serious (twisted?) corkscrew collector should have a Lawrence Tap (in an original box c/w instructions) in their collection!
T.K.: I have a wooden corkscrew. Stamped on the barrel is Copex made in France. The metal corkscrew is secured into a wood piece with a t type handle that tightens down into the wood barrel. The other t type wood handle pulls the metal corkscrew up once it is completely lodged into the wine cork. The entire object is 5 inches in height.
Ron: You have a contemporary post WW II double action corkscrew fitted with a wire helix from a French design of the late 19th century. As I am sure you know they are very easy to use and open most corked bottles without difficulty.
Don adds from The Ultimate Corkscrew Book: The Copex was imported and distributed in the United States by the Copex Corkscrew Company of Algonquin, Illinois. On the instruction sheet they claim that in 1946 the Wine Institute on behalf of the Wine Advisory Board proved the Copex superior in every respect. In competition with eighteen other corkscrews of domestic and foreign manufacture, the Copex outperformed all others, receiving the highest recommendation.
Mark Gelstein: I just acquired a "Gem Sales Co" corkscrew identical to the one shown on your Michigan Corkscrews page. I am curious if you would know approximately what age it is or any other information.
Ron: You are referring to a "Nifty" corkscrew which was based on U.S. Patent No. 1,207,100 December 5, 1916 granted to Harry L. Vaughan, Chicago, Illinois. They were usually fitted with a Clough manufactured scarf cut helix. Relative information on the Nifty may be found in the William Rockwell Clough book. Early examples are distinctly different from the later much more commonly manufactured models. They were manufactured in great numbers, a 1954 Canadian wholesale catalogue of Caverhill, Learmont & Co. Limited indicates, that more than 38 million (38,000,000) had been sold.
Tom Doyle: I recenly purchased a barrel form rack & pinion corkscrew which is missing the screw that hold the handle in place. Do you know of a source for a replacement or might you suggest a substitute replacement?
Ron: Finding a correct replacement part for an early mechanical corkscrew is very difficult. If you know of a competent gunsmith or blacksmith perhaps a part could be fabricated. Handles are usually held in place (English/German) with a slotted nut on a threaded extension of the main shaft. Correct sympathetic restoration of antique items is always a challenge.
Boutique La Maison de Josee: We have a boutik We sale many items regarding wine: decanters, corkcrew, glasses...We you like to where is the IMPORTATEUR in canada for the PULLTAP'S. I'msorry for my english
Ron: The importer for Canada was in Quebec, Pulltaps were sold by DESPRÉS, LAPORTE INC.
Jim K.: Can you tell me where I can obtain replacement screws for our very efficient Rabbit wine opener?
Ron: The Rabbit is manufactured by Metrokane.
Denise Gallagher: In what year what the corkscrew patented? 1785, 1795, 1805 or 1815.
Ron: In 1795 British Patent 2061 was granted to the Rev. Samuel Henshall for his application titled "A new method of constructing and improving corkscrews." This was the first corkscrew patent issued.
Jim Hopkins: I recently purchased a Thomason from Dean that has a motto on the badge: "SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE" and "DIEU ET MON DROIT" Dean thought you might be able to tell me what these words mean??
Ron: The markings sometimes found on a Thomason type corkscrew with a British Royl Coat of Arms plate are HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE (French for "Evil be to him who evil thinks").
This is the motto of the Order of the Garter, the highest in English knighthood. The Order of the Garter was founded by Edward III c1344. The traditional story of the orders founding is that the garter was that of the Countess of Salisbury, which the king placed on his own leg after it fell off while she was dancing with him. The kings comment to those present, Honi soit qui mal, y pense, became the motto of the order.
DIEU ET MON DROIT (French for "God and my right") is the motto of the British Sovereign.
Steven Morrison: I bought a Twistup cork remover at the Sonte Hill Winery in Branson, Missouri. I don't know how to use it . All attemps failed. Please help.
Ron: Prong/blade type Cork Extractors / Corkers usually require a few attempts to successfully operate. Extraction and corking instructions from an English patented example- To Extract a cork:
- 1. Insert both blades fractionally between cork and bottle, longer blade first
- 2. Don't push, but gently rock blades one bu one onto bottle neck to 3/4 length
- 3. Gently twist handle upward to remove cork
To Cork Bottle
- 1. Place cork full length between blades up to handle and clamp extruding blades into bottle neck
- 2. Twist handle downward until cork in position
- 3. Rock blades upwards out
Prong type cork extractors sometimes take a few tries to succeed without pushing the cork inside the bottle. On the plus side they recork just as well as they uncork.
Josef and Sue L'Africain: I just ran across a locking handle corkscrew that is marked "bacchus" on the pillars, and "made in belgium" on the handle. I am curious about possible age or anything else you might know.
Ron: I think your corkscrew from Belgium is possibly mid 20th century. I have a somewhat similar model except chrome plated also with a milled/machined centre point web helix but with a plastic neck ring on the bottom of the open barrel. The upper shaft is marked "ACO MADE IN BELGIUM", I assume ACO must be the manufacturer.
Bronnie Griffin: Have you ever heard the name or term "Geschutzt"? I am wondering if you can tell me whether there are any bronze things made by them/ him of an ink well Octopus and a mermaid lying next to him?
Ron: I think you are referring to part of the German term Gesetzlich Geschutzt which means it is a German registered design. This mark is usually found on items manufactured between 1890 and the end of W.W.II. The marks were used on everything manufactured and registered whether in metal, glass or wood.
Randy: I have a Champion decorker from F. Messmer Mfg. Co. saloon supplies St. Louis Mo. Can you tell me a little about it? Pat. sept. 1896. 1906. Cast iron seems to all be there works good thank for your reply.
Wayne Meadows: The Champion bar corkscrew was manufactured by Arcade in Freeport IL. It was produced in many versions from about 1896 to 1940. While the patented version of the Champion was the most popular bar corkscrew ever manufactured, thus the most common, any badge from a distributor, such as your F. Messemer badge makes it much rarer. Very fine condition with its original nickel plating or the Arcade bronze finish would also make it more desirable. The dates on the side of the corkscrew are difficult to read, but the most common version should read "PAT SEPT 7 1897, DES. PAT JUNE 9 1896"
Patricia Clare: I have a corkscrew bottle that is in good condition and belonged to my Grandfather, Paddy, who passed away in 1944. I would be interested in selling to a collector. The corkscrew reads,CALL FOR KENTUCKY DEW WHISKEY, BURNS & O'DONOHUE, AGT'S, BANGOR ME.
Ron: You have not included a picture so I assume the advertising is marked on a brass plate on nickel plated brass pocket roundlet corkscrew. These types of corkscrews were patented in 1897 & 1900 and manufactured in great numbers by the C.T. Williamson Wire Novelty Co., Newark, New Jersey. As there are many collectors around the world who collect whisky advertising including corkscrews your Grandfather's should be able to be sold to a collector. The best place to present it to the entire serious collecting world is to put it up for auction on Ebay.
Julius W. Morris: Who is the manufacturer of the "EZ Pull" cork remover? Where are they located? It has a US patent number 5220855.
Ron: The EZ Pull Corkscrew is made in China. I don't know the manufacturer. The U. S. Patent was issued to Denis T. Leung and Calvin T. T. Leung of Flat D, 3/F., 3 Cheung Sha Wan Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong on June 22, 1993.
Paul: My favorite corkscrew is the original screwpull pocket model with the (square) hole in the center of the handle as opposed to being at the end as in the current model. Obviously many, many copies of this model exist ... but do you have any idea how I might track one (or three:-) down to replace my stolen one? I have contacted Le Creuset and am watching Ebay, but I thought I would ask you as well.
Ron: You have made a fine choice in corkscrews and I think you already have the final solution. It is bound to surface at some point on Ebay relative to the numbers that were manufactured.
Henry Stephenson Edwin Walker invented a "Cork Puller" in 1895. Do you have information on his patents and pictures of his machines? Patents: 515,411; 515,412; and 543,224. The Heritage Museum in Springfield, Oh. has one in their collection but not on display.
Ron: Information and patent illustrations on all bar corkscrews patented and manufactured by Edwin Walker, Erie Specialty Manufacturing Co., Eire, Pennsylvania may be found in Corkscrews by Fred O'Leary 1996 ISBN 0-7643-0018-0. They are also well illustrated and their mechanisms fully described in the recently published book Compendium of Bar Corkscrews by Wayne Meadows 2001 ISBN 0-9689294-0-0.
Tracy Doerschel: I have a brass rack and pinion corkscrew. It looks nautical. It has a stamp,shaped like a butterfly, with the letters MF on the top wings, and FM on th bottom wings. Below the butterfy is inscribed (what looks like) mamiago. Help?
Ron: Your corkscrew is a modern version of the early 19th century English King's Screw. You can find it for sale here: Artisans on Web for $198.99.
David Robinson I have a small oil can marked D. R. G. M. Did they only make corkscrews? Could it have been for keeping the corkscrew mechanics moving?
Ron: D. R.G. M. was not a company. The abbreviation stands for Deutsches Reich Gebrauchsmuster (German Empire Registered Design). D. R. P. refers to mechanical patents. In any case, it would be a delight to use in oiling mechanical parts - being careful always, however, not to get oil on the worm and, as a result, into the wine!!!
Dan Thompson: I've found an old Carl Schlieper corkscrew like the sixth one on Decorative Knives page.. knife! It was quite rusty and stiff, so I cleaned it with light oil, naval jelly, and brass polish. Now the knife is much cleaner, but two of the blades are loose; the back springs lift up and stay, instead of snapping down to secure the blade. What do I do?
Don: The Carl Schlieper Company was founded in Solingen, Germany about 1898. They are still active today. Because it advertised a cutlery manufacturer, it is quite likely that more of the Schlieper advertising knives were produced than many of the others on the page you saw. Sprung blades can be fixed by "knife" people but I would think the cost would be greater than the value. Sorry to say.
Clifford Gabel: I'm looking for a corkscrew manufacturer called BONNY.
Don: Bonny Bar Barware Tools for Modern Times are made in China for Bradshaw International, Inc., 9409 Buffalo Avenue, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730. Also there was at one time a Portable corkscrew "Picnic by Bonny." It was made in U. S. A. and copyrighted 1973 by Bonny Products Inc., Hewlett, N. Y.
Rakesh Bajpai: I have a corkscrew with the name "PowerPull" and this appears to be a registered trade mark. Any idea who makes it and where they are based? I bought it in Paris.
Ron: It is from Leopold in Vienna, Austria.
Tom Doyle: I have an old wooden handle corkscrew. It has a brush on one side and a hole on the other for a foil cutter. Do you know of any sources for foil cutters?
Ron: I do not know of any source for replacement parts for antique corkscrews. The foil cutter or other piece missing from your corkscrew will be designed, shaped and mounted depending on the type of wood, age, country and manufacturer. If you are lucky you may be able to find an identical or similar corkscrew at an antique market that has the helix or handle damaged and a suitable wire breaker or foil cutter intact.
Charlie Cooper Got any hints about when the Bernard's Landing Wine Festival is this year (2001)?
Don: The 13th Annual Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival will be September 29-30.
Heather Pointer (Australia): I am currently researching my ''Bradnock ''side of the family and found "they immigrated to australia from liverpool england around 1910-15 being quite well to do when arriving, They had many a valuable antique under their belts but as the climate was harsh and the land not as fertile as they had hoped. The trinkets had to be sold off a bit so they could survive especially during the ww years." As it is a quite rare surname, I would love for you to reply to let me know what you know about the magic bradnock twist?
Ron: The Bradnock Magic Twist corkscrew is rarely found and seldom appears on the marketplace. It normally has a wood handle and steel shank with a thick disk equipped with two tapered curved pins each forming about 1/2 of a convolution of a helix used to extract a cork. The Bradnocks Magic Twist was a British Patent No. 3,221, June 29, 1883 granted to Richard William Bradnock (Brass Founder) of Moseley, Worcester County England. Examples are sometimes marked MAGIC TWIST PATENT 3221.
Dindy Yokel: Just curious - have corkscrews been used to open anything other than wine bottles and what is the history?
Ron: Before the invention of the crown cap used on beer, soft drinks virtually everything liquid was produced in a corked bottle or container, there was no other way to efficiently stopper a bottle. To search for some of the items peruse http://www.bullworks.net/virtual.htm.
Warren MartinI saw awhile ago a cork opener that was different. It had a needle that you inserted into the cork, then you hit the button and I believe it was compassed gas of some kind that removed the cork.
Ron: You are possibly referring to the English Sparklets Corkmaster. They are no longer in production but examples do surface on Ebay from time to time. I am not aware of any CO2 powered cork removers currently on the market. May I suggest you consider the Corkpops which uses a compressed gas cartridge (probably air/nitrogen) to assist in extracting a cork.
Barbara Walters: In a box of my father's stuff I found a corkscrew marked "Made in Germany", "Made Abroad" and "Pat. Pend." It collapses. What is it?
Ron: Your father's corkscrew is a well known German collapsing pocket corkscrew. It is a pre patent example of the 1891 U.S. patent by Carl Hollweg. It is made of stamped steel and is fitted with a forged web helix. It was originally nickel plated and came in several sizes.
Jim Angell: I have a corkscrew that has a wooden "bell" which fits over the top of the bottle once it's screwed into the cork. Then there is a second wooden, threaded handle that is turned to pull the cork, keeping the bell over the bottle top. It appears to have been made? '50s or '60s? Any input you could give me would be appreciated.
Ron: From your description it appears you have a possibly late 20th century double action corkscrew based on a design originating in the late 19th century. Without a picture I do not know the age of your example but they are still being made in France and are relatively easy to find. They were manufactured in different body shapes also in plastic and aluminum. They surface on Ebay regularly. Earlier French and Italian made of boxwood examples are usually sought after by collectors.
Don Morrison: I'm interested in buying parts to make a new kind of corkscrew Could you tell me a supplier of the raw product?
and...Tim Crawford: I am searching for a supply of good quality corkscrew shafts in a form that could be easily attached to wooden handles. Are you able to assist?
and...Polly Rubinstein: I am looking for a manufacturer of high quality corkscrews (just the screw bit, without a handle), for us to add our own pewter and silver handles.
Ron: Click herefor helixes or worms for corkscrews available from the U.S. Try here and here for a wide range of high quality helixes are available from two different manufacturing firms in Germany.
Michael Tavares: I have an old corkscrew which includes the following information on it: Drink C & K Pale Dry Ginger Ale, "It pays to get the best", "trade (decapitator) mark", WRC Crown Cap-Lifter PAT. MAR. 1, 1916. What exactly do I have and is it worth anything?
Ron: You have a relatively common corkscrew manufactured in Alton, New Hampshire by the Clough Manufacturing Company. The corkscrew is a 1900 patent and the wire on the end of the wooden sheath is a crown cap lifter for removing bottle caps. The wire device was patented on March 1, 1910 by William Rockwell Clough, Alton, N.H. Corkscrews with this type of case were manufactured in great numbers and surface regularly on Ebay. As to value we do not offer appraisals on this site but by watching Ebay you may be able to establish a value. It would possibly be of interest to a collector of C & K Pale Dry Ginger Ale items.
Lots of people write something similar to this: For my coursework, I have chosen corkscrews as a subject. Would you please give me the history, mechanics, etc. of corkscrews? or: I am doing a report on the corkscrew. Could you tell me all the parts of a corkscrew and how they work? Also when were they invented and how many types are there?
Ron: Sorry, we are not here to do homework but we can help somewhat and save you carrying out a tedious library search. If you would like to do some research, yourself this address will provide you a lists on many works on corkscrews: http://www.bullworks.net/virtual/infopages/readlist.htm. In addition, you will find answers to many questions on this page and throughout the Virtual Corkscrew Museum including the links page.
David Bradley wrote: Would you possibly know how many different figurines were made by Syroco that include the head with attached cork screw and body. Combined they measure approximately 8.75" high. I have the Clown, Old Codger, Indian Chief, Bartender and German Shepard in Tux. What am I missing to complete the set?
Ron: This page illustrates all the two piece Syroco figures. I am afraid the German Shepherd in Tux is a marriage and is not shown in any of the Syroco catalogues. It is a combination that surfaces from time to time and was put together by an unscrupulous person to make a sale.
Jim Minton I have a "Columbus" corkscrew with NR Patent No. 70879. Can you tell me how old it is and is it very valuable.
Ron: Your Columbus is an example of the August 29, 1892 German Patent No. 70879 granted to Eduard Becker of Solingen, Germany. The marking DRP is an abbreviation for Deutsches Reich Patent (German Empire Patent) a patent registration class used in Germany from 1877 - 1945. The patent feature was the split barrel which allowed for easier removal of the cork from the worm. Based on the DRP marked numbers that surface this model must have been manufactured in considerable numbers well after the patent date. Examples do surface on Ebay from time to time. In the Virtual Corkscrew Museum see: http://www.bullworks.net/virtual/columbus/columbus.htm
Mark Carrington: I'm looking for a set that my father had when I was young. The set was a bar scene that had wooden carvings of 4-5 patrons and a bartender. 3-4 of the carvings had wine corks as their bases and they would seat into barstools and there was a corkscrew and a bottle opened in the set as well. It seemed as through the set was of German origin, but I'm not positive. I'm looking for this as a gift for my wife. Do you have any ideas on where I could locate an item such as this?
Ron: I am familiar with the Bar Scene set you have described. They were manufactured by ANRI in Northern Italy. A site that contains much information on ANRI is offered by Philly Rains, an ANRI expert. A new book on ANRI by Philly Rains & Don Bull is scheduled to be published in late 2001.
A set that your father had was possibly similar to those illustrated on Phillly's Bar Scene page. As they are quite collectable they command a fair price when they come for auction on Ebay.Two were sold in January 2001 for $365 and $405 each.
Joseph: I just ran across a nickel(?) Heeley's double lever marked Heeley's "A1" Double Lever, the finish is pretty good, but, I wonder about the age of the piece. How long were these double lever's made, and with this specific marking, can one figure out the age and approx value?
Ron: British Patent No. 6006 of April 23, 1888 granted to Neville Smith Heeley, Birmingham, England was manufactured in both copper paint and nickel plated models well into the 20th century. Examples also marked with the Patent No 6006 which have solid single upper link arms on each side are earlier but still often found especially on Ebay. Heeley A1 double lever corkscrews were made in great numbers - their value can be determined by watching Ebay as they often surface. A Heeley's A1 is a must for every corkscrew collection.
Kathy Price: My son is visiting France this summer and will stay with a French family for two weeks. We are looking for a unique gift for his host family and have discovered that the father belongs to a corkscrew collecting club in France. We thought a unique corkscrew from the U.S., and in particular Texas (where we are currently living) might be an appropriate gift. Do you have any suggestions?
Don: You pose a difficult question. The hard part is to find a corkscrew that the avid corkscrew collector hasn't seen before! I do not know of any corkscrews made in Texas. I recently found four new corkscrews on the Internet that I think will make great gifts. You will find a leek, a squash, a carrot, and a grape corkscrew at www.allenbeys.com. Search Wine Opener and they'll all come up on a page. At $60 for the four it would be a nice gift.
Nicole Watson: I have recently purchased a Corkscrew like the one at top left on the Swords page in the Armory in an antique store. It is also a cigar cutter. It is a German Sword with the Bayonet sheath, made in Solingen - on the cigar cutter blade is what appears to be 2 names, A. Knecht, & JR Nachf.
Ron: The sword is German patent No. 921,974 issued January 7, 1955 to Paul and Helmut Vitz of Velbert, Rhineland. August Knecht was a cutlery manufacturer in Germany. The "Jr Nachf" probably means the successor to Knecht.
Don: The corkscrew in this picture came to me from France: The spike is the end of a 4 1/2" octagonal nail that is driven through the ivory handle to secure the worm shaft. It looks much older than you. Any thoughts on it? (Here's a close-up)
Ron: Using a nail to attach a handle is a most unusual feature especially an octagonal nail! The nail was possibly filed octagonal for decorative reasons. The shaft and the handle looks more French than English. I suppose the handle is real ivory not bone or French Ivory (celluloid)? I like it!
Andrea Kelly: On the Syroco page in the museum 3 of the 4 squares have a picture of 2 corkscrews together which I believe to be caricatures of Senator Volstead (assosciated with the Volstead Act during prohibition). Is this correct?
Ron: I do not believe the corkscrews which you are possibly referring to are associated with Senator Volstead. The catalogues from the Syracuse Ornamental Company (Syroco) call the amusing gentleman with the cane "The Old Codger" and "Topper". In a comprehensive article Corkscrews of the Syracuse Ornamental Company Circa 1940-1950 Herb Danziger (May, 1995), on the theory that the Old Codger is a caricature of Senator Andrew Volstead, the author of the prohibition amendment, states "None of the catalogues mention Mr. Volstead or any other personality. No, I'm afraid the Topper is Codger and Codger is Topper and that's that".
Valerie Wall: Does Bibi Products still manufacture the Uncorker?
Ron: I have not been able to find any evidence that Bibi Products is still in business selling the Uncorker. The original is made by Sieger in several styles. You'll find one on corkscrew.com.
Thomas Dembinski: I am looking for a corkscrew that is a solid brass with a pair of concentric screws, one left-threaded and one right-threaded. As one turns the handle clockwise, the barb is threaded into the cork; once the end of the right-threaded portion is attained, the left-threaded portion continues to advance, thus effectively removing the cork. At the base of the bell or barrel, there is a plastic "liner" or ring that rests on the neck of the bottle. My limited research suggests that this thing may be a reproduction of a device from around October 1842 or so. I am relatively certain that my friend's item is NOT a true antique because of the plastic cushion at the base of the barrel or bell. As mentioned, the device is brass. There is a coat-of-arms contained in the body casting which says, "EDWARD COTTERHILL PATENTED SELF ADJUSTING. There are two lions flanking the coat-of-arms.
Ron: I think you are referring to reproduction Thomason action brass mechanical corkscrew made in the 1980's by Monopol in Germany. The action is a typical Thomason action by for some reason it is marked as Edwin Cotterill Patent Self Adjusting which is a completely different mechanism to much more common Thomason.
Justine Kanodia: "New" news for us is finally carrying the Brabantias - we tracked 'em down after reading your answer to Alan's question on this page. Do you have a favorite among the Classic, the Obelisk, and the Napoleon?
Ron: Pleased to hear that you carry the Classic Brabantia. I often am asked what is the best corkscrew. There are so many very good corkscrews on the market but the Classic Brabantia is a favorite. I have never tried or even seen the more expensive Brabantia Obelisk and Napoleon examples in my area.
Dolly Bille: I inherited a mirrored Syroco wood picture frame from my grandmother. It is approx. 18" long by 12'inch wide. It is deteriorating. Who can restore it for me?
Ron: This is a how "high is up" question. Syroco "wood" is a compression molded mixture of wood powder and thermoset resin with a paint finish applied after fabrication. The SyrocoWood products do not wear well as "wood" flaking, chipping and paint loss is not uncommon. To restore an article depends on what damage exists and what is the value to the owner. Restoration could be just touch up paint spots or perhaps filling in bits missing with plastic wood and repainting. To be honest I have never tried to restore a Syroco article but I think it could be done. It depends on the skill of the restorer and how sympathetic a restoration is desired. I should think that anyone familiar with wood furniture restoration may be able to provide assistance.
T. F. Brau: Can you tell me how to find more information about William Crabb and his patent (not the scarf cut off tip of U.S. Patent No.337,309, March 2,1886 by William Crabb, Newark, New Jersey).
Ron: I am not sure which Crabb patent you are referring to. I am only aware of one other - William Crabb was granted an earlier U.S. Patent No. 304,299 on September 2, 1884 for an improvement to the "class of corkscrews that are formed from a single piece of wire" that describes a stronger joint between the handle and the wire helix. The claims are obviously aimed at Clough's Patent No. 161,755 of April 6, 1875.
Vivian: I am a fourth grader in Buffalo, NY. For our technology fair, I have to do a report on corkscrews and how they are made and I have to make one. Can you please send me information on how the common corkscrew is made or any information on who invented them?
Ron: You have been asked to carry out a very difficult project. Typically corkscrews are manufactured with sometimes intricate metal and/or woodworking equipment. As it often requires several hundred pounds of force to extract a cork from a bottle, a corkscrew that works would be extremely difficult to fabricate. The first corkscrews were derived from a gun worme, a tool with a single or double spiral end fitting used to clean musket barrels or to extract an unspent charge from the barrel. By the early 17th century corkscrews for removing corks were made by blacksmiths as using a cork to stopper a bottle was well established.
From publications on corkscrew patents the first known patent issued for a corkscrew was in England: Patent No 2061, of August 24, 1795 granted to Samuel Henshall, Princes Street, Parish of Christchurch, Middlesex, England. The first French corkscrew patent was No. 3571, February 23, 1828 granted Francois Rever, France. The first American patent was No. 27,615 March 27, 1860 granted to M.L. Byrn, New York, N.Y. for a corkscrew. However a much earlier patent No. 15,325 was granted on July 15, 1856 to George Blanchard, New York, N.Y. for a metallic tube nutmeg grater as the handle of a corkscrew. The patent illustration shows the tubular nutmeg grater as the handle of a wire helix corkscrew with the patent description mentioning the corkscrew connection three times. And in Germany the first corkscrew patent was No 16, July 3, 1877 granted to Benjamin Loew, Tilsit, Germany.
Roger Guest, U. K.: I am trying to find the address of the manufacturer of the PULLPARROT corkscrew.
Ron:I believe the Pullparrot corkscrew is manufactured by the same firm that produced the Pulltap models. One Pulltap example I have is marked Raimon Casellas, 38 08205 Sabadell (Barcelona) SPAIN Fax (34 3) 711 25 59. If you have no luck in the U. K. check with corkscrews.com who market the Pullparrot in North America may be able to assist.
Terbow: Can you help me find..... a corkscrew that operates with a string-type assembly as part of the mechanism? I don't believe it's an antique, but saw one at a friend's home (they received it as a gift) and can't find anything like it in the stores.
Ron:You are referring to the "KARIBA" French corkscrew which used a plastic ring to pull on a cord tied to a nylon cord which through a system of pulleys or tackle reduction mechanism made it easier to pull a cork. U.S. Patent No. 4,393,733 was granted on July 19, 1983 to Bruno Desnoulez & Andre Dejoux, France for this mechanism. This model was later granted U.S. Design Patent No. D307,102 on April 10, 1990 to Bruno Desnoulez, France. They were manufactured in a variety of colours and even one example with a left hand wire helix. A type with a metal handle and telescoping barrel also with the same pulley mechanism was manufactured.I believe they are not produced anymore and I am not aware of a distributor of company that still sells these types. As they are quite collectible examples have surfaced on Ebay before.
Alexandra Faria, Portugal: Do you know where we can buy the spiral of the stainless Bacchus Monopol Corkscrew?
Ron: If you are referring to a modern corkscrew you may be able to acquire a replacement helix from the Monopol distributor in your country. You may also contact the manufacturer Monopol Usbeck & Söhne direct at: Monopol Usbeck & Söhne, Frauenbergerstr. 33, 35011 Marburg, Germany, Tel (06421) 9 46 60, Fax (06421) 94 66 49.
Susan Sale: I am trying to locate a jeweller with the initials of D.R.G.M who made Russian jewelry in the early 20th century, please could you help me?
Ron: Jewelry marked D.R.G.M. is not an indication that it was manufactured in Russia. The marking D.R.G.M. are often found on many different items whose design was registered in Germany between 1890 and 1945. The abbreviation stands for Deutsches Reich Gebrauchsmuster (German Empire Registered Design), German design registrations after W.W.II are abbreviated DBGM.
Jorge Zubiaga: Can you tell me something about a corkscrew with the name Gesetzlich geschutzt.
Ron: German items are sometimes marked GESETZL GESCHUTZT which is a short form for Gesetzlich Geschutzt which indicates that the piece was a German registered design. This mark is usually found on items manufactured between 1890 and the end of W.W.II.
Corinne: I'm looking for a source for the lazy fish corkscrew. Do you know the manufacturer's name and location.:
Ron: The manufacturer is: Household Articles Limited, Sanderstead Station Approach, South Croydon, Surrey CR2 0YY. Their U.S. distributor is: La Cafetiere, 2175 East Francisco Blvd., Suite M., San Rafael, CA 94901.
Bob Hudson: I have a customer looking for a Rabbit corkscrew. They are distibuted by Nebro Design 964 3rd Ave New york. Do you have their website?
Ron: Go to Metrokane
Danny Hinkle: I've been searching for a good powdered , sweet and sour mix. I was told that Mr. Bartender has a really good one . How do get some?
Ron: Sorry I am not familiar with the Mr. Bartender drink mixes - only the old Mr. Bartender bar accessories as seen on: http://www.bullworks.net/virtual/bartend/mrbarte.htm May I suggest you try a search on Google.
Earline Koprpva: I am looking for corkscrews used to open perfume bottles,
Ron: As you are probably aware they were manufactured in various styles and mechanisms in a variety of bone, celluloid, mother of pearl and wood handles. As they are quite collectable they often come for auction on Ebay.
Rachelle: I am doing a report on the corkscrew. Could you tell me all the parts of a corkscrew and how they work? Also when were they invented and how many types are there?
Ron: As it would take considerable time & effort for me to carry out your course work I can help somewhat and save you carrying out a tedious library search. Here is a reading list.And for starters peruse the Virtual Corkscrew Museum.
Barry Springfield My father was given a "Wiggle'n'Twist" Cork extractor some years ago. The then Australian Distributor have shut up shop (husband died). Made by a crowd "Heibo Products" in London I am told. Could you tell me please how to track down the company - do you know of them? Would like to get a couple of them if available in Oz.
Ron: The Wiggle 'n Twist is currently offered by Wine on Line.
Charles Taddei: I am interested in Bibi products Co. Inc. Are they still in business? How can I get in touch with them do you know.
Ron: I can not find any evidence that the company is still in business in Culver City, California. Here is the only reference to Bibi I can find.
Michael DesLierres: I am looking for a company that sells CO2 powered wine bottle openers. I saw one of these once in an old episode of the TV show Columbo starring Peter Falk. It looked like an ice pick. Into the handle was what appeared to be housed, a standard CO2 cartridge, like used in BB Guns. The other end had a long needle point which was hollow. The needle was pushed into the cork and a button was pressed in the handle injecting CO2 into the bottle forcing the cork out. This does not destroy the cork like a cork screw can.
Ron: You are referring to the English Sparklets Corkmaster. They are no longer in production but examples do surface on Ebay from time to time. May I suggest you consider the Corkpops which uses a compressed gas cartridge to assist in extracting a cork.
Bill Edwards: I'm starting a business to supply wine accessories to winery tasting rooms in our area. Do you know who is the American importer for the "L'esprit et Le Vin line of historic reproduction corkscrews?
Ron: May I suggest that you contact them directly. Here is their inquiry form: http://vinterxk.alias.domicile.fr/UK/form.html
Greg Plumb: I have been collecting bottle openers since I was 10 years old. I have quite a few Vaughan openers, but I have not been able to find out anything about the company or values.I would appreciate any info you could provide. My collection is getting rather large and continues to grow. It would be nice to know if any of my openers are rare or desireable.
Don Bull: You'll find information on the Vaughan Company in the Virtual Corkscrew Museum. I have written books on openers and corkscrews. There are Vaughan items pictured in all of them. Go to the museum bookstore.
PTCruisin4u@aol.com: Ever heard of an old butler cork screw made by Syroco?
Ron: Syroco products were manufactured in a wide range of items including corkscrews by the Syracuse Ornamental Company (Syroco) of Syracuse, New York. Visit http://www.bullworks.net/virtual/syroco/syroco.htm for much more information than you may want to know and pictures of two versions of Syroco Waiter (Butler). Ron
Jason McCann: I'm sorry to say that I don't have any corkscrew pictures to share. Maybe you can help me though. I recently received some old pictures that were printed by Jos. Hoover & Sons. I have only been able to find his art in your art gallery. Can you give me any more info?
Ron: The only thing I know about the company Jos. Hoover is that they were in Philadelphia as early as 1904 and as late as 1958. For further research try www.google.com.
Roberts Family: We are looking for information on our "Eisenwerk Joly" knife by Bierhof.
Ron: Loo at these knives. These are German pocket knives advertising European manufacturing firms and famous people. I believe your example is pictured on the bottom of the page. "Eisenwerk Joly Wittenberg, Patent Joly, Feuersicher Treppen." Knife by Bierhoff with Factory scene on reverse. Manufacturer of fireproof stairs.
Frank Ellis: I am after a tiny piece of information - do any of you know the date that the E-Z CORK PULLER was produced - the thing with the 4 little barbs? It is a patent wanabe in Fred O'Leary's book but is there any firm data on it?
Ron: The only information on the E-Z Puller that I know about is its inclusion in a 1946 report on scientific tests of various types of cork extractors. Entitled "Corkscrews That Work!" by Paul Frederickson of the Wine Institute, San Francisco, California. The report was reprinted from a May, 1946 issue of Wine Review. I would assume that the E-Z Cork Puller was available sometime before W.W.II.
Cherie: What can you tell me about a Rubal horse's ass bottle opener?
Ron: For bottle openers visit the Figural Bottle Opener Collectors page and contact them.
Darmawan Hadipurnomo, Indonesia: I just found a pocket knife similar to those on this page. It is marked with Carlschlieper-Remscheid-Solingen-Batavia-Soerabaia-Semarang-Medan.
Ron: These knives are from the period 1900-1920. Can you send a picture of yours?
Glen Cameron: Is there any place in Toronto that I can buy the Pulltap's corkscrew?
Ron: The importer for Canada is in Quebec and Pulltaps are sold by DESPRÉS, LAPORTE INC.
Nick Van Styn, Australia: Do you know where I can order a twistup cork screw?
Ron: Their address is: Steve DuBow, President, Epic Products, Inc. 17370 Mt. Hermann St. Fountain Valley, Ca 92780.
Larry Hasiak: I have a box containing a bottle opener and corkscrew commemorating the coronation of Queen Elizabeth of England. The box is blue and has a brass latch and a silk lining. The numbers 19 and 49 are over the opener and corkscrew respectively. Do you know anything about them?
Ron: Can you possibly send a picture? I don't know why a coronation commemorative set would have the year1949 marked (I assume that is what the two numbers are). The coronation of Elizabeth II was in 1953. On 17 January 1949 Silver Wedding - King George VI and Queen Elizabeth was celebrated. Is your set coronation or anniversary?
Norm Mackay, Waiuku, New Zealand: I'm a kiwi and was looking for Spong & CO Ltd. Corkette cork removers.
Ron: The Corkette design was first registered in England in 1963. In 1996 the firm was purchased by 73 year old Maurice Connell and his wife Audrey of Bury, Lancashire. With the help of two other pensioners, they assemble the Corkette in their tiny factory in Liversedge, West Yorkshire. Anthony Trading is the distributor in New Zealand: Tel: 00 64 9379 8896 Fax: 00 64 9379 8389.
Don Bull: I have received sad news from Audrey that Maurice died in October, 2000.
James Atkins: I am a small colector. Basically I only collect folding Corkscrews, mostly hand made by a blacksmith. I have around a dozen. One is a Civil War combination spoon and corkscrew. My best is a folding corkscrew with a seal cutter, made by a master Blacksmith. One came from England, the rest from the East Coast of USA. Just having broused through the museum, I did not find any of this type. Did I miss them?
Ron: I assume by the folding type with seal cutter, you are referring to a folding bow? (can you sent a picture?). There are over 100 different of these pictured in the Ultimate Corkscrew Book. They vary from one tool (corkscrew) up to ten tools. Can you also send a picture of your spoon and corkscrew?
Mike Calkins (no email address given): How do I open wine when I don't have a corkscrew????? HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ron: Mike, twist off the cap!
Tom Morris adds: I used a large wood screw and a pair of pliers once.
Tim Cassady: I am interested in "creating" my own corkscrews (basic "T" pull) and am wondering if you know where I could source the hardware(the "worm")....and Terry Morgan, Alberta, Canada: Are there any Canadian or American manufacturers of stainless steel corkscrew helixes?
Ron: Click here for worms
David Robson : I have recently started to collect corkscrews and have been given a number that are very dirty/rusty. Any suggestions on what I should use to clean them or should I leave them as they are?
Ron: Cleaning corkscrews really depends on several things:
What are the corkscrews - old, rare, common, fragile?
What are the materials of construction?
What type of dirt or possibly corrosion?
For a start I would suggest simply washing them with soap & water and drying them thoroughly. I tend to use steel pads impregnated with soap for metal parts but take care not to damage the surface. I know some collectors use a powered wire wheel (heaven forbid) for cleaning. I do not think there is any simple answer to his question. It usually destroys the original patina but adventurous types can try electrochemical cleaning.
Tom Doyle, New York, adds: For metal surfaces other than silver or gold, I have had great success in cleaning and maintaining patina by gently rubbing the surface with quadruple zero steel wool that has beed dipped in a mild oil (i.e.,vegetable,olive, ...). This method is also excellent for cleaning wooden handles.
Kedrick Collins: I found a corkscrew that is approx. 7" tall and appears to be made of brass or similar metal. The handle part is one piece and solid and it looks like a fairy or troll sitting under two mushrooms. The only markings are on the back which say England....the number 10225 and below that it has RD or RB No. 675065 and the number O may actually be the letter U, I cant tell...If you have the time I would appreciate any info you may have.
Ron: Many English brass figural designs were produced in great numbers last century and used on different items - corkscrews, bottle openers, door knockers, toasting forks, brushes etc. It appears your Pixie/Elf & Mushroom design was given English Registration No 675065 granted in 1920. Information from "Registered Figural Designs" by Frank Ellis indicates that Pearson Page Co. Ltd. of Ileene Works, Sherlock Street, Birmingham registered two Pixie designs in 1925. Another designer John Jewsbury registered another example in 1925, perhaps they were responsible for your discovery.
Don Minzenmayer comments: In response to Paul Brandeis question on the page - The Silver Spur Corkscrew is a Screwpull Leverpull knock-off made in Taiwan. It is available from International Wine Accessories. The working parts appear to be interchaingable with Leverpull. The Casting is chrome plated heavy metal. Mine must weigh 20 pounds. I guess the name comes from the shape of the pointedy bottle grip handles. They look more like a healthy ladies legs without feet to me.
Ron: Don, thank you for the input.
Doug Arbittier: I collect bloodletting equipment and surgical sets as you can see in my site. I now have in my possession this ebay item to try to determine what it is. More than a bleeding or cupping device I think it seems for use in the kitchen. My wife thinks it might have been used to uncork a wine bottle. I think at one point it could have made a fairly strong suction. Now it is weakened but still present. It does say PAT. PEND. Any thoughts?
Ron: I have never seen this device before but I can assure you it is not a cork removal or replacement tool.
D. Burpee A few years ago I saw a poster that pictured a couple dozen neat looking corkscrews. It was published by Seagrams. I've emailed them but have had no luck getting the poster. Do you know where I might locate one and its cost?
Ron: Click here to see the two variations of the Seagram poster. The posters are out of print and the museum is closed. The only possibility I can think of is to watch the ebay auctions - they do surface there from time to time.
Martin Frost: Some year's back I bought a "Lazy Fish" corkscrew in England and was impressed by it's quality of design and function. ( I am a designer by trade.) I am aware of a number of similar "copies" being sold in the U.S. market at $20/$30.00. I am interested in talking to the manufacturer of this product about importing/distributing the "Lazy Fish" range and I'm hoping that you may be able to help me in this respect.
Ron: The manufacturer is: Household Articles Limited, Sanderstead Station Approach, South Croydon, Surrey CR2 0YY. Their U.S. distributor is: La Cafetiere, 2175 East Francisco Blvd., Suite M., San Rafael, CA 94901.
M. Bergdahl: Can you recommend a distributor or manufacturer of cork screw spirals? I am a crafter who builds cork screws out of grape vine stems and am unable to easily order spirals as I need them.
Ron:Corkscrew helixes are available from corkscrew.com at $18.00 per dozen. Also look at these German sites: Firma Norbert Holland-Cunz & Firma Rainer Usbeck.
Emily Farbman: Hello, a couple of years ago, my father told me about a modern cork remover that he saw. He described screwing in the worm, and then pulling a cord or wire about 18 inches in order to extract the cork only a few inches. Somehow the force needed to extract the cork distributed over the 18 inches made the cork slide out easily. Have you ever heard of this design and would you know how I could purchase one? (A similar question was received from Sam Hunt).
Ron: I believe you are referring to the "KARIBA" French corkscrew which used a plastic ring to pull on a cord tied to a nylon cord which through a system of pulleys or tackle reduction mechanism made it easier to pull a cork. U.S. Patent No. 4,393,733 was granted on July 19, 1983 to Bruno Desnoulez & Andre Dejoux, France for this mechanism. This model was later granted U.S. Design Patent No. D307,102 on April 10, 1990 to Bruno Desnoulez, France. They were manufactured in a variety of colours and even one example with a left hand wire helix. A type with a metal handle and telescoping barrel also with the same pulley mechanism was manufactured. Click here for pictures. I believe they are not produced anymore and I am not aware of a distributor of company that still sells these types. As they are quite collectible examples have surfaced on Ebay before.
Elissa: The first butler's friend corkscrew was patented in 1879 under what name?
Ron: If you are perhaps referring to a single lever waiter's type corkscrew (Butler's Friend) - Carl Wienke was granted a patent in Germany - Lever Corkscrew Patent DRP 20815, May 26, 1882. British Patent No. 2,022 on April 20, 1883 for an Improvement in Lever Corkscrews. Also patented in France Patent No. 155314, May 7, 1883 and United States - Lever Corkscrew Patent No. 283,731, August 21, 1883. Here is a picture of the Wienke corkscrew.
Oliver Margraf, Germany: I have a special corkscrew which is attached to the wall. It is marked "Alfredo P." and "Gijon Alpeouin". Do you know who manufactured this corkscrew, where the company is or where to get a spare drill?
Ron: I am not familiarwith a corkscrew marked "Alfredo P." and "Gijon Alpeouin". As it appears that your helix or worm is broken it may be very difficult to find a replacement worm. There are sites that include corkscrew helixes of different types for sale usually to manufacturers and not single screws. These sites may be able to provide you with a suitable helix: Firma Norbert Holland-Cunz and Firma Rainer Usbeck
Elliot Cowan: I am currently trying to do a design project on corkscrews and how to improve an ever changing design. I am finding it difficult to find anywhere that discusses the latest designs and the market which these are available to. I was wondering it would be possible if you would please point me in the right direction for the research that I need to do. - Customer satisfaction levels - Market Size - Directly Competitive Products - Design Specifications - Constraints + Criteria - Ergonomics - Design Quality - Ease of use and Functionality It would be most appreciated and helpful to my teams needs in producing the perfect product.
Ron: I am afraid I am not capable of assisting you in your Design Project. An easy way to acquire market research is not a simple task for any new product. On the Directly Competitive Products and Functionality you could look at the products currently available and perhaps gain some insight. I doubt if contacting a manufacturer would work as market statistics would probably be known to only a few in an organization and not be supplied to a possible competitor. As corkscrews were made in literally thousands of designs see this reading list for books illustrating different aspects of the corkscrew.
Bob Gill, New Zealand: A friend of mine has a unique wine bottle opener, but unfortunately he has forgotten where he bought it. Extensive enquiries nationwide have been fruitless. Shaped like a small screwdriver, but with a pointed blade, the opener pierces the wine cork. Using a pumping action a couple of times or so, the cork then 'miraculously' extracts itself from the bottle. Have you any information on this type of opener? Note that no gas is used with this opener. Air is the only medium used.
Answer: You are looking for the Corkette. Go to: http://www.corkette.co.uk/
wp114 writes: What is corkscrew?
Answer: Corkscrew is many things. Start here.
Justine Kanodia, California: Do you know who manufactures/distributes the reproduction Thomason? Or do you have a lead I could follow?
Don: I had not seen that one before. The mechanism look just like the one offered by l'espirit et le vin. This was probably made for them and now their supplier is competing with them by offering another version. Or ... l'espirit has yet to get this one added to their website.
Justine Kanodia, California: Have had queries about the Norm Thompson corkscrew - is that still being made? any lead there?
Don: We see something new everyday! I didn't know the Valezina was produced for the Norm Thompson catalog (look at the lower left picture on http://www.bullworks.net/virtual/boxes/bookbo2.htm). I checked the current Norm Thompson on line stuff and a search turns up no corkscrew. So...dunno. Sorry.
For more on Valezina see page 62 of The Ultimate Corkscrew Book.
Mike Smith Can you tell me where I might purchase either of the plates/platters you have in the China Cabinet?
Answer: The three on the bottom have been around for several years. and they are not in current production. The two above those are from the collection of Ken Hark. The large platter with the building, was purchased recently on ebay with no idea of its age. The plates are currently used at Walter Georis' cafe in California.
Michael Collins, Ireland: I found a silver (looks silver) corkscrew at an antique sale. It has Italy stamped on it. Has a double handle and the intricate detail on the screw is grapes, leaves, and vines on the sides, with a barrel that fits over the bottle. Can you give any info?
Ron: From the decorative trim and a barrel shaped neck ring I expect you have found a rather common zinc alloy (pot metal) silver finish Italian Double Lever 1973 Design Patent Corkscrew. It is an Italian double lever decorated with vine leaves and grapes with the lower portion of the frame a barrel. Fitted with center point archimedean web helix. An example of the U.S. Design Patent No. D-228,613, October 16, 1973 by Cipriani Ghidini of Bresia, Italy. One of the pinion gears is marked ITALY. The lower frame has a plastic insert to prevent bottle chipping.
Mary Bishop New Jersey: My co-workers and I are curious to know why a bottle opener is sometimes reffered to as a church Key. Can you help?
Ron: Search "Church Key" on this page and you will find the answer.
Dallas D. Wolf: Do you know the origin and value of a crocodile corkscrew with Germany and pat. pend. on the handle? Do you know what products or openers these words apply to: Roveta, Magna, Cott, White Rock, Apollinaris, Apenta? Also, can you tell me anything about a company named Utica Club Brewery?
Ron: We do not offer corkscrew appraisals but I can make a few comments - A late 19th century German Wienke type corkscrew with celluloid side scales (web or wire helix, with or without a folding wire breaker) are generally sought after by corkscrew collectors. As examples do occasionally appear on Ebay auction site, I suggest you search eBay for a similar example to possibly find out its value. If you decide to dispose of it on Ebay it may make you very happy. As with all collectibles condition usually dictates what an item many fetch. Unfortunately painted celluloid often has colour loss but a crocodile in good condition should attract significant interest.
Cott and White Rock are Ginger Ales. Apollinaris and Apenta were mineral waters. I don't know about Roveta and Magna.
An Internet search will yield lots of Utica Club links. Check this one out: http://hometown.aol.com/boardwalk7/schultz.html. Also check out the American Brewery History Page.
Lynn Craig My husband and I have a corkscrew that we picked up many years ago in an antique store. Recently I saw a very similar one on your museum website and would like to find out more about the background of the "Pump lever Tucker 1878." The only marking on our corkscrew is quite worn, but I can make out the following: PAT'D SEP 1878. Any information you can provide would be appreciated. Please reply to the following e-mail address: email@example.com. Thank you, Lynn Craig.
Here's an excerpt from The Ultimate Corkscrew Book which should answer your question: "I need to relate a 'corkscrew find' story....several years ago my wife and I visited a newly opened consignment shop. When we entered, I went directly to some shelves in the corner which appeared to have a number of small things. There I spotted a worm. I moved aside the covering rubble and saw my prize. My hands were trembling as I read the price tag. $4.00! I grasped it tightly in my hand waiting for my wife to finish rounds of the store. I went to the cashier and, without even bargaining, I forked over my $4.00 (plus tax). Safely in my car with my new found treasure, I showed it to my wife and asked her if she would have purchased it if she had come by herself. She responded that it looked like a brand new kitchen implement and she probably would pass it up. The kitchen implement - in mint condition - is pictured at top right. It is an American patent issued to Alfred Sperry of Wallingford, Connecticut in 1878. It is distinctly marked May 28, 1878. Simmons Hardware of St. Louis, Missouri offered Sperrys Improved Lever in their 1881 catalog for $1.25! Current value: $2500-3500. If only I had more such stories to tell! Sperrys patent was granted for having a replaceable worm. The other similar corkscrew in the photograph is the patent of William Tucker of Hartford, Connecticut. Although Tucker had applied for his patent a month before Sperry, his was not granted until three months after Sperry. The Tucker at lower right is marked PATD SEP. 3, 1878. $1800-3000. Tuckers corkscrew was offered in an 1882 Russell & Erwin hardware catalog at $10 per dozen. Both Tucker and Sperry seem to have been a little late with their design for in 1872 and 1873 Narcisse Delavigne had been granted three French patents for a corkscrew of similar design.
Andrew, England: Can you tell me when the first corkscrew with a lever mechanism was brought out. I'm told it was not around before the 1950s. Is that correct?
Ron: I assume you are referring to the common double lever rack & pinion corkscrew and not a single lever similar to a waiters type. This mechanical design was first patented in North America by Italian Dominick Rosati on April 1, 1930 U.S. Patent No. 1,753,026 and November 25, 1930 Canadian Patent No. 306,030. However, a double lever design (A1 Heeley Double Lever) using pivoting links to gain an improvement in mechanical advantage to pull a cork was granted to H.S. Heeley - British Patent No. 6,006 on April 23, 1888. If you are perhaps referring to a single lever waiters type - Carl Wienke was granted British Patent No. 2,022 on April 20, 1883. Also patented in France May 7, 1883, Germany May 26, 1882, United States August 21, 1883.
Sylvan Hardy, Canada: Where can I purchase 10,000 worms for our own die cast handle?
Ron: Unfortunately there are no manufacturers of web or wire helixes for corkscrews in Canada. Corkscrew helixes are available from corkscrew.com at $18.00 per dozen. Also look at these German sites: Firma Norbert Holland-Cunz Firma Rainer Usbeck.
Paula M. Joerres: I've been doing research on the Jorres/Joerres family. I've been searching for our great-uncle Ralph W. Jorres and he showed up at your website! You have him having been granted a U.S. Patent #657,421 for a corkscrew design. I was hoping you could tell me where you found this information so I could search for more info on him.
Ron: The only information we have was that Ralph W. Jorres of St. Louis, Missouri, was granted U.S. Patent #657,421 on September 4, 1900 with the patent assignor being the prolific corkscrew patentee and manufacturer William A. Williamson, Newark, New Jersey (See: MacLean's Williamson Story). The witnesses to the patent were E.S. Knight and N.V. Alexander and his attorney was B? Wright. this small bit of information comes from the patent itself.
Ince, Japan: I am a student of university and I am doing a project about the HENCKELS corkscrew. What average torque force need to open the cork ? Max.and Min. torque force?
Ron: It is impossible to answer the question without knowing how the corkscrew is made. Hencklels made many types of corkscrews from T handles to a variety of mechanical types. Without exact dimensions of the mechanical design used to help some one (with a lot of time & mechanical design skills on their hands) to calculate to mechanical advantage available to pull a cork their question is impossible to answer.
Paul Brandeis, Italy: I have the best corkscrew in the world but it is broken. The name is "Silver Spur Corkscrew." Can you help?
Ron: I have never heard of/or know anything about a "Silver Spur" corkscrew. Can you send a picture? Anyone know anything about it?
Carol Fox, Alberta, Canada: Who invented the corkscrew?
Ron: This is one of our most frequently asked questions. The first corkscrews were derived from a gun worme, a tool with a single or double spiral end fitting used to clean musket barrels or to extract an unspent charge from the barrel. By the early 17th century corkscrews for removing corks were made by blacksmiths as using a cork to stopper a bottle was well established. From publications on corkscrew patents the first known patent issued for a corkscrew was in:
England: Patent No 2061, of August 24, 1795 granted to Samuel Henshall, Princes Street, Parish of Christchurch, Middlesex, England.
France: Patent No. 3571, February 23, 1828 granted Francois Rever, France.
U. S. A.: Patent No. 27,615 March 27, 1860 granted to M.L. Byrn, New York, N.Y. for a corkscrew. However a much earlier patent No. 15,325 was granted on July 15, 1856 to George Blanchard, New York, N.Y. for a metallic tube nutmeg grater as the handle of a corkscrew. The patent illustration shows the tubular nutmeg grater as the handle of a wire helix corkscrew with the patent description mentioning the corkscrew connection three times.
Germany: Patent No 16, July 3, 1877 granted to Benjamin Loew, Tilsit, Germany.
Canada: Patent No. 16,163 was issued January 23, 1883 to William Addison, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
Richard Dean, Georgia: I do not have a corkscrew, however, I have a beer stien with the name GESETZL GESCHUTZT and 1613 stamped on the bottom. Can you supply any information?
Ron: The words GESETZL GESCHUTZT on your German stein are a short form for Gesetzlich Geschutzt which means it is a German registered design. This mark is usually found on items manufactured between 1890 and the end of W.W.II.
Don Bull: Ron, what is the largest corkscrew in your collection:
Ron: Click here to see it! How about your's Don? Don: Here's mine.
Alan I. Weiselberg:Is there a corkscrew that is considered the finest or best in the world?
Don: Do you mean as an old collectible or as a new functional corkscrew? As far as old examples are concerned, I think every collector will have his favorite in his collection which he may consider the finest! For currently available corkscrews, I favor the Screwpull which was first introduced in the early 1980s and is currently in the Le Creuset line.
Ron: My two favorite modern corkscrews are the Screwpull and the Brabantia. It is a tough question because I have never met a corkscrew I did not like! Ron
Another Lazyfish question from Noelle Coleman, Washingon: I found a Lazy Fish corkscrew at a garage sale. It appears to be brass instead of the traditional chrome I have seen in the past. What can you tell me about it?
Ron: The Lazy Fish corkscrew, which was introduced a few years ago, was made in two finishes on the die cast (zinc pot metal) fish head and tail section - one all chrome plated and the other with brass plated end sections. One concertina arm is normally marked MADE IN ENGLAND. The brass plated examples called "The ULTIMATE" were distributed in the U.S. by Bacchanal U.S. Inc. San Rafael, California.
Alex, Australia: I am a student at UWS Nepean and researching a wing Corkscrew example shown at: http://www.franmara.com/items/Wing/2043/2043.html. Can you tell me more about the product such as of its design and properties
Ron: The corkscrew you are referring to is a typical double lever Italian example using a dual rack & pinion system to make it easier to extract the cork. This mechanical design was first patented in North America by Dominick Rosati on April 1, 1930 U.S. Patent No. 1,753,026 and November 25, 193-0 Canadian Patent No. 306,030. The particular example you have selected has a common archimedean web helix which is not the best for extracting a cork. I can save you the labourious task of the normal library search to obtain information on your research. As a comprehensive answer to your query would take many hours to compile may I refer you to this reading list.
Gail: I have a strange corkscrew that belonged to my great uncle. It's Italian and marked Brevettato. It's 11" in total length, with two arms. One side is painted (black) to look like a man in tuxedo with bow tie. The arms are his arms. The handle is his head. The place where eyes should be is the handle's cut-out. Painted on this side is "Barman" and "Opener". The reverse side is painted "A Toast to the Host" with all these words: Nazdarovie, cin cin, Good Luck, Skaal, Salute, prosit, Proost, Cheers, Salud, Y-Pesetar A votre sante, gezondheid, and something in Japanese letters.
Ron: From your excellent description your corkscrew can be easily identified as an Italian 1959 design corkscrew. This is the "Barman Opener and is the patent version of the March 17, 1959 U.S. Design Patent by Carlo Gemelli. They were manufactured in great numbers in several body styles and often turn up at flea markets and antique shows.
Lorna Hitchcock, England: I really hope you can help me as I am starting to get desperate! For my GCSE in Design and Technology I need to compile a product investigation on a corkscrew. I have finished the whole project apart form the bit about how you manufacture a corkscrew. I have written to so many companies and none have given the right information so far. I need to know what materials corkscrews are made from and why, and what processes they go through to become a corkscrew.
Ron: Hi Lorna, As it would take considerable time & effort for me to carry out your course work for you, I can help somewhat and save you carrying out a library search. This site has all the information you may require in many publications on the subject. Click here for a reading list.
Susie: I have a old wooden handle corkscrew. It has the words Stulz Bros Kansas City Mo on it with: "Drink Mockingbird Whiskey the best money ever bought"
Ron: We do not offer corkscrew appraisals but I can make a few comments - On eBay for example, ordinary wood handled corkscrews (Williamson & Walker Patents for example) with Distillery advertising are usually not sought after as much as those from American Breweries. If you are lucky enough to have two individuals bidding who are collecting things marked Mockingbird or even the name Stulz you may be happier. However, if your old wood handled corkscrew is a rare patent or a interesting variant it may make you very happy. I suggest you search eBay for a similar example to possibly find out its value.
Ian G. Jeffrey, Scotland: When was first corkscrew invented?
Ron: It is unknown when and who made the first corkscrew. They have been in use as early as the 17th century probably derived from "Gun Worms" or "Gun Wipers" that were used to clean gun barrels. From corkscrew patent research carried out by corkscrew collectors around the world and their subsequent publications it is known the first patent for a corkscrew was issued in England in 1795; France in 1828; United States in 1860; Germany in 1877; and Canada in 1882.
David Charles Balog: Can you give me any history on the Lazyfish corkscrew?
Ron: The currently produced English Lazyfish is based on French Patent 503927 of September 17, 1919 & French Patent 649209 of August 27, 1928 by Marie Jules Bart. The French were prolific inventors and manufacturers of concertina action corkscrews. However the English first patented a concertina corkscrew in 1884 Patent No. 12.804, September 25, 1884 by Marshall Arthur Wier Surrey, England.
J. Paul Thompson Jr.: I'm trying to find the Sieger 600 corkscrew. We have a similar one by HOAN and it works great. The Sieger 600 appears to be a very close match. Thanks for any help. J. Paul Thompson Jr.
Ron: For the fine Sieger Corkscrews, contact John Paul Cook at AustriasFinest@worldnet.att.net. Sieger: We have two models that are available in three colors each. SIEGER 600 $15.99 Black Red White and SIEGER Leather 600 $ 29.99 Black Burgundy Cognac If you have any questions or want literature, call (703) 360-5766.
Tonya Potts, Oklahoma: What can you tell me about my corkscrew marked Italy and Brevettato?
Ron: As you have not described your Italian corkscrew or sent a picture all I can tell you is that Brevettato indicates that it is 20th century and was registered or perhaps even patented. Many different types of corkscrews were (are being) manufactured in Italy.
Deborah: I'm looking for a German corkscrew where one turns lever in one direction, and when the cork reaches the top, the direction of the screw reverses.
Ron: From your description we cannot tell what type of corkscrew you want. Are you looking for an antique or a currently available corkscrew? What size, all metal, a wood or composite handle? Literally hundreds of designs were produced in Germany and your description fits many.
Nancy Hall: I am looking for a wine bottle opener that comes in a nice wooden box and extremely easy to use in removing a cork from the wine bottle. I believe they retail for about $100 or so. Husband's birthday is coming up!
Ron: Look at the Milennium boxed set that Artisans on the Web has at $119.95 on:
Laura Taylor: Where can I purchase Puig-Pull corkscrews.
Ron: For a supplier of Puigpull corkscrews in the U.S. check out Wine Accessories Unlimited, Aromas, California under Waiter's Corkscrews on "Where to buy new corkscrews". Or try Artisans on the Web at this link.
Derwayne from London: Where can I purchase the Spanish "Pulltaps" corkscrew?
Ron: For a supplier of various models of Spanish Pulltaps in the U.S. check out Wine Accessories Unlimited, Aromas, California under Waiter's Corkscrews on "Where to buy new corkscrews." This site covers a very comprehensive selection of corkscrew & related items. There is also a store Asheville, North Carolina that sells it online: Compliments of the Chef
Steve Rasch (SMLCC member!): I just acquired a Thomason. The badge is partially gone but it looks like it had "Dieu et mon droit" on it. It has no brush so both ends of the bone(?) handle are open. The opening on one side is larger and appears to be threaded inside. What were the threads for? Can the motto help identify the maker?
Ron: I am sure your Thomason handle is made from bone which is usually hollow in the centre. You are right, the smaller opening was originally fitted with a brush. The large open end with the thread had a matching threaded bone end cap to close the opening. It is not uncommon to find brushes missing and if the threads were not properly made or if the corkscrew had a rough life it is not unusual to see missing bone end caps. Thomason type corkscrews often have a brass plate soldered on the barrel usually with a British Royal Coat of Arms and the word PATENT to help entice a buyer. Often the makers name is on the plate as well. I am afraid "Dieu et mon droit" does not identify the manufacturer.
Ryan Conti I was surfing the Net trying to get information on the Lawrence Tap that I picked up at a flea market over ten years ago. I stumbled onto your site through a search engine. The Tap is in it's original wooden case. The top of the case was a yellow paper which is somewhat aged around the edges but all very readable. It was manufactured by Theo Ricksecker, New York, NY, Bentley's Patent October 17, 1876. The wooden box has two metal hinges and has a little metal latch. The inside of the box still has an advertisement printed on the same yellow paper and it is for Ricksecker's Skin Soap 25C each. Theo Ricksecker 58 Maiden Lane, New York. The Tap itself is in good shape with a very sharp point. I was just a little curious as to how rare this tap is along with it's original case? I was curious as to the actual age of the Tap.
Ron: The Lawrence Tap is a very collectable item especially in its wooden box (it was also marketed in a cardboard box). I am not aware of any examples being found not marked with the patent date October 17, 1876. This patent was granted to William & Richard Bentley, New York, N.Y. for a Bottle Faucet. Theodore Ricksecker was an well known entrepreneur of the time that marketed many different types of items. Judging from the numbers that have been found the Lawrence Tap must have been produced well into the 19th century. Every serious (twisted?) corkscrew collector should have a Lawrence Tap (in an original box) in their collection!
Diane Mitchell: My father is 90 yrs old and obtained a cancan dancer legged corkscrew from his father in law many years ago. He is now interested in parting with it and I would like to know the best place to seek a buyer for him. It has faded orange top of legs and red and white striped stockings and silver heeled boots. It is marked Germany at the top of the pull.
Ron: As the German Ladies Legs corkscrew is a very collectible item may I suggest you place it up for auction on Ebay.
Robert E. Yount: I have an Anheuser-Busch Corkscrew made by Williamson Co., Newark, NJ. Under the handle it reads "Need not pull keep turning." Can you give me the history and value of this?
Ron: As you have not described the corkscrew I assume it has a short open bell & wire cutter perhaps with a crown caplifter with a nickel plated brass sleeve over the shaft. The sleeve is marked "WILLIAMSOM CO. NEWARK PATENTED". If this is the model you have they are usually marked with the patent date August 10, 1897 on one end of the wooden handle. Advertising Anheuser-Busch corkscrews were manufactured in great numbers. They do surface at nostalgia and antique shows with examples turning up on Ebay and may command interest to breweriana collectors especially if the condition warrants attention.
Tony MacLeod wrote for information on Williamson corkscrews.
Ron: Twisted wire corkscrews with wooden handles were made in mainly two styles by the C.T. Williamson's Wire Novelty Co. (1876-1982), of Newark, New Jersey. One type has the twisted wire shaft tightly twisted and the other less common type had a wide V shaped separation under the handle before joining in a twist before becoming a wire helix. Both styles were made from about 1883 until early in the 20th century. I feel that twisted wire corkscrews marked WILLIAMSON'S tend to be early rather than late examples when competition was at its greatest. The wire was originally bright nickel plated and the pinned together two piece handles were made in both light and dark hardwood. I have attached a picture of the both styles with the V shaped opening under the handle the less common. Perhaps you have a less common type. For a publication (THE WILLIAMSON STORY) on the company that made your corkscrew visit MacLean's Williamson Story..
M-Pascale Halleux wrote: Bonjour, Pourriez-vous me faire savoir comment je pourrais me procurer le livre sur les tire-bouchons ? Merci également de ma faire connaître les conditions de vente.
Ron: As requested this site address provides a list of books on corkscrews.
Darlene Santalucia - I am interested in giving engraved corkscrews and/or engraved corks as a wedding favor. Do you have any idea how I can go about ordering something that if it is possible?
Ron: May I suggest you peruse the many corkscrew items on this link and try to find an appropriate gift that you can order and have suitably engraved.
Joyce Eugene Key - Need information on a key corkscrew. I believe it is from germany. It is a large heavy old door key. The key is 2 parts and the corkscrew is in the handle part. It hangs on a leave. The color may be aquamarine. On the top part of the key is a small red emble and it has what appears to be an eagle with the words FRANKFURT/M. This is all the markings that is on the key.
Ron: From your description it appears you have found a souvenir German key with a badge or emblem for Frankfurt. German manufactured corkscrew keys are usually fitted with a wire helix and the key handle is usually made to be used as a crown cap lifter. The keys are often made with an aged brass finish (fake verdigris) to make then appear old. I believe they are still presently being manufactured and are often seen at antique shows and flea markets. From catalogue pages I know that Monopol in Germany manufactured and marketed a range of corkscrew keys in 1958, perhaps they be able to help. Monopol Usbeck & Söhne Postfach 2320 D-35011 Marburg Germany
Shane Powning - I am a new collector. I have a "Barmaid" and would like to know what it is worth. plus would like to start collecting more preferably french-have any good deals? I have a zigzag.
Ron: The Italian Barmaid and a French Zig-Zag are a nice way to start a collection. You are fortunate with access the Internet as Ebay (http://www.ebay.com/) usually has about a thousand corkscrews up for auction at any one time. As corkscrews sell for $1 up to the thousands for the rare items - you should be able to find many interesting corkscrews to add to your collection.
Richard Walsh - I am a student and I am doing a product investigation on corkscrews for my GCSE coursework. When I came across your web page it interested me, I wanted to know if you could send me some information about your corkscrews, for example how you make them, how you come up with the idea's for the corkscrews, how much they cost to make and where you send them to be sold. I hope that you can send me the information; it would help me a great deal with my project.
Ron: As it would take me many, many hours to answer your questions may I suggest you peruse some of the books on corkscrew that have been published that may provide some suitable answers to part your GCSE course work investigation. Explore the reading list.
Amy Anderson - My father who is 70 was given an old Beer Bottle Corkscrew many years ago, marked "28 Cadillac Sq." BOTTLE BEER 5c". We are trying to find out how old it might be?
Ron:Your advertising corkscrew was manufactured by the Clough Manufacturing Co. in Alton, New Hampshire. An October 16, 1900 U.S. Patent for a Corkscrew Manufacturing Machine to manufacture various types of twisted wire corkscrews was granted to William Rockwell Clough (1844-1920) on October 16, 1900. Advertising corkscrews such as yours were manufactured in considerable numbers early in the 20th century. The company continued in operations until the mid 1930's when the it was closed down by his son. I can see what appears to be a company name in small print which may possibly be the printing firm that applied the advertising. You did not mention if the city was marked on the case but I have a 1898 patent steel corkscrew advertising a company at 26 Cadillac Square, Detroit, Michigan. (and from Don Bull: I don't recall every buying a glass of beer for 5 cents. So...I don't think I am as old as the corkscrew. I suspect beer could well have sold for a nickel a glass during the thirties but I have no evidence of that. If I had to guess, I would say pre-prohibition (before 1920). How about this?: Five Cent Beer).
Cherie Bennet. Colorado - I have a sterling silver bacchus cork screw - can anyone tell me anything about it?
Ron: As you did not send a description or a picture of your Bacchus corkscrew it is difficult to say anything provide you information. Perhaps it may be the relatively common silver plated double lever Italian corkscrew marked BACCHUS on the bottom of the grape encrusted barrel. Examples often appear for auction on eBay.
Andrea - Please help- how can I get a cork out of a bottle without a corkscrew? and Kallen from Oregon -I am looking for a device that will extract a cork after it has been pushed into the bottle? I don't like cork in my wine!
Ron: In your search to find a device to extract a cork from within a bottle, may I suggest you peruse the following web sites that should be able to help. http://www.bullworks.net/virtual/virtual/csonline.htm, http://www.corkscrewstore.com/ or http://www.finelycorked.com/catalog.htm . I don't like cork in my wine either!
Yudie, New York - Where can I buy a co2 powered corkscrew?
Ron: I am not aware of any CO2 powered cork removers currently on the market. A gas powered (probably air/nitrogen) is available visit Corkpops.
Andy Lound, Birmingham, England: I am researching the life and works of William Edward Hipkins (1857-1912) who was the son in the G.F. Hipkins & Son company. This company made corkscrews. My interest is to get some general background information about G.F. Hipkins & Son as a company. I will be staging a small exhibition at the Soho House Museum Birmingham, England which will feature details about William and his life and it would be neat to include details of the work of his family business.
Ron: You have asked a tough question - a quick search of my library turned up only three publications that may be of some interest but I am certain you must already have the information. 1 TOOLS FOR THE TRADES AND CRAFTS by Kenneth Roberts, Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire. ISBN 0-913602-18-3 first published in 19766. It is an 18th century Pattern Book Timmins & Sons, Birmingham. In a table of organizational charts for Birmingham Toy Makers 1767-1889. G.F. Hipkins 1865 and G.F. Hipkins & Sons 1876 are present linked to other merger dates. Chart title indicates that information comes from Birmingham Directory listings. 2 Watney, Bernard M. and Homer D. Babbidge. Corkscrews for Collectors ISBN 0 85667 113 4. London, England: Philip Wilson Publishers for Sotheby Parke Bernet Publications, 1981. Information present on both George & William Hipkins. 3 Wallis, Fletcher. British Corkscrew Patents from 1795 ISBN 1 898825 05 X Brighton, East Sussex, England: Vernier Press, 1997. Again information is present on both George & William Hipkins. Unfortunately I am on the wrong side of the world to have relevant information available.
Yves Daigle: Looking for the Pulltaps corkscrew distibutors in Canada or the Manufacturers?
Ron: I believe Karel Janousek of Octagon Marketing Inc. Vancouver, B.C. may be able to help you. Octagon Marketing may be a distributor or perhaps may know the Canadian Importer. One example I have is marked Raimon Casellas, 38 08205 Sabadell (Barcelona) SPAIN Fax (34 3) 711 25 59.
Ian Hunter, Australia: Can you shed any light on this corkscrew:pairThe knife comes apart into 5 pieces and is marked "practicum patente DRUA"
Ron: I have never seen the model of the knife with the dual back spring arrangement and with the particular helix shaft attachment feature. The marking DRUA may actually be DRGM indicating it is a German Registration. I wonder why if was made to break down into 5 pieces. See picture of this corkscrew.
James Michael Marr, Virginia: I am interested in developing an artistic series of bronze corkscrews. Where do I find the manufacturer for the spirals; preferably stainless steel. Your comments would be appreciated.
Ron: As far as I am aware, with the demise of ETAMCO, Newark, N.J. in 1982, which included the C.T. Williamson Wire Novelty Co., there are presently no manufacturers of helixes operating in North America. Corkmaster: Donald A. Bull found one site in France that appear to manufacture a wide range of corkscrew worms http://www.morel-bellein.com. Perhaps by contacting them you may be able to find a suitable helix for your proposed artistic bronze corkscrews.
Sean, London , England: There seem to be a variety of different markings that appear on German Legs & pocket corkscrews, e.g. German Registered , Gesetlich Geschutzt etc. - are any of these corkscrews, by virtue of their markings, more collectible than others?
Ron: Short answer - If you have a choice between two virtually identical corkscrews normally the one that is marked should be chosen. Markings can help in researching an item especially if it was patented or had the design registered. Germany Registered indicates the design was possibly registered in Germany (DRGM) or in England and Gesetlich Geschutzt (protected by law) does not guarantee that a patent was granted. Long answer - The explanation of corkscrew markings is an endless topic as marking are so diverse. Markings may refer to the patent, patentee, design registration, manufacturer, material of manufacture and district or country of manufacture. It is not uncommon to find patent markings that are in error. To make it more interesting they are sometimes written in the language of the manufacturing country especially if not intended for export to an English speaking nation.
Sophie Clarke, firstname.lastname@example.org Could you email me any information you have on Double Levers as I researching this for a qualification in design. Specifically any information on manufacture and the ideas behind the design.
Ron: Common die cast double lever rack & pinion corkscrews are the norm today as they are relatively inexpensive and easy to use compared to earlier single lever examples. A great number of reference books have been published on corkscrews. MECHANICAL CORKSCREWS, THEIR EVOLUTION, ACTIONS AND PATENTS by Ferd Peters http://www.angelfire.com/electronic/fpeters/ delves into the mechanics of single & double lever design may be of interest in your research. If you want to carry out Patent searches the following web site may be of some interest: http://www.lib.lsu.edu/sci/chem/patent/srs135_internet.html. Obviously the cost manufacture as well as the expected acceptability to the marketplace (ease of use, cost to purchase, competition etc.) were/are of concerns for both the patentees and the manufacturers. Trivia - the first double lever rack & pinion corkscrew was patented in the United States by Dominick Rosati on April 1, 1930 and a few months later in Canada on November 25, 1930.
Mel Rodman I've recently acquired a strange (to me) roundlet. The worm is attached to the non-threaded half with a universal-joint type of coupling which permits 360 degrees of rotation. It is marked Williamson Co., Newark, NJ and PAT. SEP 1900. How unusual is this? It is "bass ackwards" from the roundlets I'm familiar with.
Ron: The 1900 Patent Williamson nickel plated brass roundlet is is fairly common along with the earlier 1897 patent. As well presented in O'Leary p96 & p102 & p112 they were made in different shapes (bottles, bullets for example) and the patent dates are sometimes not always correctly marked.
Steve Rasch NYC email@example.com What can you tell me about the " Rasch Patent" corkscrew? (I guess it's not invented by one of my relatives)
Ron: If your ancestors are German perhaps there is a connection. There were 4 German gentleman named Rasch in the 19th century who were involved in corkscrews. I am sure you are referring to the most well known patent DRP No. 20803 granted on March 14, 1882 to Valentin Rasch, Zella St. Blasii, Thudding. His sons August, Hugo and Eduard Rasch were also corkscrew patentees and manufacturers ( F. Peters - German Corkscrew Patents). The 1882 Patent was a mechanical masterpiece employing a D handle which operated a cam action to extract the cork. Unfortunately I have not found one (yet) in my area. To research your family tree it may be worth checking - http://www.inlink.com/~nomi/wftlist/volume8.html . NOTE: Steve and Ron are members of the SMLCC.
Click here to see Dwight Dolliver's Question.
Ron: What an unusual find! In response to your questions - Where did it come from? - Obviously it is an English 19th century Thomason action corkscrew. It is strange it does not have a solder stain or mark on the barrel as almost every closed barrel Thomason had a badge at some point. The hand carved handle does look like a fairly sympathetic replacement perhaps a little too heavy/chunky albeit a nice one. What is it worth? - Who knows as it does have a replaced helix (unsympathetic however) and handle. As a souvenir of the trip I guess I would just keep it as a wonderful keepsake with a terrific story. More from Dwight: Thanks so much for your time. One never knows where an old corkscrew is hiding. A woman at the "TINY" antique shop at the small train station had a whole box full of corkscrews...most were simple bows or T's, but this one was in the bottom, and she wanted ~$115 USD for it. I informed her that it was broken and not worth that much, so we struck a deal at ~$50 USD. Now if only the screw could talk!!! I am currently traveling to Europe every 1-2 weeks and so get to prowl for another "find". I have been meeting and hunting with Trevor Holdsworth in Paris on the last few trips.....lots of fun.
John Blumson from Australia firstname.lastname@example.org I understand the Columbus type corkscrew were produced from the 1890's to the 1930's. I have managed to locate three for sale marked DRGM, Germany and the third unmarked. All have small wooden handles. Is there any advice on which to purchase or alternatives to look for. My collection is in its infancy.
Ron: As the German Columbus type corkscrews you are referring to have wood handles I assume they are the examples with a split frame with ring. If so, the design was first given a full DRP Patent on March 3, 1893. Other similar design were given registrations (DRGM) until just before W.W.II. In purchasing a corkscrew it is always best to find one with a patent or registration mark. They normally are more sought after by collectors that unmarked examples.
Cedric Franz from South Africa email@example.com I have just purchased an old Clough type corkscrew. About 4 and a half inches in size. The odd thing is that although the entire corkscrew is made out of a single piece of wire, the screw is archemedes. The screw also contains the following markings: "ONY DUSSIEUX.10" and "D.23.014". Does anybody know anything about this corkscrew? Is it French since the name seems to be French?
Ron: I am a little confused regarding your find. Clough corkscrews all have a wire helix never with an archimedean worm. Perhaps your example is made from light rod with a forged archimedean helix. The French did produce corkscrews made this way. The advertising certainly appears to be French or perhaps Flemish from Belgium. I am sorry I could not be of any more help without seeing the corkscrew. More from Ron: I just received a copy of a book on French corkscrews manufacturers by Gerard Bidault. Louis Victor (Tony) Dussieux was a French manufacturer specializing in hardware made from steel. In the early days he operated under the name Tony Dussieux, 4 Passage Violet, Paris, France. The company formed in 1892 operated as a family business until 1932 and under another firms direction until 1970.
Robert Douds from Atlanta, Ga. USA firstname.lastname@example.org I have always used the generic term Churchkey as anything that would open a bottle of beer. Any idea on origin of the word?
Ron: I too used the term which I learned from my dad. I had no idea where the expression originated. I had to contact a real expert Don Bull for the answer - Don Bull wrote to say From my "Just for Openers" issue Number 4, October 1979: In the "Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins" William and Mary Morris explain the term "Church Key" as follows: "When I passed on through my newspaper column a question from a Maryland reader about why the tool that punches a triangular hole in a beer can is called a church key, I received lots of explanations. Included was one amusing script - virtually a one-act play - purporting to prove that the name was coined by a pair of hung-ver acolytes. But then I had an explanation from - where else? - Milwaukee, the beer capital of the world. It seems so authentic that all other theories may now be put aside. For one thing, Mr. J. R. Oberhofer, an old-time brewery worker, pointed out that the expression church key is much older than the device that leaves a triangular hole in beer cans. Indeed, it goes back to early days of the brewing business, when beer was first dispensed in bottles. The expression church key is old in the brewing business, he wrote. I worked in a brewery for about 35 years and everybody carried a bottle opener or church key, perhaps so called because it looked like the top end of the kind of heavy ornate key used to unlock church doors. I am enclosing an old relic that is about 50 years old. Its made of cast iron and from its weight and appearance, you can see its resemblance to a church door key. With the coming of cans in the brewing business, the bottle opener gave way to the can opener that makes the triangular marks - but the name church key was simply transferred to this new device." Mr Oberhofer did send the cast iron bottle opener, and the evidence seems to me entirely persuasive. Thanks to him for settling a question that has puzzled me for many a year." It sounds like a terrific answer to me!
More from Bob: Thanks for the reply I also am going for the orgin of the word being the emulation of the ancient keys used to open big church doors in europe. I now own 15 of the said style keys/openers found on EBAY look under corkscrew keys and you will see lots of pics..
Don Bull: What's the latest on your dogs?
Ron: Pinot, born on March 8, 1982, celebrated her 18th birthday yesterday. She walked down the steps to the backyard by herself with her brother Pommard (8) & sister Delaware (2). The temperature was a balmy 21ºC - rather nice compared to the usual 1ºC we have this time of year. Unfortunately tomorrow it is to plummet back down to the norm! Here are pictures of my dogs: Ron MacLean's dogs.
Pat Betzhold email@example.com I'm looking for information on the Will and Finck company and their corkscrews. Any help?
Ron: As you know Will & Fink (Frederick Will & Julius Finck) were a prolific manufacturer, importer and merchandiser of cutlery, hardware as well as gambling items in the San Francisco area in the late 19th century. The best reference book on Will & Finck is KNIFEMAKERS OF OLD SAN FRANCISCO by Bernard R. Levine. ISBN 0-930478-01-0 Publisher & Distributed by Badger Books, Post Office Box 40336, San Francisco, California 94140. This is an excellent book which details the history of corkscrew manufacturers Michael Price & Jacob Herman Schintz who made corkscrews under contract to Will & Finck. In many cases Will & Finck obtained many of their corkscrews from Humason & Beckley, New York and fitted their own Ivory or bone handles. See one Will & Finck corkscrew at http://www.bullworks.net/virtual/bidwell/bidwell.htm.
Fiona Clewlow : I have an unusual folding bow. Where the helix is usually hinged at the base of the bow, the sides of the bow join and continue for approx. 1 1/2" with the wire helix hinged approx. half way down. Is this a scarce variant or have I just been looking in the wrong reference books?
Ron: It is difficult from your description to understand what the bow looks like or how it is manufactured. If you could email an image perhaps I may be able to help in the identification. Perhaps you have found a new type of bow or a unknown variant!
Linda Korsen firstname.lastname@example.org I collect Dr. Syntax items. Is there a Dr. Syntax corkscrew?
Ron: I am not aware of a Dr. Syntax corkscrew. I had to look on eBay to find out about Dr Syntax items!
Jennie Alvarez in Ohio email@example.com Where can I find a Laguiole?
Ron: I assume you mean a Laguiole corkscrew knife. Early examples surface on eBay auction site from time to time. http://pages.ebay.com/search/items/search.html .New models are available from many retailers. May I suggest perusing http://www.bullworks.net/virtual/virtual/csonline.htm as many of the sites market Laguiole models.
Tony Dix in Colorado Tonydix10@hotmail.com On a couple of corkscrews I have, the worm is double the length of anything else I have seen. One is at least 3 inches long with wood handle and sprung shank. Purchased in Amsterdam last year.
Ron: I agree a 3" long worm not including the shank is quite long. As even the longest Bordeaux corks are generally no longer than 2 1/4". I checked a few of my pieces and 2 1/2" is quite common. I do have two Hercules type spring action examples with long worms one 3" and the longest 3 1/4".
firstname.lastname@example.org Where can I look for information on the Deuse brothers? Who knows whether All Thomason types were designed and produced for suspension. One I have is marked NE PLUS ULTA below RCA. It has no suspension ring.
Ron: I have no information on the Deuse Brothers. Yes, usually Thomason corkscrews were fitted with a split ring for hanging. Keep your eyes open at antique shows and flea markets as rings sometimes surface.
Patrick Carr, New York, USA (email@example.com) - I have a what you would call new--it's circa WWII--waiter's corkscrew made by J.A. Henckels logo on the knife. It's what I have heard referred to as a "champagne" corkscrew it has a second blade that's curved. Anyway, my problem is that it has some degree of sentimental value I'm sure it's not worth much and I broke the worm. I was wondering if any of you guys knew where to get either that corkscrew or its replacement worm. Henckels appears to not make their waiter's model anymore--just a wing version.
Ron: A replacement worm is virtually impossible to find and the actual replacement requires someone skilled in knife repair. May I suggest you peruse eBay auction site as J.A. Henckels examples sometimes surface: http://pages.ebay.com/search/items/search.html .
Hugh Slater firstname.lastname@example.org - Are there any current patents still applicable to roundlet designs? I am interested in manufacturing a number of them.
Ron: A tough question - May I suggest you search the following web site which is linked to most significant world patent offices regarding corkscrew roundlets: http://www.lib.lsu.edu/sci/chem/patent/srs135_internet.html
Michael Lee of Ohio email@example.com - I am researching helical manufacturing devices. I would like to find other views of the Thomas Truelove corkscrew-making device that is pictured in "Corkscrews and Bottle Openers" by Evan Perry, Shire Publishers. Can anyone help?
Ron: You have bought up subject dear to my heart. I saw the Thomas Trulove wire helix manufacturing machine in the fall of 1990 when it was on loan from the Sheffield Industrial Museum to the Wohnmuseum Barengasse in Zurich, Switzerland. It was positioned in a scene depicting what Truelove's workshop might have looked like. The museum had a wonderful corkscrew display as part of the International Correspondence of Corkscrew Addicts AGM activities. It was a very small device looking somewhat crudely built as evidenced by the photograph in Perry. Wire helix worms were made by by similar methods in both England and the United States by corkscrew manufacturers using rod formers or mandrels. In Germany early wire, web helix and archimedean worms were made using spring swages and power hammer swages were later used to manufacture wire helixes.
Mike: I have been trudging along with my own crude helix bending device consisting of a grooved mandrel and a torch to do my forging. What has complicated my project is that I am bending a double helix. (eg: two prongs simultaneously), ergo my mandrel has two grooves. I know there had to be a simpler way because of the number of double helix "guns worms" still around. I have one photo of the Truelove machine, but I cannot figure out how it works. That is why I was looking for more info or views of the contraption,
Karl Janousek in Canada firstname.lastname@example.org Looking for literature devoted to champagne taps.nippers and knives.Also when was the last champagne tap made? Can anybody help?
Ron: I am not aware of any publication devoted to champagne taps etc. It would be wonderful if a young, enterprising collector, such as yourself, would undertake the required research and compile a book on the topic. Do we have a volunteer? Karl: I am flattered you call me a young collector.I also know my collection is"young" not myself. If you guide me to some research I will look into it.At present I am just trying to find out what is out there. I am also assembling like everybody else any info on taps I can find.Unfortunately there is not much available here.You can maybe find some info on the US taps but you have to go to Europe to search for the French,Italian and British ones. Ron: To search U.S., European and other countries Patents peruse http://www.lib.lsu.edu/sci/chem/patent/srs135_internet.html
Kallen from Oregon email@example.com I am looking for a device that will extract a cork after it has been pushed into the bottle? I don't like cork in my wine!
Ron: In your search to find a device to extract a cork from within a bottle, may I suggest you peruse the following web sites that should be able to help. http://www.bullworks.net/virtual/virtual/csonline.htm, http://www.corkscrewstore.com/ or http://www.finelycorked.com/catalog.htm . I don't like cork in my wine either!
smc: I am doing a research on why they put a cork in the wine bottle? Can any tell?
Ron: To carry out research on why wine is corked I suggest you visit your local library. Virtually every library will have references to publications regarding this well documented subject.
Michelle from Saint Lucia firstname.lastname@example.org I am urgently trying to find a pocket corkscrew for a good friend of mine. I want a simple pocket corkscrew where the worm fits into the sheath (ideally in silver or chrome). Can anyone tell me where to buy one, so I can get it air-freighted to me ASAP?
Ron: To possibly resolve your urgent difficulty, may I suggest contacting the following two web sites which should be able to help: http://www.corkscrewstore.com/ and http://www.finelycorked.com/catalog.htm.
Michael San Antonio, Maine, USA, email@example.com. I have a leverpull corkscrew that has bound up. Does anyone know where I could get it repaired.
Ron: I assume you are referring to a mechanical Lever Screwpull? If so, just go to a retailer of the corkscrew and ask for a replacement part or where can you obtain a part or get it repaired
H Tovey, England, firstname.lastname@example.org. I am doing a project reviewing the design of the double arm cork screw. I was wondering if you new of any websites on cork screw market research?
Ron: Sorry, I am not aware of any websites on corkscrew market research. Re double arm corkscrew- Trivia - I do know the first double lever rack & pinion corkscrew was patented in the United States by Dominick Rosati on April 1, 1930 and a few months later in Canada on November 25, 1930.
John, PA, USA, email@example.com. I found a wooden handle corkscrew on the handle and the metal crown is the name Schlitz, which was a beer company long ago here in philly. Did beer at one time have corks?
Ron: Yes, beer bottles were stoppered with a cork until the crimped steel crown cork cap was invented by William Painter, Baltimore, Maryland in 1892. There was no other cheap method to stopper bottle. By the early 20th century the crown cork cap was in use over the world. 110 year ago everything in a bottle had a cork - beer, wine, hard liquor, all alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages, liquid food items such as olive oil, vinegar and even ketchup bottles used a cork. For a book on Beer & Soda openers that include many corkscrews may I suggest a recently published book http://www.bullworks.net/virtual/books/jfobook.htm
Steve Foster, Worcester, England, firstname.lastname@example.org. I have a victorian corkscrew made by robert jones & amp; son, how much is it worth?
Ron: Robert Jones (& Son) was a very prolific English manufacturer of corkscrews in the 19th century. They manufactured virtually everything from simple tee handled corkscrews to mechanical brass examples. Value depends of course on what model you have, condition and rarity. May I suggest perusing past Christies Corkscrew Auction catalogues or eBay auction site http://pages.ebay.com/search/items/search.html to try to determine a value for your particular model.
Steve: Thanks for the reply to my recent query. The corkscrew concerned is the same as the one that fetched £18400 at Christies a couple of years ago, though not in quite as good condition ! It will be on sale at Christies this May, so I will let you know how it goes.
Paul, Netherlands, email@example.com. Who and where was the corkscrew invented and where can I find info as to the history of the corkscrew.
Ron: May I suggest you peruse the web site of Ferd Peters which contains information related to your query. http://www.angelfire.com/electronic/fpeters/ Several other books that deal with the history of corkscrews are in the answer below.
Vanessa, Canada,Yoshi30@Hotmail.com. I am doing a report on corkscrews in science and Iwould like to know how many screws and if there is any wheel and axle stuff like that
Ron: Your request would take several hours to compile. I will be lazy, to start take a look at the web site of Don Bull which contains more information than most people would want to know about corkscrews - http://www.bullworks.net/virtual.htm. Books - there are quite a number of books available on corkscrew collecting. Two recent publications are The Ultimate Corkscrew Book -http://www.bullworks.net/virtual/books/books.htm British Corkscrew Patents from 1795 - http://www3.mistral.co.uk/pipes/corkscrew.html. Here is a partial list of corkscrew related books that will show you the mechanical diversity and complexity of corkscrews - Bernston, Buster and Per Ekman.Scandinavian Corkscrews. Täby, Sweden: Tryckeriförlaget, 1994. Bull, Donald A. The Ultimate Corkscrew Book. Atlgen, Pennsylvania, USA: Schiffer Publishing Ltd., 1999. MacLean, Ron. A Guide to Canadian Corkscrew Patents. Mississauga, Ontario, Canada: MacLean, 1985. O'Leary, Fred. Corkscrews: 1000 Patented Ways to Open a Bottle. Atlgen, Pennsylvania, USA: Schiffer Publishing Ltd., 1996. Olive, Guy. Tire Bouchons Français Brevets 1828-1974. France: Olive, 1995. Perry, Evan. Corkscrews and Bottle Openers. Buckinghamshire, England: Shire Publications, Ltd., 1980. Peters, Ferd. German Corkscrew Patents and Registrations. Holland: Peters, 1997. Peters, Ferd. MECHANICAL CORKSCREWS, THEIR EVOLUTION, ACTIONS AND PATENTS http://www.angelfire.com/electronic/fpeters/ Pumpenmeier, Klaus. Deutscher Gebrauchmusterschutz für Korkenzieher 1891-1945. Bad Salzuflen, Germany: Pumpenmeier, 1997. Wallace, Fletcher. British Corkscrew Patents from 1795. Brighton, East Sussex, England: Vernier Press, 1997. Watney, Bernard M. and Homer D. Babbidge. Corkscrews for Collectors. London, England: Philip Wilson Publishers for Sotheby Parke Bernet Publications, 1981.
January 4, 2000: William Schmitt from CT (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes: I find the "Ultimate Corkscrew Book" invaluable. My question is how to keep current with prices, which I assume change in time
Answer: Join Corkscrew and Opener Clubs, go to meetings, and watch sales on ebay (www.ebay.com).
October 11, 1999: Phil PAC@cls.city-of-london.sch.uk writes from London: I am collecting information to complete a product investigation of corkscrews, mainly the butlers friend. Any ideas how to find this information.
Answer: Check out the various corkscrew site links at http://www.bullworks.net/virtual/virtual/cslinks.htm.
October 11, 1999: Jim writes: I have about 80 corkscrews have been collecting about a year . Does that qualify me for membership in the SMLCC? I am glad there is no fee because I'm going broke buying corkscrews. Thanks for the invite but can't send picture no scanner. Hope that doesn't disqualify me or should I say cork remove me. Thanks again, Jim
Answer: Jim, Just snailmail a photo to: SMLCC, c/o Don Bull, P. O. Box 596, Wirtz, VA 24184 USA.
October 11, 1999: From Mike in South Dakota mod61047@DTGNET.COM - Where can I buy a cork remover that has two spring steel cupped blades that you work down either side of the cork and with a pulling twist extract an undamaged cork?
Answer: Check out current corkscrews for sale at http://www.bullworks.net/virtual/virtual/csonline.htm.
August 30, 1999: From Ken House in British Columbia, Canada (email@example.com) - Where can I find a Laguiole corkscrew, patterned like the "waiters friend" but with a shaft of polished horn, steel tipped at each end. A spine of darker, patterned steel running along the top of the handle,ending with a flat, stylized image of a bee. Stamped on the surface of the lever is the word Laguiole. This description from page 118 of Peter Mayle's Encore Provence.
Answer: Check out current corkscrews for sale at http://www.bullworks.net/virtual/virtual/csonline.htm
August 30, 1999: From Tara: What are the parts of a corkscrew?
There are many parts to the great variety of corkscrews produced. You can find hundreds of Mechanical corkscrews with their details in Ferd. Peters new book. See Ferd Peters website.
August 2, 1999: Clive Quinn, Australia (firstname.lastname@example.org) - I've been collecting corkscrews for a while now and have up to now stuck to obviously old ones. Should I be also collecting the newer corkscrews (on the grounds that they will be old too one day)? Should I collect all corkscrews? Are there some I shouldn't bother with? What about plastic ones/cheap and nasty ones/mass produced in taiwan ones?
Answer: The simple answer is that you should collect corkscrews you like. I personally like them all - old, new, pretty, ugly, plastic, metal...Don Bull
April 11, 1999: From Clive Quinn in Australia (email@example.com): In my meagre collection of corkscrews I have one which bears the name the surprise and also a spring assisted one with the inscription hercule. Can anyone give me information about them. Also why do some of my older wooden-handled corkscrews have a small metal ring at the top? It makes them easy to display but I'm sure that's not its primary purpose.
Answer: The Surprise is George Willet's 1884 English Registration number 13185. The "Hercules" type corkscrew is derived from an 1883 German patent by Dunisch and Schöler. The ring at the top is for hanging it.
March 27, 1999: From Debbie (BlueSkyWG@aol.com): Hi: I just found your name while searching "google". I have a brass corkskrew that is a man and the screw part is him holding his penis. Man, there's delicate way to explain that....is this worth anything or, like my other treasures, very common?
Answer: Alas these corkscrews are not difficult to find. They turn up quite frequently on the ebay auction site with most selling for a pittance or not selling at all. If you would like to know the background on these guys, go to: Brussel's Sprout
March 27, 1999: From Roy Wise (firstname.lastname@example.org): I am wondering about the worms that belong to Heeley A1 double levers. I have two with wire helix, and the one on Perry's cover is like that and the ones that I notice on eBay are like that. But one of the four pictured in your book has a different worm, almost looks like a speed worm. Can you tell me about worms on Heeleys? Were the originals all wire or were there two (or more) types of worm over the years? And, if so, is one harder to find and hence more valuable (collectable)?
Answer: That is a very interesting observation. I must admit - I had not noticed that (shame on me). But it is not unusual to find corkscrews of the same type with different worms. I checked my A1 with the web helix and I feel it is definitely genuine and has not been replaced. Given the quantities that turn up, one would have to agree that the web helix is rarer. It is also interesting to note that my example has advertising on the handle. I also have an A-1 in mint condition in the original box. The picture on the box top shows a wire helix. I recently got a TYR (page 89) with a wire helix to mate with my other one. Now I'll have to spend the entire day examining my worms!!!...DB
March 27, 1999: From Toby Fournier (email@example.com): What percentage of Americans do not own a corkscrew?
Answer: Depends on their age ....DB
December 21, 1998: Question from Keith Baxter (Keith@hell-bringer.demon.co.uk): I found you site through a search: Pulltaps. I am currently working for the Four Seasons Hotel London, and wish to locate the manufacturer of Pulltaps? And if they have a manufacturing facilities ideally in London or Europe? Can you help me?
Answer: Pulltaps c/. Raimon Casellas, 38 0205 Sabadell (Barcelona) SPAIN FAX: 34 3 711 25 59
Question from Duncan Ross Duncan Ross in Scotland: My father used to own a bottle opener that comprised of a black cylinder that held a CO2 bulb and a needle at one end. You stuck it in the cork, hit the trigger and the cork popped out. I've not seen these for years - can they still be found.?
Answer: Regarding your question on Don Bulls homepage about CO2 cartridge cork pullers/openers, I have noticed several over the past few months for sale as ebay auctions (www.ebay.com/aw/). Once at the ebay site, just select SEARCH, and search for "corkscrew" or "cork" and scan the hits. Do this every few days (each auction lasts from 3 to 7 days) and you should see a CO2 cork opener for sale. The challenge is to get the winning bid! Good luck. I purchased one that way recently. Bob Roger. firstname.lastname@example.org
Here's one that comes up frequently - Question: December 1, 1998 from David_S._Taylor- I am looking for someone who manufactures high quality corkscrew worms (only) for use on creating custom Waiters style corkscrews. Would you know of any one that makes / sells just the worms?
Answer: See: http://www.aardvark-eng.demon.co.uk
Question: October 13, 1998 from Sookki@aol.com. Where can I obtain a Johnny Corkscrew for the show Peter Pan. It is something that the Pirates use. I have looked absolutely EVERYWHERE.
Answer: John Belcher ( writes: From Peter Pan - 'Shall i after him, Captain,'aked pathetic Smee, 'and tickle him with Johnny Corkscrew/' Smee had pleasant names for everything' and his cutlass was Johnny Corkscrew. because he wriggled it in the wound.one could mention many lovable traits in smee. for instance, after killing, it was his spectacles he wiped instead of his weapon. 'Johnny's a silent fellow', he reminded Hook. (Answer: a cutlass).
Question: October 13, 1998 from Dan Baker in Berkeley,California email@example.com. When were corkscrews invented?
Answer: Over 300 years ago.
Question: December 14, 1997 from Max Furr Mfurr@gloryroad.net. I have a metal corkscrew that has the inscription Green River The whisky without a headache. It is about 5.5 inches long. When the screw is folded back into the handle, the whole thing is 3 inches long. Can anyone give me any history on this.
Answer: The Green River Corkscrew is called THE UNIVERSAL and it was patented June 27, 1905 by Harry W. Noyes. It is a pump lever. If you look on the underside, it should be marked UNIVERSAL with the patent date. Surprisingly, the Green River is the most commonly seen of this corkscrew. It has also been seen without advertising and with advertising for Olympia Brewing Co....Don Bull
Question: May 1, 1997 from Bill Gould BillGould@webtv.net - I have a quest. I'm looking for a corkscrew to open bottles of wine at the millenium. The bottle will be 205 years old!
Answer: I think an appropriate corkscrew for a 205 year bottle of wine at the millenium would be a 205 year old corkscrew! The Henshall corkscrew was patented in England in 1795 (205 years before the millenium. This is a wood handle corkscrew with button above the worm. There is a marked one (OBSTANDO PROMOVES SOHO PATENT) with brush in the May 14 Christie's Auction in London. Presale estimate (lot 164) is 800 - 1000 pounds. Lot 165 is also marked but no brush. Estimate is 600 - 800 pounds. Lots 166 & 167 are unmarked examples with estimates of 80 to 150 pounds. Lot 168 is a Variant with Robert Jones type handle, marked and estimated at 300 - 400 pounds....Don Bull
Question: April 26, 1997 from Bob Roger firstname.lastname@example.org. I need help identifying the pedigree of my Dachshund, chrome, tail and rear feet form cap lifter. 4 1/2: long. 2 1/4" center cut worm folds under and forward to belly. Left side is marked in raised letters CROSBY PUP. Anyone know who sired him and when and where?
Answer: Bob, years ago Fred Andrew came up with the story that 50 of these were made for Bing Crosby to give to friends. Over the years, I have owned three of them. The Germans also made an elephant and Scotty dog with the same folding worm. These can be viewed with the Crosby Pup on my "Exhibits" page (link from homepage)....Don Bull
Question: April 6, 1997 from Lisa Diehl, Portland, Oregon 105500,email@example.com - "Fixing my Bird" How do I go about getting the helix on my chrome Negbauer parrot replaced and at what cost. What is the value of my bird?
Answer: It is probably easier to get another one than to fix it. The standard model (smaller of the two models) is not too hard to find. I saw three on a short 1/2 day trip last week. As far as what it's worth, that depends on what model it is and how badly you want it or someone else wants it. As with most collectibles, prices vary for a variety of reasons. If it is the standard model marked NEGBAUR and U.S.A. PAT'D at the base of the Parrot, and PAT'D NE inside, you won't get rich selling it, especially if damaged. There are at least green, chrome, and gold colors in the standard model, a second model of same size but with different style feathers on the top third, and a larger, scarcer (and much more expensive) version. The standard version is usually with a helix worm. The one I have of the larger version has a center cut worm marked Williamson on the shaft. They aren't always marked with all of the marks listed above. The patent is 1929 (see O'Leary's book) by Avillar.....Bob Roger. firstname.lastname@example.org
Question: April 4, 1997 from Alexander R. Adam, Germany email@example.com - I am looking for an air pump corkscrew named CORKETTE, made in England. I tried to order at the Wine Enthusiast buy it failed. Impossible to order in Germany.
Answer: Ron MacLean writes that he has a duplicate burgundy and white Corkette in excellent condition for sale or trade. It is marked Corkette U.K. Pat. No. 986984 complete with instructions in case marked SPONG Co. LTD. firstname.lastname@example.org
Question: March 2, 1997 from George Lay email@example.com - I have a Schlitz corkscrew with wooden handle. In the middle of the handle is a globe with advertising for Schlitz, Milwaukee. The bell is cast in the shape of a globe with Schlitz advertising. What is age and value?
Answer: Sounds like you have one of Edwin Walker's first bells, manufactured by E.S.M. Co., Erie, Pennsylvania in the early 1890's. One of these sold in the April 1996 Christie's London auction for £138. Bob Roger firstname.lastname@example.org
Question: February 5, 1997 from Brian McCann email@example.com - Where can I have a missing brush replaced in the handle of a corkscrew?
Answer: Many of the brushes on corkscrews are not old - they are sometimes replaced with bristles from horsehair shaving brushes....Don Bull. Ron MacLean says "I have found that early shaving brushes are usually much too soft. Usually a suitably coloured clothes dusting brush bristles are stiff enough and are the same as the brushes originally fitted. Ladies' and infants' hair brushes often work well as well."
Question: February 2, 1997 from Leo P. Woodall (firstname.lastname@example.org) - I recently purchased a 6" brass parrot (Negbaur) with worm marked Williamson Co. There are no other markings. Did Williamson manufacture this corkscrws. What is approx. value?
Answer: Ron MacLean says Williamson was the supplier of the web helix only for the large brass parrot. They supplied worms for the makers of the Neal patent, Syroco figures, Niftys and can openers. "It is worth many marked Negbaur parrots!"
Click here for some early questions with pix.
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