Lynne Kagan writes: I found a French scissor action corkscrew called a Zig-Zag. Could you please send me info on it...like date it was made and where in France.
Ron: At the top of this page we have placed a picture of the three most commonly found examples all with the nickel plated brass handles marked ZIG ZAG on both sides and the disc area just below marked with manufacturers abbreviations for the model registrations etc.
Left is a nickel plated steel, spring to close concertina action corkscrew fitted with a centre point forged web helix. This example, which is a corkscrew only, is an example of French Patent No. 503957 granted to Marie Jules Leon Bart on March 29, 1920.
Middle is a later model of similar construction as above but with the addition of two crown cork cap lifter hooks/tabs on the uppermost arms for removing beer or soft drink bottle caps. This design is French Patent No. 649209 also granted to M. J. L. Bart on August 27, 1928. This example also has the disc marked "ABERCROMBIE & FITCH, CO. NEW YORK" and "38" for 1938.
Right - a circa 1970 example of much lighter construction with only simple rivets to join the link arms and fitted with a wire helix as opposed to the more difficult to fabricate forged web helix on the previous two examples. According to les fabriques françaises de Tire-bouchons (French Corkscrew Manufacturers) by Gérard Bidault the earlier models were manufactured in Nancy, France by "Ateliers Jules Bart".
A double digit number may often be found on the handle disc indicating the year of manufacture. As they were produced in great quantities over the years they are not too difficult to find and do surface often on Ebay.
and Douglas R. Marki writes: I have a corkscrew with Zig Zag on the handle made in france by S.G.D.G. and under this writing there is more lettering which looks like M & M DER.
Ron: S. G. D. G. is the abbreviation for Sans Garantie Du Gouvernement meaning without the guarantee of the Government. The M & M is for MARQUE ET MODELE DEPOSES referring to trademark registration.
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