Drink Rhens Water

From an 1893 issue of American Druggist and Pharmaceutical Record (Volume 23)

The Rhens Mineral Water

The Rhens Mineral Springs, of Rhens on the Rhein, have received the highest distinction at the World’s Fair in Chicago—Medal and Diploma.  The exhibit of Rhens Mineral Water is thus described:

The Rhens Mineral Springs have displayed their products in a most distinguished manner in the German section of the Horticultural Building, in a handsome kiosk built of natural polished oak and plate glass sides, in pure and graceful renaissance style, with simple but ornamental decorations containing a pyramid of the various kinds and sizes of bottles and jugs which Rhens Water is supplied.  The labels on these original containers are alternatively printed in many languages thus prominently call attention to the vast extent of the business, which extends to nearly all civilized countries of the world.

In the panels of the base of the kiosk, the exhibitors framed numerous excellent photographic views of their establishment.  The springs with the beautiful surroundings Rhein country, the bottling rooms and their machinery hall, thus graphically illustrating the immense proportions of their business to the sightseer.

The little spaces on the ledge of the case were filled with lithographed pamphlets for free distribution, in which the valuable medicinal and dietetic properties of this excellent table water are set forth in terse language, supported by statistics, analyses, and endorsements of distinguished origin.  The exhibit was a perfect little gem.  Well-planned, perfectly prominent advertisement for Rhens water, which has so quickly achieved great popularity in the United States during the past few years.  The importations of the water to this country last year exceeded a million bottles and jugs.

drinkrhens

1885 Weirs American patent with patent date, advertising “”DRINK “RHENS WATER.”

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I love a challenge…

The other day, I was perusing eBay, and someone had for sale an interesting folding tool.  It had some patent information on the piece, but it was hard to make out–the seller explained.  And, it had a name engraved into the piece as well.

And, since it was cheap, I purchased it.

I am always up for a challenge in figuring these types of mysteries out.

I will add here, there was no corkscrew attached.

It arrived yesterday morning, and after a bit of sleuthing, researching, and some more researching, I managed to find the patent.

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And, there is a twist to this mystery tool.

The tool is marked both for an 1877 patent, as well as a 1880 patent.  And, within the patent description for the 1880 patent there is an interesting paragraph, which reads as follows:

This invention relates to improvements on the patent for finger-nail cutters granted to Richard W. Stewart on the 22d day of May, 1877, No. 190,989; and it consists of a spring handle made in two separate parts that are held rigidly together at one end and capable of a lateral expansion at the opposite end, by which arrangement I am enabled to secure a folding tool in each handle—as, for instance, a finger-nail cutter and cleaner in one end, similar to the one shown in Stewart’s patent above referred to, and a button – hook, corkscrew, or other suitable pocket – tool in the other end

Wait… what…?

The patentee was suggesting that instead of a button book, a corkscrew might be the tool attached?

Well, if we have found the patent with the button hook, was the corkscrew version produced?

Do you have this little tool in your collection?

Ladies and gentleman, mystery solved.

This is the  McDonald patent of 1880 for a “Toilet Implement.”

Now, let’s find the 1880 McDonald with a corkscrew!

 

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Early bird gets the Worm (helix)

The lovely personal trainer was headed off to California early this morning, and so it was an early wake up call, and after heading down to make coffee at 3 am.  I did a little teaching online, and grabbed the first cup, with the coffee maker having fulfilled the task at hand.

A bit later, I grabbed a second cup, and went back to my laptop; this time checking the usual sites for any interesting corkscrews.

Nothing on eBay of note, and I went back to teaching.

Sometime close to 4, I delivered a cup to the lovely, and headed back downstairs to “my office” (which is not really an office, it is simply a couch with a cup of coffee nearby) where I came upon an interesting listing on a non-eBay site, for a pair of legs with mother of pearl upper scales, with stripes on the lower.

The asking price was fair, and in short order a deal was done.

This morning, it looks like, the early bird got the worm!

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Narrowing the list

Tis that time of year, when corkscrew collectors start to consider what corkscrews will make the best 6 of the year.

And, while I certainly hope that something comes my way that alters my decision entirely, I have narrowed the list to 12.

Of course, you are welcome to weigh in on this, but here are the dirty dozen.

What Six do you think should make my Best 6 of 2018?

 

 

 

New ICCA Member

The official word is out, Robert Leopardi is the newest member of the International Correspondence of Corkscrew Addicts!

 

Congratulations Robert! Welcome to the club!

We will raise a glass (or several glasses) in Lofoten!

 

As is tradition, you are responsible for the first couple of rounds : )

Catching up a bit…

I recognize that it has been a few days since we last talked…

Or, that I last wrote, and you last read, so I figured we should catch up a bit.

The lovely bride and I have been hopping back and forth from the island to the mainland a bit.  First to spend a few days with friends for the Thanksgiving holiday–we supplied the wine, oysters, and lobster, they took care of the Turkey…

and also to do some construction projects on our house in Rockland–the latest was replacing a supporting beam / header in the stairway–if you were taller than 5’9″ descending the stairs would inevitably result in a bump on the head, or alternatively knocking yourself out, should you not duck.

In the 1880’s, when the house was built, the builder must have been a bit shorter than average.

So, I put in a post to support the floor above, cut away the old joist, and installed a new one a few inches back.  This allows for a little headroom, and reduces the risk of concussion whilst traipsing up and down the stairs–unless you are over 6’6″.

After ensuring that we were properly supported, we started framing in a new bathroom on the second floor.  I met with a plumber yesterday, and tomorrow I head back over to put in a couple more walls.  By the weekend, it should be pretty much ready for the rough-in.

Meanwhile, while we are not on the mainland, we are on the island with normal day to day activities; Sue teaching exercise classes and me running the wine shop.  And, of course there is a bit of corkscrewing going on.

No fantastically rare finds as of late, but I have picked up a couple of interesting pieces here and there.

One a Marwood registered corkscrew, and the other a Nogent Chrome knife with folding corkscrew.  Neither are American, so they are destined to be traded, but both were fairly priced.

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Also, we have registered for both the 2019 ICCA and CCCC meetings in Lofoten, Norway and Stratford upon Avon, England

We are super excited for our next adventure, and today we will start booking out hotels.

And, this morning, I am editing a few submissions for the upcoming issue of The Bottle Scrue Times.  A fun issue to put together, as this one (largely) focuses upon the Maine Annual General Meeting.

Of course, as we close out November and look to December, we have one month left of the corkscrew collecting fiscal year, and choosing a best 6 for 2018 will soon begin.  What will yours be?

Stay tuned…

 

“Everybody’s Corkscrew”

From an 1880’s issue of: The Canadian Patent Office Record and Mechanics’ Magazine

nettlefolds

Cheap Corkscrew

A Cheap Corkscrew –A novel corkscrew has been introduced by Messrs. Nettlefolds, the well-known screw and wire manufacturers of Birmingham, which is well deserving the attention of the retail trade. As it will be seen from our engraving, it is made of twisted wire, ingeniously fastened so as to afford all the strength and convenience necessary in the drawing of corks. The form of the screw is of the simplest character, and there is nothing in the implement itself that can get out of order, for the twist is so pitched that the downward pressure or turn of the screw actually increases the power of the corkscrew. It is obviously designed for “the million,” and since the article is sold retail for a penny, it will probably soon become what we venture to designate it.—”Everybody’s Corkscrew.”

A few acquisitions…

Over the weekend, the latest collectorcorkscrews.com auction took place, and lots of corkscrews changed hands.  A few bidding wars broke out, and there were a few that made their way into our collection.

The lot with the most bids, and actually the high dollar lot in the auction, was a lovely Japanned Thomason.  And, it is NOT headed to Romania

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I had a few up for auction, and sold several.  And, as per usual, I bought one or two; a Sterling medicine spoon

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(I have several of these, but the medicine spoon / dosage cup corkscrews are a growing part of the collection).  If you have any extra Zeilin patent corkscrews laying around, I would happily add them to the collection, in particular this one:

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The other corkscrew I picked up is the large version of the Walker.  I have long wanted one of these, and this will actually be headed to the wine shop for display.

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There were many others in the auction that I would love to add to the collection, but they made their way elsewhere.

And, while you were all bidding, I had an email exchange with a collector who had an interesting prong puller in their collection.

It looks like a Converse, but I gather it is a little bit later.  Still, given the amount of advertising Converse cork pullers in our collection, it will make a nice fit.

gopher

Have any of you ever had a Gopher Gulch cork puller?  From researching Gopher Gulch, I would gather this is a 50’s – 70’s piece…  Still, pretty cool!

It is making it’s way from the west coast as we speak, and I will add better pictures when it arrives.

 

 

The One!

As the year is winding down, and we begin to consider our best 6 corkscrews of the year, the question that comes to mind is, “what is the find of the year?”

What is that one corkscrew that, not only will make the best 6 for the year, but what is the one find that is THE FIND!

As for me, I am in a quandary, is the Silver Syroco Knight the find of the year, or is the Van Zandt patent cork pull the find of the year?

Because the Knight is a variation in color (albeit a rare thing), I would leans towards the Van Zandt.

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But, what about you.  What is your best corkscrew find of the year?

Email me at josef@vintagecorkscrews.com , and I will publish your best find here.

 

Berkeley House Corkscrew

bellhop

The other day, the odd figural bellhop shaped corkscrew with ruby rhinestone eyes was listed on eBay with a relatively fair buy it now price.  I thought about it for a bit, but given I have never seen another one, I figured I would go for it.

The reverse is marked A Berkeley House Exclusive, Crafted in Italy.

In doing research into the company, while no corkscrews turn up, lots of housewares do, and mostly from the 50’s – 70’s.

bellhopmark

Do any of you have a Berkeley House corkscrew?  Drop me a line!