the illusive Clark…

While in Chattanooga for the CCCC meeting a couple of years ago, I had spent some time with Gary Island, and I remember him mentioning a corkscrew made by “Clark.”

We had talked about the handles, and the helix, and so forth. However, I hadn’t seen one before. So now and again, Gary and I exchange emails, and sometime last year, the subject of the Clark came up again.

Now, I knew what I was looking for, I just hadn’t been able to find one. Or, more accurately, I hadn’t been able to find one that is marked.

The corkscrew is really quite simple, it looks like it has a Chinnock barrel type patent handle, with a long shaft and then the helix. No patent information or anything that, and when they are marked, they simply say “CLARK.”

And, I will have to say, I have purchased a few at auction that I had hoped would be marked, but to no avail. I have picked them up off of tables at Brimfield, and further afield, nothing. They fit the description, but again… no markings!

Until…yesterday.

Don Bull sent out an email yesterday, announcing that there were 312 corkscrews available on his website, and what makes this collection more important, as they are part of the late Homer Babbidge’s collection.

I happened to be online when the email came through, and immediately went on the hunt. And, while there are great mechanical, patented, figural, and hard to find pieces that were available, it was a signed Clark that caught my eye. I emailed immediately, and we had a deal.

However, there was more than one Clark in the Babbidge collection.

And, well, I figured I might as well take that one too!

This one isn’t marked, but I thought it will make for an interesting addition, as it seems to have a tag attached to it, referencing a visit to the Clark house. It reads, “Manufactured by Clark Co., Chester, Conn., Found in home of a Clark founder in Cheshire, CT. The Gilbert family were witnesses for another Clark patent lived across the street from the Clarks.”

Does anyone have more information on Clark? And, as importantly, do you have a Clark with which you want to part?

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