the waiting is the hardest part.

As Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers explained in 1981, “the waiting is the hardest part…”

Over a week ago, an auction came online–not eBay–that explained that there was an F.F. Adams corkscrew.  I went to the auctioneer’s website and examined the images.  I did see one that looked to be a corkscrew, although no screw was visible.


I emailed the auctioneer for more photos, but none showed up.

With one day before the auction, I grabbed the phone and called the auction folk.  And, got a voicemail with an additional number to call.

I called.

And, upon getting someone on the other line, it was explained that particular lot was still on the truck, and could I call back later.

I called.

After getting the same someone on the line, they grabbed the bar screw and following my instructions examined the corkscrew to find that the helix was sharp.  I asked if they were sure, and they indeed were.

A few hours later, a bidders form made it’s way into my email box with two additional photos:


I emailed to thank them for the additional photos, and agreed to their bidding requirements, as I could not print, sign, and scan the item as they had requested, as Apple in their infinite wisdom when they released the Lion operating system decided that scanner drivers would not be included (but I digress, not that you didn’t expect that).

Given the images, and knowing that I didn’t have an F.F. Adams signed bar screw, I put in what I believe would be a fair absentee bid. And, promptly went about pouring over Wayne Meadow’s book on Bar Screws, and trying to figure out what patent it was.

I was thinking Hurley, but wanted to be sure. And, did find a similar one in Wayne’s book, and then after another search, ran into Andre Burgos’s new blog–mentioned yesterday. And, on his blog he has a great vintage image of a bar scene with the same corkscrew.

And, he includes a close up.

Seeing the images confirmed that this was indeed the Hurley patent.

On September 7, 1886 John A. Hurley, of Erie, Pennsylvania, was awarded patent number 348,911 for his Cork-Puller, and said patent was assigned to the F.F. Adams company, also located in Erie.

Within the patent description it explains, “The operation is as follows: The bottle-notes is put in the position shown in figure 1. (See E.) When this is done, the corkscrew will be pushed up. By turning the crank B the worm will be screwed in the cork, which being done the lever D will be depressed and this will cause the sleeve C to push the bottle down away from the cork, which is held by the corkscrew, and as this occurs the cork of course is surrounded by the sleeve, and the points of the screws c are embedded in the cork. By then unscrewing the corkscrew from the cork, and then lifting the lever D up, so as to slide the sleeve back up on the guide post, the cork will be expelled from the sleeve.”

But, here is the problem…and, hence the waiting being the hardest part.

The auction was held on the 16th, and there was no phone call explaining I was the winner.

I called.

And, then I emailed.

Yesterday, I did receive an email saying, “…you did get the cork screw & I have it in my possession. Have not looked at the paperwork yet but will later today and will re-email to advise of price of that.”

And, as of this moment, still no email or phone call explaining what the ending price was, what I owe, and how much shipping will be.

Given what my top bid price was, even if it hit that, I know I got a fantastic deal. But, the anticipation is killing me. Did I get a Hurley patent bar screw for 25 dollars? 50 dollars? 100 dollars?

I know that eventually, I will come to learn what the Adams/Hurley cost me, but I am rather excited to add a nice bar screw to the collection.

Perhaps I should call.

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