At the JFO Meeting in Troy, Michigan a couple of years ago BT and I went in on a collection of openers and corkscrews that included some interesting finds. And, after securing the deal, we divvied the collection up.
Of the 44 openers and corkscrews we acquired, one until recently has remained somewhat of mystery.
While a simple folding corkscrew, I could find no information about it. I checked the various books, and came up empty. So, I brought it with me to the ICCA meeting in Vermont and showed it around.
After showing it around, a couple of us looked closely at the piece and saw that it was marked E-Z-LIFT, but also A STEWART PRODUCT, MADE IN THE USA
There is no patent information on the piece, and collectively we agreed that the little notch on the corkscrew is would be a perhaps a place where one could use a thumb/finger to release the corkscrew.
I brought the corkscrew back home with me, and figured eventually I would find more information about the odd corkscrew/opener.
The corkscrew was put back in the corkscrew case, and has remained there for sometime.
Recently, I pulled the corkscrew out again, and after looking at it decided to go back to searching. And, after a bit of digging found another A STEWART PRODUCT, MADE IN USA piece, this time with a patent number!
Now, I should explain this patent does not have a corkscrew. Still it does provide some helpful information.
Patent number 2,059,736 was awarded in 1936 to Joseph A. Manarik for his Bottle Cap Remover, and looks little like the E-Z-LIFT, however the opener does also read OTHER PATS. PENDING.
In 1946 Bertram H. Stewart was awarded design patent D145,647 for his DESIGN FOR A JAR AND BOTTLE CAP REMOVER, and a second patent (2,5708,81) filed in 1947, and awarded in 1951 for his PLIER TYPE FRICTION-CAP REMOVER
While this doesn’t completely solve the mystery of the E-Z-LIFT corkscrew, at least we now have a better idea of who made it; Bertram H. Stewart. Still, why not a patent for the corkscrew version?
The mystery remains unsolved…