oooohhhh, I want that!

I received an email yesterday from DB, with the subject line “Frary Corkscrew.”

The text within the email said, “Frary Corkscrew?” and included information regarding the collection from which the corkscrew in the photo finds its origins.

And, the photo was pretty sweet!

I quickly responded requesting further information, and after DB’s response, have since sent an email to the person that (potentially) possesses the Frary, as it could have been sold off privately at one point or another.

No response as of yet, but I will keep my hopes up.

This would definitely be one that would be a fantastic addition to the growing Frary corkscrew collection (19 at this point, although a couple are duplicates).

A Hercules frame with a decorative handle, with a hammer and a spike, I have never seen another example of this particular “Frary-ation.”


If this particular corkscrew isn’t available, it just means there is yet another Frary to be placed on the “must have” list.

If you have a Frary corkscrew with which you would like to part–and you can see them on my Frary Corkscrew page–I am always looking!!!

Well, the pavlovian-corkscrew-juices are flowing…

As some of you may have already seen, the latest ICCAuction opened today with 250 corkscrew lots going on the block.

And, there are some fantastic corkscrews, many of which that have no reserves.

I will definitely be bidding on a bunch of these!!!

You can link to the auction here

Twigg, Witte, Hoegger, McGill, etc…

Drool drool drool…

Definitely some awesome corkscrews to be had!!!

Empire Corkscrew

Oh, how I wish I was blogging about the acquisition of an Empire Corkscrew. Unfortunately, this corkscrew still remains in someone else’s collection


Still, I would like to add this one if anyone has an extra!!! Or, simply wants to part with one!!! If you do, feel free to drop me a line at

adding to the R. Murphy Boston corkscrew collection

Technically, I am NOT adding to the Murphy corkscrew collection, although it isn’t for a lack of trying.

It seems, that RL is however. He managed to score a signed Murphy patent button corkscrew with the little hook. This is one that I don’t have, not for a lack of trying however…


I do have over 20 different Murphy corkscrews, but there are a couple that I am lacking. For those that haven’t seen the collection, you can link to it here

Which ones am I lacking?

Well, of the ones I know about, I have yet to find a Murphy with a knife (or Murphys with Knives) as there are variations in handle or direct pull vs. button. And, there is a rare Murphy with little spikes that are under the bell, and I don’t have that one either! And, there is a variation with a brass bell! I would love to add one of those!

Of course, there are probably other variations that would fit nicely into the collation.

And, for those of you that weren’t in Boston for the CCCC a couple of years ago, here is the display of Murphy corkscrew variants that at the time we (BT, JM, KC, and myself) had in our respective collections.


A few have been added since put together that display–for example the Ivory handled one that made my best 6 for last year, and a R. Murphy Boston bell signed on the shaft, with no patent date, as pictured in the catalog pages from Bob Nugent’s 1990 article was picked up at Brimfield last year.

I will keep bothering Robert to see if he will trade me his recent Murphy acquisition, but given that it is highly unlikely that he will be willing to part with it, feel free to send me pictures of the Murphys in your collections.

Perhaps we can make a trade, as I do have doubles!

Back from Vermont!

The lovely bride and I had a fabulous time whilst in Vermont. And, it was wonderful to go meandering on the backroads of new areas.

Yes, we did stop to hit the antique stores that we saw along the way, but unfortunately there weren’t any corkscrews of note.


Okay, it was more of an almost corkscrew sighting–rather than the discovery of a corkscrew…

One of the crazy multi-tool can openers that I have been hunting for is a “vise o lift.” It is a jar-lifter-can-opener-contraption that is actually an American patent.

And, I was rounding the last aisle of the upstairs of one particular antique mall, and there it was. Hanging from a nail above the booth–partially obscured by the beam that spanned the ceiling.


My heart skipped a beat.

I reached for the prized corkscrew/can opener/jar lifter only to see that there was no corkscrew attached.

Apparently William S. Elters of Dayton, Ohio who was awarded U.S. Patent 1906454 in 1933 didn’t ensure that a corkscrew was attached to each Vise-o-Lift made!!!


Curses, foiled again!!!

Oh well, the hunt will continue. Of course, if you have a Vise-O-Lift corkscrew contraption that actually has the corkscrew attached, drop me a line!!!

Off to Vermont

The lovely bride and I are heading off island today to celebrate her birthday (on the 13th) in Vermont. It will be a nice leisurely drive with a stop in Portsmouth, NH tonight, and then we will head towards the inn in VT. I have no doubt there will some antiquing along the way, as not only are we looking for corkscrews for the collection, we are in the middle of remodeling half of the upstairs and will be looking for appropriate decor for the new “master suite.”

Of course, our trips to Vermont in the past have netted out some terrific corkscrew finds, and we can hope the same rings true this trip. The Daniel Barnes patent was found in VT, and a nice Curley was picked up whilst driving through on a different VT adventure, and the 15 dollar Jopson patent was acquired on our way back from Bridport, VT… What will it be this time??? Will any corkscrews turn up? The mind races…

While I will have the iPhone with me, our access will be somewhat limited, but I will report back here with any discoveries and/or adventures.

Stay tuned.

Gustav Carlson Patent!

Two weeks ago, I came across a can opener / bottle opener collection that was being put up for sale.

With no pictures available, after a brief email and phone call exchange, images were promised to be emailed the next day.

And, images arrived as promised.

There was indeed a large collection of openers and a few corkscrews.


So, I perused the pictures, and looked to see what might be worth acquiring from the collection (btw: there are four more cases like this in the collection).

After seeing several hundred dollars worth of corkscrews in and amongst the openers and kitchen tools, I spotted a can-opener with corkscrew that looked familiar. Familiar, as I have seen it as an opener, but never before with a corkscrew attached!


While there were corkscrews in the collection that may bring a higher dollar at auction, I have an affinity for can openers with corkscrews, and I had to see if they would part with this one.

I sent an email last Wednesday, and the next morning, the response confirmed what I suspected, the can opener is marked. I had thought it looked similar to a Boyes Needle Company opener, and when the markings were explained, I did a small corkscrew-dance-of-joy.

Following a series of emails negotiating price, the corkscrew was on its way to the collection.

Now, you may be asking why…?

Well, beyond the Boye Needle Company marking, this particular can opener carries two other markings; patent markings. One for August 13 1913, and the second for April 6, 1920…

And, for those of you that have O’Leary handy, and are quickly thumbing to the patent drawings in the back of the book, don’t worry, you won’t find it.

Nope… it isn’t in the back of O’Leary! But, here are the patent drawings from google patents! Yes, Drawings plural!



Patent number 1,070,980 was awarded to Allen Morrell for his Can-Opener (Thanks Bob!), and patent number 1,336,126 was awarded to Gustav Carlson in 1920 for his Can Opener.

The question becomes, is this a Carlson patent or a Morrell patent or a combination of both? Well, we know it is a combination of both, but if we were to assign it a name, I am thinking the “1920 Carlson Patent.”




Another patent discovery. It looks like we will need to update the latest update.

Another little bow…

I was digging around the corkscrew case this morning, and in a little box, ran across another small folding bow corkscrew. This too has the hanging ring, but is even smaller. Closed, it measures just shy of an inch.

It is really delicate, with a tight light helix.


In looking at this little bow, and the one mention yesterday, as well as Petey’s Best 6 for this year…It got me wondering what the smallest bow corkscrew might be.


1. Steel bow with long hanging loop for fixing to a chatelaine. Measures 1 1/2″
2. A similar steel example, this time with a small loop for fixing to a chatelaine. Measures 1 1/2″
3. More common steel bow, boasting nice faceted decoration. Measures 1 1/8″.
4. A super two tool example, corkscrew & button hook with a loop for a chatelaine. Measures 1 5/8″.
5. Silver plated miniature bow corkscrew with ribbed decoration. Measures 1 3/8″.
6. Silver example with Birmingham hallmarks which date it to 1882. Measures 1″.

Ferd and Bert’s book on Pocket Corkscrews, on page 97 shows a similar corkscrew to mine at 2,4 centimeters (.94 inches). And, on page 100, a tiny bow measuring 1,7 centimeters (.66 inches).

Is that the smallest? Or, is there smaller?

Let’s see how small is small. For those of you interested, check the smallest bow corkscrews in your collection…is there one smaller than 1,7 centimeters (.66 inches)?

Be sure to measure the corkscrew closed, and include the hanging ring if it has one.


I will preface this by saying, I am not talking about a New Year’s resolution.

The other day, someone listed a small folding bow corkscrew, and the images that accompanied their ebay listing, made the corkscrew look like a modern, and possibly poorly made, chrome version of an early corkscrew.


Now, the listing had a buy it now of 25 dollars, and I figured it was worth taking a chance on the little bow.

It arrived yesterday, and I could hardly believe my eyes when I pulled it from the package. The corkscrew is quite handsome, and the pictures didn’t do it justice. Was it the lighting, or the resolution, that made a fantastic corkscrew look like a cheap knock off?

Measuring 1 3/4 inches when closed, it is a beautiful nickel corkscrew that has quite the snap to the hinge.




A nice little corkscrew, RL has already expressed interest in acquiring it. It may stay in the collection however : )

Best 6 for 2013

Okay, I know… it is a little early to be posting my best 6 of the year, given that it is New Year’s Day, but why not start the new year right…

While there are many many corkscrews which I would love to add to the collection this year, and I have no doubt it will be another exciting (and sometimes frustrating) year of hunting and collecting, here are the 6 corkscrews that I hope will make my best 6 for 2013!!!

If you have any of these, and would like to help me fill in the best 6, feel free to suggest a trade/deal.

Frary with Bell, Spike, and Can Opener Handle:


Philos Blake Patent Corkscrew


Dickson Patent


Sperry Patent


Frary Sullivan Bar Screw


And, perhaps a new discovery from the BOO (Back of O’Leary).


Yes, I think this would make a pretty good best 6.

So, with the new year starting, let the hunting begin!

What will really make the best 6 for 2013, we shall find out in a year. However, it would be really cool if it ended up looking something like this: