The Simplex + 1

First of all, I really can’t help it, but every time I think of The Simplex, Duran Duran’s “Reflex” starts running through my head. Feel free to sing along.


Okay, now that we have that over with…

Recently, Peter and RL managed to score a collection in Phoenix, and after making their own picks offered up a couple of pieces. While there were some nice corkscrews–Baker Patent, Barnes Double Helix, and Barnes folding bow without hooks, to name a few that would be going into their respective collections–there was one in particular that caught my eye; The Simplex.



I had recently seen two Simplexes at John and Martha’s house (two variations), and he shared that while there is a patent date on the side of the corkscrew, no patent has ever been found. And, as I am always up for a research challenge, when the Simplex from the Phoenix collection was made available, I pulled the trigger immediately.

Thus far, I have yet to unearth the patent information, but I did find a nice advertisement for “The Simplex Cork Puller” from an 1895 issue of Home Furnishing Review (volume 7).

The advertisement reads:


No. 38



Simplicity of construction and operation are the two points always to be sought in making a machine for use in unskilled hands. These points have been perfectly met in this Cork Puller, making it the simplest and cheapest machine in the world, requiring less than half the power of other machines, and being impossible to get out of order.


The questions remain, was the corkscrew ever really patented? Was the date put on there merely to keep others from copying the design? Is it perhaps the wrong patent date like the cast iron handled Curley.  Let the researching begin!


As a throw in piece, RL and PB are sending me this interesting little Clough.





Thanks for the icing boys!


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