Best Six for 2014


1. 1860 M.L. Byrn patent #27,615. Marked across the handle “BYRN’S PATENT MCH. 27, 1860.” This is the first known signed example of the “first” American corkscrew patent. While awarded on the same day, Byrn’s patent was processed two days ahead of Blake’s (see O’Leary, 1996, p. 32).


2. In doing research into the corkscrews manufactured by James D. Frary, I have run into multiple references that suggest that Anton Trunk was involved with Frary’s cutlery company (note the bank check below from The Frary Cutlery Co. signed by Anton Trunk). I have long wanted a Trunk patent, but with the Frary connection, it was that much more motivating to add one to the collection. This is Anton Trunk’s 1886 design patent (#D-16,799) for a corkscrew (see O’Leary, 1996, p.75).


3. 1892 Charles Puddefoot patent (#D-21,761 and #501,468) corkscrew. Marked on the neckstand ‘THE PUDDEFOOT,” and on the reverse with the patent date, “PAT’D AUG. 9, 92,” this rare version of the Puddefoot also carries advertising across the handle, “COMPLIMENTS OF THE PUDDEFOOT SHEET METAL WORKS OF DETROIT, M.”
(see L’Africain 2012 at and O’Leary, 1996, p. 84).


4. Turned acorn end handle Murphy direct pull, with blade on the side. Marked “R. MURPHY BOSTON” (see Nugent, 1990 at

5. Folding Hicks & Reynolds bell assist corkscrew with stirrup-shaped handle; unmarked (see Peters & Giulian, 2006, p. 111).

6. James D. Frary oblong handle corkscrew with integrated bell—unlike Frary’s other bell assist corkscrews this is one solid piece (see L’Africain, 2010 at and L’Africain, 2013 at ).

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