Ooooh, I really want that!

Okay, I will admit it, there are times when I can get a bit obsessive.

Just a bit.

And, when it comes to corkscrews, as I have mentioned before, when I find one or two made by the same manufacturer, having the same origins, or variations on the same theme, I feel compelled to find more of them.

So it has gone; Syroco, Detroit/Davis/Puddefoot, Frary, Converse, Mumford, Curley…

And, so when someone with whom I am working a trade happens to have a version of a corkscrew that I don’t yet have, and they know that I have many, I am sometimes willing to work the deal a little harder, perhaps giving up more, as it is THE one I don’t yet have.

As it happens, a deal was stuck yesterday for another Curley corkscrew; THE one that I don’t yet have. And, I did give up a couple of nice corkscrews to get it, but I REALLY wanted this one.


The Curley is the all-metal example with a decorated handle, and marked on one side of the handle with T.CURLEY, TROY,N.Y in circle and on the reverse with the patent date PAT. MAR.22,84.

I find this one particularly interesting as this version of the Curley with the patent date in a circle, is shown as an illustration in both the Dame, Stoddard, and Kendall catalog, as well as shown in Kenneth Cope’s book on Kitchen Collectibles.  Still no examples have turned in any reference book–although I know of at least four that exist within other collections.


Of course, the real reason that I had to have it, is because I didn’t have it!


That said, soon it will be heading to the island, and soon after that it will be added to the Curley page—and quite possibly it might make my best 6 of the year.

Thanks for the deal RL. You got me on this one!

Speaking of Curley corkscrews, I am still hunting for the version that simply reads EMPIRE across the handle.  If you have one, feel free to drop me a line.


I will probably give up too much in a trade for it!

Takes the Corkscrew’s Place

Daily Tips from the Patent Office

From the January 13, 1905 edition of The Atlanta Constitution


Takes the Corkscrew’s Place

The trick of removing the cork from a bottle with the aid of two penknife blades is one which is familiar to almost every one. In the absence of a corkscrew, the blades are inserted into the mouth of the bottle between the cork and the inner surface of the bottle neck. The two blades occupy opposite positions, and then by giving each a twist the cork can generally be lifted out. This method is probably not more popular, for the reason that it sometimes results disastrously to the knives, for in the hands of an awkward person, it is an easy thing to break them.



A recent inventor has, however, utilized this principle for a cork extractor, which sis shown in the accompanying cut. It will be readily seen how the two prongs can take the place of the knife blades. It is said that it is only necessary to thrust these points between the cork and the bottle, and then to withdraw them again and the cork will follow them.

When I run across old newspaper articles about corkscrew, there are times when I wonder if they were just illustrations taken from the patent office, or if they ended up being produced.

As mentioned in previous entries in this blog, there are times when the corkscrew, cork puller, cork extractor in question, at least as far as we know, was either never produced, or simply has yet to be found.

Of course, it could also very well be, that the corkscrew wasn’t produced as illustrated, but was indeed manufactured with changes from the patent drawing.

While were visiting John and Martha in Hana, John showed me pictures of a piece that Ian Hunter had found, and it operates on the similar premise as Chauncey. M King 1909 patent as illustrated in the “corkscrew has rival” entry.


The difference, is that Ian’s example has a wooden handle.  He sent photos a couple of weeks ago.  No markings, but the inwardly turned prongs look similar to Chauncey’s. Could it be that in manufacturing they realized that using the hinged handle, one couldn’t get enough grip?

DSC_0581[6] DSC_0744[15]

What do you all think?  Is this a new patent discovery? Could this be the Chauncey King patent of 1909?

a clean sweep…

Several years ago, I remember seeing n Mark Woodard’s collection, in the Ron Mclean’s book on W.R. Clough, and on Don Bull’s site on Clough, a neat little Clough go-with that was a small figural broom / pencil with a message which read, “MAKE A CLEAN SWEEP FOR WILLIAM ROCKWELL CLOUGH and the REPUBLICAN PARTY”

Ever since seeing this piece, I had wanted to add one to the collection.

No, I am not a republican, nor do I have any really tiny piles of dust to sweep up, but I definitely thought it would be a nice addition to the Clough collection.

And, today, after keeping the item on my watch list on eBay for the past week, a listing for the little W.R. Clough broom/pencil ended, and I was the winning bidder.


A neat little piece.

Not a corkscrew, but an interesting part of our corkscrew history.


From the October 15, 1917 edition of The Wichita Beacon


An Extractor Which Does Not Mutilate the Stopper

When you open a bottle you generally want to preserve the cork for subsequent use, but this is not always accomplished with the old-fashioned corkscrew.


The new cork extractor, which is among the recent inventions, has a small screw that sets more as a guide than anything else, but the real work of extracting is done by the means of two knife-like points which slip between the cork and the throat of the bottle and then clasps the cork in a strangle-hold which brings it from its lodging place.

The illustration shows the Martin L. Kinsey patent cork extractor of 1917 (patent number 1,225,037).

Yet another cork extractor that has yet to have been found.  Or, has it?

Do you have one!


“…nine out of ten persons would not suspect the purpose of the apparatus from a casual inspection.”

From the March 24, 1919 edition of the Wichita Beacon:

Here’s a new corkscrew.

The Stopper is Pinched Instead of Being Pierced with the Spiral of Steel.

The old-time corkscrew with its steel spiral and its wooden handle has become such an established institution that it is difficult to conceive of anything different for this


 Pinching Cork Puller

purpose, but there has just appeared an implement of entirely unique design so different, in fact, that nine out of ten persons would not suspect the purpose of the apparatus from a casual inspection. Somewhat the shape of a pair of pincers, the two short ends occupy a parallel relationship to each other when extend and in this position they are thrust into the top of the bottle between the cork and the glass. Then as the two handles are pressed together, the cork is grasped and compressed to such an extent that it is readily removed. This treatment of the cork is said to have the advantage that it is never broken and is always good for a further career of usefulness.

Interesting that the item is described as an article “…that nine out of ten persons would not suspect the purpose of the apparatus from a casual inspection…” as to my knowledge an example of this patented piece (Jacob W. Moser’s patent 1,286,631 of 1918) has ever been found.


Or has it, and we just didn’t know what we were looking at?

The hunt continues.

If you have a tool/cork puller that resembles the Moser patent, I would be interested in acquiring it!  Drop me a line!

A cork puller which is designed especially for particularly stubborn corks…

From the December 17, 1915 edition of the Wichita Beacon

New Style of Corkscrew

Double-handled Device Which Extracts the Stopper without Breaking it.

A cork puller which is designed especially for particularly stubborn corks, and where it is especially desired to perform the extracting operation without allowing particles of cork t fall into the bottle or vessel,



has been recently patented and is shown in the accompanying illustration. The new implement consists of a pair of aligned blades pivotally mounted with inclining serrations which are inserted in the cork in the usual manner and when the two handles of the blades are grasped the blades are separated slightly causing them to take a firm hold on the cork when the latter may be withdrawn completely.


And, in the Februrary 1, 1918 edition of the Evening World


The corkscrew has at last found a rival in the cork-puller, invented by a San Franciscan. Two thin scissor-like Blades, having upwardly inclined serrations are thrust into the cork body, says Popular Science Monthly. When you close the handles the serrated members open in wedge-shape and the cork can be pulled instantly. The inclined teeth draw the sides of the cork inward, making it smaller than the bottle mouth, so that it is easily drawn out. The puller can be easily withdrawn by again separating the handles. It leaves only a small hole.


Both news articles are describing the John Sheridan patent of September 18, 1917 (# 1,240,610).


Has anyone ever found one of these?  If yes, please send a picture!

Or, better yet, send the cork puller itself!