From an 1888 text entitled, “Leading business men of Bangor, Rockland and vicinity: embracing Ellsworth, Bucksport, Belfast, Camden, Rockport, Thomaston, Oldtown, Orono, Brewer”
Austin’s Toilet Novelty, A.M. Austin & Co., Rockland. The simple name, “Austin’s Toilet Novelty, “ gives but a very imperfect and inadequate idea of the many uses to which that truly wonderful combination tool can be applied,
but perhaps after all it describes it as well as any name could, unless it were so long that before the whole of it could be written, the first portion would be forgotten. For instance, suppose when it was wanted one had to ask for “Austin’s Nail-cutter and Cleaner, Corkscrew, Button-hook, Door fastener, and File?” Yet it is all of these, and what is more wonderful yet, it weighs—how much do you suppose? Well, just one ounce; or, in other words, as much as a silver dollar, for which it may be bought. The manufacturer’s claim, that it is “the most compact and useful article extant,” we can fully endorse, and also agree with the statement that, “as a manicure instrument it has no equal.” It is made of the finest steel, and the delicacy, and yet strength, of its design and construction, are exemplified by the fact that it will cut a hair or a pin with equal facility. Those who suffer from those painful and unsightly inflictions known as “hang-nails,” will be glad to learn that this little instrument is the most perfect article designed for removing the same, while its efficacy in cleaning and cutting of nails, makes it indispensable. It may be bought of any first-class dealer in cutlery and notions, and Messrs. A. M. Austin & Co. offer special inducements to agents, who would do well to handle this “multum in parvo.”
Note: The Austin patent in our collection is marked with the patent date “PAT 10-17-82.” There was a relatively recent auction for an Austin patent corkscrew that was on eBay that showed a mark for BOSTON. Do you have an Austin with a different marking? If yes, drop me a line.