Calling all Curleys…okay, not all Curleys

Amongst other projects, I am working on a new research project, and it involves metal handle Curleys.

There was an unusual Curley that garnered much attention on eBay a couple of years ago. So, that would be an odd variant.



But, what other odd variants are out there?


Here are the other known variations:



Now, the Empire is not technically a Curley, but it does fit the project upon which I am working.

Feel free to email me at with your metal handle Curley photos.


Gilt Edge Corkscrew


Within the collection of Detroit corkscrews – both Davis and Puddefoot patents – there are an array of advertisements that appear on them.

One is marked with the patent information THE DETROIT, PAT’D JULY 10 94 and with advertising COMPLIMENTS OF MINNEAPOLIS BREWING CO MINNEAPOLIS MINN. “GILT EDGE.”


Yesterday, I ran across a different corkscrew carrying advertising for Gilt Edge.

And, given it had a fairly low buy it now on eBay, I snapped it up.


Of course, given that it carries beer advertising on it, I have no doubt I will be receiving an email from TWJ momentarily.


And, another Curley…

Not too long ago, I received a message on the blog, that explained that the responder had a T. Curley corkscrew.

I responded in kind, and asked if they might send a picture.  I received an email explaining that camera duties were the wife’s domain, but it looked just like the one on my website





Maybe it has a few chips to the finish?

Okay, I am game.  I told him that I would be interested in the piece, and he explained that his wife would take photos.

A few days later the photos arrived:


It does look like there is some finish loss, but it is indeed a pretty cool Curley.

After a bit of back and forth a deal was struck  Monies have been sent, and soon enough a Chippier-Curley will be heading to the island.

revisiting the LEB co. tool kit

A couple of years ago, I blogged about finding an advertisement for the LEB co. tool kit.

An advertisement from 1912, it gave a little insight into the timeframe when the tool kit was made.  And, I have owned several of these over the years.  I

will also add that there are several variations of size and shape.

But, is the tool that we have said is a cork puller indeed a cork puller?

The advertisement in the 1912 publication doesn’t list a cork puller as one of the tools. That advertisement does list some of the tools that are part of the kit:

Hammer, Screw Driver, Chisel, Corn Knife, Dividers, Tweezers, Compass, Saw, Protractor, File, Round File, Rule, Bevel, Universal Chuck, Tool Handle, T Square, Scratch Gauge, Depth Guage [sic], Rule Gauge, Slide Calipers, Reamer, Countersink, Brad Awl, Harness Awl, Straight Edge, Ink Eraser, Tack Claw, Nail Set, Center Punch, Rag Needle, Sail Needle, Button Hook, Spatula, Scraper Stilleto, and ten others

Is one of the ten other tools a cork puller?

This morning, whilst doing a little research, I happened on a later advertisement.  This one from 1915, and not only does it list the available tools with the LEB co tool kit.  It illustrates the cork puller!


Yes, a cork puller indeed!


Well, you might as well ask…

A couple of weeks ago, I spotted a really cool item on eBay that happened to have a buy it now or best offer.  However, the starting price was far more than I would ever pay, and a fair amount over pretty much what anyone would pay.

I put it on my watch list, and went about my normal coffee-drinking-wine-shop-running-wine-drinking-small-project-constructing-online-teaching-newsletter-editing-daily-business.

And, then about a week ago or so, the seller changed the asking price of the item.  Taking it down to half the price; still with a buy it now or best offer.

At half price, with the potential the seller taking an offer, things were looking up, except for the fact the starting price was still far more than I would ever pay, and a fair amount over what almost anyone would pay.

For the last week it had been sitting there, and on a whim, I decided to throw out an offer, thinking “Okay, all that will probably happen is they will reject it, or counter it.”

So, I sent in an offer with a 92 % reduction from his original price.

That was two days ago.

No rejection.

No counter offer.

With 48 hours to make their decision, apparently they finally reached one.

And, they accepted.


And, so, a very cool champagne tap is on its way to the island!





Alcott’s Hand-Line Reel

From the May 26, 1892 issue of The Iron Age

Alcott’s Hand-Line Reel

J. H. and C. H. Alcott, Thomaston, Conn., are offering this article, as illustrated herewith. It is 1/8 inch longer than shown in the cut, nicely plated.


The screw is pivoted, so that it naturally assumes an upright position, but it may be turned either way as desired. The reel is designed to screw into a boat, which may be done without the use of any tool to make a hole, and upon which a line would be wound quickly if the boat is to be moved. The screw may be turned within the reel when not in use. The point is made that, as the screw goes in but 3/8 inch, no hole is made through the boat. When in use the line may be quickly fastened by giving it a half hitch over a prong of the reel. It may also be used as a corkscrew when occasion requires. The manufacturers claim that it is strong and durable, will never rust, and that it will hold 50 to 100 feet of ordinary line, or 175 feet of very fine line.


It may also be used as a corkscrew?

Let the hunt begin!


So, this morning over my morning coffee, I happened to take a gander at eBay.  And, I saw a listing for a pair of ladies legs that had a pretty good photo.

But, the photo looked really familiar, with a pretty familiar background to the photo.


Image from Josef’s blog


For those that haven’t seen the corkscrew case in person, it is lined with cork.

Knowing that the image looked more than familiar, I did a search of my own blog and found where they may have lifted the picture.  In a post from  June 27th of 2014, I mentioned the legs.

Of course, they probably didn’t lift them from my blog exactly, it could have been through google images, which is probably why their listing doesn’t mention  that they are the rare mini legs.

Here is their listing: .

I actually sold this pair of legs to A.B. (not AB of Rochester, but A.B. who is a member of the ICCA) in November of 2014 on the auction.  You can link to that listing here.

I haven’t spoken to AB, but I am pretty sure he hasn’t relocated to Lima, Peru where the eBay seller is located, nor would he be selling off a pair of ladies legs from his collection.

I have contacted eBay to report this item, but their reporting system doesn’t really allow for an explanation of the particulars.

That all said, the legs pictured are not what you are really bidding upon.  It could be that the seller has a pair of legs, but I would say buyer beware on this one.


I did send the seller a note asking why they chose to use a photo that doesn’t belong to them, and they have since responded:

“Hello i have the Blue Corkscrew Lady Can Can too, i told my secretary to take new pictures, im sorry for the misundeerstanding i will ask her. i have deleted the auction and will take fresh pictures. i have 3 in total.
thanks for letting me know, im also come from collectors high family.

blessings, fixed, human mistake from secretary.”

The auction has since been ended, and it will be interesting to see if they relist with “new pictures.”

Seems a bit fishy to me.



Folding Greely Patent comes to the rescue

So, just before heading off island for a few days, I heard this panicked call from upstairs.

I tore up the stairs to find the lovely personal personal trainer whose earrings had fallen into the bathroom sink, and were somehow suspended (just barely mind you) just beneath the pop-up valve; precariously positioned to disappear into the abyss.

I should add here, that this isn’t the first time this has happened.

Not that it happens often, but many years ago in Tucson, AZ there was a hotel whose under the counter pipes and p-trap were secretly dismantled and quietly put back together when a different pair of earrings found their way down the drain.

It pays to know how to work on plumbing.

But, if we could rescue the earrings before falling down the drain, it certainly would save some work.

With no tool handy that would be able to hook the earrings, and return them to safety, I thought for a moment, ran downstairs, and headed to the corkscrew case.

The folding Greely!

That’s it!




It worked!


Crisis Averted!