Unusual Antique Metal Medicine Cabinet With Overhead Rack & Corkscrew

So…  several years ago, I found a classified ad (online) from someone who had 50 medicine cabinets for sale, and as explained in said classified ad, the medicine cabinets had upon them a corkscrew.  There were no pictures, and even after contacting the person, no pictures were ever provided–nor were any medicine cabinets purchased.

But I did wonder what corkscrew might have been attached to a medicine cabinet; a Hoegger patent perhaps?

Well…  This morning while searching eBay, an interesting listing came up.  I have no idea if this is one of the 50 medicine cabinets with corkscrew that I had inquired about years back, but it IS a medicine cabinet with corkscrew.


This one definitely will NOT fit into the collection.  Still, it is pretty cool that it exists.


The seller’s opening bid is 195.00!

Who among us needs (or wants) a medicine cabinet with corkscrew?


“Bristling with attachments, this new gadget is armament for assault on eight different kinds of containers.”

I have been doing a little searching around about the Pretorius 8 in 1 tool (with corkscrew of course) and had sent a couple of photo to Barry.  He asked if I had any idea as to a date for the piece.


With the graphics on the box, I assumed late 40’s early 50’s.


Well, wouldn’t  you know it, after a bit more searching around, I found an advertisement for the Pretorius:


Can Opener Does Eight Jobs.  Bristling with attachments, this new gadget is armament for assault on eight different kinds of containers.  It pries off caps and lids; it helps turn stubborn screw caps off all sizes; it shears off can tops; and it punches milk and beer cans. Priced at $2.95 by Pretorius Approved Products, Glendale, Calif.

Appearing in a 1950 issue of Popular Science Monthly, it seems like we can date the 8 in 1.  Why they opted to not mention the corkscrew is unknown.

Clearly that is the most important function…


Curley anyone?

Over the last couple of days, I have been exchanging emails regarding a Curley corkscrew with the integrated handle that is available.

From the pictures, the particular Curley corkscrew looks to be a double, so if anyone needs one, I am happy to trade.

The helix looks to be perfect, and when it arrives in a day or so, I will compare it with the one in the Curley collection, to see if there are any variations in construction.

Anyone need an extra Curley?

Round Two

The second round of listings in the latest Collectorcorkscrews.com auction will be ending come Saturday/Sunday, and there are some juicy pieces available.

Here are the listings

I have a few on my watch list, and of course, have bid on multiple items…

Bidding wars?  I have no doubt there will be a few.  Will I be triumphant on one or two?  One can only hope!

Today the lovely and I are heading from Pismo (where we are currently staying) to a couple of wine tasting appointments in the Edna Valley.  Will a few corkscrews be found?  I have no idea, but I am certain a few will be used.

Stay tuned.


adventures and (potential) misadventures

The other day, I got wind of a corkscrew collection for sale, and having exchanged a couple of messages about said collection, put the coordinates in my iPhone and headed out…

The lovely personal personal trainer was otherwise occupied, so I would be making the trek on my own, to a town I am unfamiliar with, to a house where the owners of the collection would be awaiting my arrival, and with enough cash on hand to buy…well…the entire collection.

It can be a little unnerving walking up to someone’s house with a wad of cash in one’s pocket, and I will never forget the time that I went to buy a corkscrew at a strangers abode, but was shown the gun collection before we proceeded.

So, I tend to take a few precautions.  And, I have no doubt there is a little trepidation on the seller’s part.  Here is a stranger that I am inviting into my home, what type of person are they?

I knocked on the door, but there was no answer.  After trying again, and waiting a few minutes, I started to walk back towards the car, and soon enough the seller was calling for me from behind a locked 8 foot tall iron gate (with spikes on top).  Exchanging pleasantries, the electric gate soon began to open.

I noticed upon entering that there is a small wooden box in the corner.  If things take a turn for the worse.  If suddenly, the gate started to close, if things seemed a little fishy, I could put a foot on that small box, grab onto the spikes, and flip myself over the fence for a quick get away.  Escape route planned.

As it happened, the gate remained open, the seller was quite friendly, and no Jackie Chan-like moves were necessary.

Unfortunately, the collection wasn’t worth buying either.

After giving some guidance as to where they might be able to sell said collection, I headed back to the car, and back towards our temporary digs in Long Beach.

Oh well, I thought to myself… no eyes were put out, no limbs were lost, no rapid escape was necessary, and there is always the Rose Bowl Flea the following day.

The following day, the lovely and I headed to Pasadena.  We have been talking about attending this particular market, off and on, for about 20+years, but we had never made it, as our travels never coincided with a day it would be held.  So, we headed off to Pasadena, and after our arrival, made our way through the aisles of antiques (and other stuff).  Lot of mid-century modern furniture, some interesting odds and ends, and after walking multiple aisles we happened to turn a corner and see a mound of corkscrews on a 8 foot table.  And, when I mean mound, there were easily 100 corkscrews just piled there.

Now, there were a couple of other folk rifling around, but in no time Sue and I had taken over, and were digging through and were grabbing this, and that, and that one, and a couple of those, and over the course of a few minutes put together a pile of about 20.  Our compatriots were still holding onto a couple of Williamsons.

The seller looked at what we had placed before him, thought about it for a minute, grouped the wooden handle pieces and the metal pieces separately.  Counted once again, and quoted a price.

The deal was done.


Nothing truly rare within our little lot of corkscrews, but we managed to pick them up for about 4 dollars a piece.  And, it was really fun to see so many on a single table.

A short while later, having exhausted the “antique” section of the flea, it was off on another adventure, this time to Stone Brewing for a well deserved thirst quenching victory drink.

What will turn up next?  You just never know.

a few long beach finds

So, the last few days, the lovely personal personal trainer and I have been Long Beach, California where we have been visiting family.  And, in between visits, we were able to steal away to a couple of antique shops.

Now, one of the places here, I have been visiting (and revisiting) for 25 years.  And, for all of the visits that have taken place, only one corkscrew has been purchased.  Granted, there was a time (believe it or not) that I didn’t collect corkscrews, so really it has only been about 18 years that I have only one corkscrew from that particular shop.

A couple of years ago, however, that antique mall opened a second location across the street.  And, there is one particular dealer that happens to always have corkscrews and bottle openers in his/her booth.  Usually Anri pieces that are bit over priced, but at least they know to pick them up when they see them.  And, this time around they did not disappoint, as amongst the Anri bits, there was a handsome Syroco Police Dog with bell assist.  The price was fair, and given we were getting a discount for paying cash,  I knew he would be coming home with us.

And, then, in the very next case (and a completely different dealer) I saw an odd looking bottle opener contraption.  In its original box, but with the lid obscured, you could see on the side of the box illustrations of its multiple uses.  Okay…  Can opener, can piercer, bottle opener…

But, does it have a corkscrew?  While I was looking at the side of the box, and trying to see the price, while we were waiting for one of the shop workers to retrieve a key, the lovely looking from above the piece, said, “It does have a corkscrew!”

Once the case was open, I had the piece in my hand and saw the name Pretorius.  I knew exactly what was now in my hands, even though I had never seen one in person.

While there have been several updates on O’Leary’s 1996 book on American patents, in 2009, the first update that was published on Bull’s website, and now is available on the ICCA’s website, in the PAT WANNABE section, there was the “Pretorius 8 in 1 OPENER” multitool with corkscrew.

Here is the one from the update…


The one that was now in my hands is in remarkable condition.  The box better than the one in the update, and the tool itself, looking like it was never used.  And, it also includes the original instructions.







A pretty cool find, and it actually has best 6 potential.



a few arrivals…

There have been a few arrivals on the island as of late.  Some came from deals made in Chicago.  Some from a bit of online dealings.  Still, it is pretty fun stuff!



And, of course the first round of the collector corkscrews auction ends this weekend.  But, there may be more corkscrews in store.  The lovely personal personal trainer hopped a plane to California this morning, and you never know what might turn up in our latest adventure.  Stay tuned.

Love One Another

I generally don’t get political on here.  I recognize that we have our differences.  Still, I am taking a moment.

A decade ago, I was teaching at DePaul University, and it was the first evening of Intercultural Communication class, and before I handed out a syllabus, before I really said anything, I played Wheres the Love? by the Black Eyed Peas.

And, as the song came to an end, and handing out the syllabus, I began to have a discussion on what the lyrics said, and most importantly on how love is paramount.

Love?  Yes, Love.  Love in our sense of shared humanity.  Love, in our sense of respect for one another.  Love, in recognizing that it is within our diversity, that there is strength.  Love, as this is the only way to dismantle hate.

During this election, there has been a rhetoric of hate and fear from the candidate who, last night, won the election.  Many of those that support him, have bought into this hatred and fear.  That said, I also recognize, that there are that many more that supported Trump that do NOT hold these views.   Still, this was a key component of his message.

As a nation, it is imperative that we recognize the ignorance that remains, recognize the racism that is still present, recognize the misogyny that so many still practice, and recognize the discrimination and bigotry in which so many participate.  And, by shedding light on these dangerous (and sometimes deadly) belief systems, we can perhaps work to eliminate them.  And, indeed overcome these issues through love.

If I were to teach that class again this morning, a decade later, I would indeed start the same way.   Using the updated version of the song which was released earlier this year.

You can watch it on Youtube here.

Indeed, where’s the love?

Please.  Try and love one another.

off for a few days

The lovely personal personal trainer have been off island for a few days, as we headed to Chicago for a small corkscrewteer meeting.


Interestingly, we arrived in Chicago on Friday, and after grabbing our bags from baggage claim, we headed to the train station only to find hundreds (not an exaggeration) of Chicago Cub jersey clad fans waiting to buy tickets to board the El to get into town.  Apparently it was the day of the Chicago Cubs victory parade, and millions were flooding into the city.  And, when I say millions, it was crazy!

Still, with the lovely armed with Apple-pay, we were able to skip the ticket lines, and get on a very crowded train until we got close enough where we could walk.  The streets were brimming with Cubs fans (and lots of Rugby fans as well).

As often is the case when the lovely and I return to Chicago, we check out our favorite haunts from when we called Chicago home.  So, we traipsed around, reminiscing about the 6 years we lived there–and, a little bit about the Chicago ICCA meetings.

The plan was, at an appointed time, to meet up with Tommy, who had picked up Leon from his hotel, and meet at Goose Island Brewing, for a little tasting an a tour.  Tommy and Leon messaged to explain they were already there, so the lovely and I hopped in a cab and were there in short order.


Following the tour and some good beer, we headed to the hotel where Sue and I were staying.  We had a couple of bottles of wine chilling, and there was a bit of trading of corkscrews.  This was followed by a lovely dinner at Bandera with a little live Jazz.

The next day included a run on the lakeshore.  Well, the lovely bride and I ran on the lakeshore, Leon and Tommy were back at their respective digs.

Around noonish, Tommy and Leon were back at hotel, and there were lots of corkscrews available in a trading/buying/selling session.



Leon had brought a few.  I brought even less.  And, Tommy brought an entire suitcase full.

A few deals were made, and there was much laughter in between.

After a trading session, we headed off to the Purple Pig for lunch.  But, the lines were rather long.  So, I called RL–that being Ralph Lauren’s restaurant, not the wineleopard–to see how long the wait there was.  Over an hour, so we headed back to Bandera–did I mention the amount of Cubs fans that had invaded the city?

Another good meal!  That was followed by a walk on the lakeshore heading towards our old neighborhood.


What was remarkable, was how warm it was…!

After our walk, we headed back towards our hotel where corkscrew trading (and wine drinking) resumed in anticipation of dinner together at Smith and Wollensky.


Wine, conversation, laughs, and a bit of meat…  It was another fun evening out.  This was followed by a taxi back to the hotel, and farewells.  It was great to see you guys, and we look forward to the next adventure!