“having dose cups with each bottle”

From the February 3, 1889 issue of PHARMACEUTICAL RECORD

H. Zeilin & Co., Philadelphia, call attention in an announcement recently made to Professor Parrish’s preparations, and especially Parrish’s Compound Syrup of Phosphates. Chemists who have had experience in the manufacture of Compound of Phosphates are aware that it is almost impossible to make it perfect and prevent deposit, fermenting and change, but J. H. Zeilin & Co., having purchased the private formulas of Parrish’s specialties, take especial pains to make the preparations worthy of the name of the distinguished chemist.  The articles are referred to as put up in a very attractive style, having dose cups with each bottle, rendering them very desirable articles to handle.  The following at the prices of the different preparations, terms cash 30 days:

                                                                                    Per doz.

Compound Syrup of Phosphates………………………..    $7.50

Glycerole of Hypophosphites……………………………     7.50

Syrup of Phosphites…………….…………………………..     7.50

Compound Syrup of Hypophosphites, with Iron….. 7.50

Syrup of Phosphate of Iron……………….………………….7.50

Syrup of Lacto-Phosphate of Iron………………..……….7.50

Bitter Wine of Iron………………………………………………7.50

Propylamin Cordial……………………….…………………..11.25

Wine of Pepsin…………………………………………………….7.50

Solution of Meconate of Morphia…………………………5.63

Elixir of Calisays……………………………………..…………..7.50

Elixir of Valerianate of Ammonia…………….………….5.63

Cephalic Snuff…………….………………………………………1.87

Dragees of Santonine…………….………………………..….1.87

Liquid Rennet…………….………………………………………1.87

We have owned several versions of the Zeilin patent in Sterling — these come in various sizes; embossed or plain.  There are also versions that have a medicine dial.


And, we have a glass and metal version.



But, it is within the pages of Fred O’Leary that there is Zeilin Dosage cup carrying the patent date, and also serving as an advertisement for one of the Hypophosphites listed above

On page 63 of O’Leary amongst the others, this version of the Zeilin is picture and described as being marked, “ONE TEASPOONFULL PARRISHS HYPOPHOSPHITES, J.H. ZEILIN & CO. PHILA, PA”


The 1889 article says “having dose cups with each bottle.”  Was it Zeilin’s patent that was included within each box with each bottle?  What do you think?  And, if there was, why haven’t more turned up?

Do any of you have an all metal (non Sterling) Zeilin Patent dosage cup with patent date and advertising?

I would happily trade for it if you do.  Drop me a line.


A decade or so ago, Mark Woodard had acquired, at auction, a celluloid button pinback with an advertisement for R.V. Pierce.  He submitted photos and information to Don Bull, who published said information and more on his Weekly Screw page.


Not too long after, Jack Bandy had apparently responded with another celluloid button pinback.   This version being an advertisement for Mangels & Schmidt’s Bread, making reference to a trade that happened some time earlier between he and Don.  This too found its way into the Weekly Screw pages.


And, shortly thereafter, I managed to find my own version of the pinback, this one having an image of an eye, with the words I have my “eye” on you.


The pinback, on the reverse side, has three patent dates, all from the same patentee, G.B. Adams.  But the dates correspond with his patents for a Trousers Strap, Jewelry, and a Badge Pin or Button…

In reading the patent descriptions, there is no corkscrew mentioned.




The 1896 patent for the Badge Pin or Button was assigned to the Whitehead and Hoag Company.  And, each of the known examples are marked as such.

On the Mangels & Schmidt’s, the 1896 patent date is also written on the edge of the button adjacent to the worm.


When Don Bull put his American patents up for sale, Tommy acquired the Mangels & Schmidt’s from Don.  And, in a recent deal, I have now since acquired a second example of the Adams patent, this one being a duplicate to John Morris’ formerly Mark Woodard’s R.V. Pierce.


So, we have R.V. Pierce (x 2), Mangels & Schmidt’s, and the “I have my “eye” on you” versions.

What others are out there?

Do you have a G.B. Adams 1896 Whitehead and Hoag celluloid pinback corkscrew?  Drop me a line with pictures!

an eventful few days

The lovely personal personal trainer and I headed off to Chicago for a few days recently, to visit with Tommy; see his new condo, visit the old neighborhood, visit a few favorite restaurants, and of course to see his collection.

But, before our departure, I managed to win a few lots in an online auction.  These particular lots didn’t go too high, and there looks to be a few good t’s, a Murphy, a Bennit, a couple of Henshall buttons, and a couple of Adelaides (Ian) within the lots:


These are on their way to the island as I type, and I will report back if there are any interesting markings on the pieces when they arrive.

The travel to Chicago was pretty seamless, and Tommy swooped in and scooped us up.  And, soon enough (he brought chilled wine and cheese with him) we were eat the condo we were renting for a few days.

Of course, TC also brought a few corkscrew with him, and there were some fantastic recent finds.

After the happy hour show and tell, we headed off to Bandera for dinner.  One of our favorite restaurants on Michigan Ave, and the meal (the Cliff Lede wines) didn’t disappoint.

The following day, lovely and I decided to walk to Navy Pier.  We don’t usually frequent that as a destination, but Nick Cave was giving a performance, and we knew we had to see it.

And, walk we did.  Meandering from Andersonville towards Wrigley field, stopping by our old condo in Boys Town, then heading towards Lincoln Park, the Zoo, and then heading on to the lakeshore to walk downtown, we made it to where the performance was being held with 15 minutes to spare; where there was cold wine available to bring into the auditorium!

The performance was fantastic!



Following the performance, and having walked 9.1 miles to get there, we grabbed an uber back to the condo, picked up some wine and cheese, and had another happy hour with TC before heading to RL (Ralph Lauren’s restaurant) for dinner.


Another fantastic meal!

After getting back to the condo, we shared goodbyes, and see ya tomorrows, as the next day we were going to hop on the train out to Elgin to see Tommy’s collection and condo.

Hopping on the El, we were soon at Union Station where hoped on the Metra to Elgin.  Tommy picked us up, and after a requisite stop to pick up some wine, we were soon pulling into Chez Campnell.

And, if you were wondering why he is referred to as the Syrocokid…


He has a few Syroco corkscrews…

Having only recently moved in, there are boxes and boxes of corkscrews to go through, but there were plenty to see, examine, drool over, and there was almost a deal made for a couple; an unusual Murphy and an Atwood Combination Six.


The deal wasn’t made, but you never know what trades might happen at a future date!

After lunch and corkscrew viewing, we headed off on another adventure; looking at potential corkscrew cases for our corkscrew room on Vinalhaven, and then hugs and goodbyes and see you in a month (when Tommy visits Maine) and then it was back to the train.

Knowing we had an early morning flight the next day, the lovely and I had an early dinner at Le Colonial (another one of our favorite places in Chicago) and then made our way back to the condo.

A great few days with the lovely and TC in a city that we love.  Thanks for a great visit TC!

Factual answers, also some conjecture…

The other day, there was a Williamson Bullet roundlet listed on eBay with a fairly low buy it now price.  The roundlet had an advertising plate for Wm. J. KAMMER, WINES & LIQUORS, 1810-1812 BANK STREET, BALTIMORE, MD.


Also included in the listing was a reference to an issue of Gun Week from Friday Feb. 10, 1978.

Both the bottle and the article arrived yesterday.  The article in question, was apparently a section of Gun Week called Joe offers Factual answers, also some conjecture: Heritage & History


The article reads:

This week we have a number of interesting questions that should create some controversy in answers.  So let’s get right to them…

Every so often in our column we ask the readers to share some unusual items from their collections.  We make the point that if it is of interest to one collector, others would like to hear of it also.  Ralph White has submitted the following for comments from our readers.  Let Ralph know if you have seen or heard of the novelty item…

“Enclosed is a phot of an item I recently obtained.  I have never seen one before nor have any of my friends.

“As you can see it is a corkscrew, but the novelty is that the corkscrew folds back and is store in the case.

“The cartridge is about three inches long.  It is screwed together in the middle of the case; and when opened the corkscrew is slid along to an opening in the case, and a hinge arrangement makes it possible to bring out the screw at right angles.  Then the front portion of the case is screwed back in place and this locks the corkscrew in the position shown in the phot.

“The bottom of the case is stamped as follows—“WILLIAMS CO., PATENTED, JUNE 97, NEW-ARK, N.J.’

“It seems such an unusual item I thought I might like to share it with your readers.

“If you know of such an item and have any idea of its value I would appreciate any information you can offer.

“I really enjoy your column and also want to thank  you for past favors.”—Ralph L. White, 76 Barber St., Springfield, Mass 01109


I don’t know if Ralph ever got further information he was seeking, or if the corkscrew that came with the article was formerly Ralph’s.

More likely it wasn’t Ralph’s, as Ralph–who clearly was detail oriented–didn’t mention the advertising plate, that yet another Gun Week subscriber happened to see the article and had in their possession the Wm. J. Kammer Wines & Liquors roundlet, and cut out and saved the article to pair with his prized Williamson Bullet Roundlet!


Black and Red

So, the lovely and I headed off to Brimfield earlier the week for a one day visit to the show.

The September show, actually starts the Tuesday following Labor Day, and Labor Day is kind of the end of the vacation season in Maine, so heading south on Labor Day for an antique show that starts the following morning can make for a very slow drive.

Last year, I did just that.  I headed south, and then west, on Labor Day and traffic on the highway was and a stand still.  I chose to take route 1, and hit a few antique stores, but this route was also stop and go, and it literally took me an hour to traverse a certain 3 mile section.  Fortunately, I knew of a detours, and got out of the mess, and eventually hopped back on the highway a bit later on where it was smooth sailing from then on.

Having had that experience, we decided on a different plan.  Head down a day earlier, and grab a hotel in Portsmouth, NH…this would make for a shorter drive the following day, and we would have avoided those last day drivers.  The following morning, we discussed how making the usual drive down to Brimfield wasn’t very desirable, having just done it in July, and more recently for a trip to visit friends.  So, we took another option, we meandered east through New Hampshire, and then after a lovely lunch in Keene, took backroads south that literally dropped us into Brimfield where dealers were setting up.

Knowing that we would begin the hunt in the morning, we started heading to Sturbridge where we had a hotel, but hit a few antique stores along the way.  I almost never go to these stores, as we are usually staying further afield.  At one shop we did pick up a Warner’s Safe Cure Clough Medicine corkscrew, and passed on a few others.

On Tuesday morning, in the wee hours, I got ready for the day, and headed off; the lovely would be joining me at a more decent hour.  And, I made my way through the fields with flashlight in hand.

An H & B direct pull was the first corkscrew of the day, followed by a similar unmarked version.  A small folding bow came paired with an interesting 1881 patented folding button hook.   After another cup of coffee, I was off again and found a marked Chinnock patent frame corkscrew.  This too came as a pairing–I picked up one of those Williamsburg Brass frames with it, and while the Chinnock had a price tag of 25, the dealer offered both for 20 dollars.  The Chinnock was the better of the two, or course, and smokin’ deal.

Somewhere along the way, there were a pair of Noyes patents; both marked with the patent date rather than the Green River Whiskey mark.

It seemed like everything was coming in 2s….   Could there be two Frarys laying around? Two Blakes?

At 8ish, the lovely texted that she was in the fields, and I headed over to meet up with her.  We meandered around, finding a few treasures.   She picked up a deco jigger, and we searched the dealer’s booth, as he swore there was a corkscrew somewhere amongst his wares.

No corkscrew was found.

We headed off looking for corkscrews and display cases, and other various items in which we are in need.

As the time was heading towards 11, the lovely was on her way back to Maine, as she needed to pick up Philos from boarding, and I was going to hit the last two fields (we had two cars, for those wondering).

At Dealer’s Choice, there were a couple of corkscrews, but nothing that exciting.  I did pickup a bobblehead Anri stopper for a fair price, and toyed with splurging for a midcentury coffee table, but eventually passed.

As the 1:00 field opened, I knew there would be corkscrews, as there is always one particular dealer that has them.  That said, he often has a high price on the corkscrews within his possession.

Instead of heading over to his booth immediately, I meandered the aisles, ever hopeful.  A grapevine there, stag handle with sterling caps here; both overpriced.  I made the rounds.  Then, I hit the aforementioned dealer’s both, and there you had it.  A pair of legs.

Not a pair of legs, but a pair of a pair of legs.  One was a half flesh version, the other stripes.  I was offered both, but when it came down to it, I only really wanted one.  And, this time he really wasn’t pricey given the rarity of this particular striped version.

I offered a little less than he was asking, and he came down a bit.  Then I offered a partial trade, as I brought a couple of nice corkscrews with me.  No deal there, but I now know what he is looking for.  But, in the end reached into my pocket and paid his (reduced) asking price.

With the legs in my pocket, I headed off to continue the hunt, but I also had about 15 minutes before I too had to head off and make the drive back to Maine.

I did manage to hit the entire field, and was back in the truck by 2…  And, after a bit of traffic in the beginning of the trek back to Rockland, the rest was pretty much smooth ride.

Not a bad haul for one day in Brimfield.  And, while I am sure there were other corkscrews put out for sale on days 2 through 6, it was certainly worth the the drive.


The treasure of the day was definitely the red and black legs!


We have already booked a house for the May Brimfield Antiques Show!

You never know what will turn up next!

Stay Tuned…





The Peerless-less Peerless has a Peerless-less Peer

In April of last year, I managed to pick up a 1885 Weir patent, that instead of being marked Peerless with the patent date, was marked PAT. APL’D FOR.


While the 1885 Peerless doesn’t turn up often, the PAT. APL’D FOR version was a new discovery, and made it into JM presentation on newly patent discoveries in 2016 at the AGM, as well as my best 6 for 2016.

(The PAT A’PLD For version is pictured on the left)

A neat variation of the patent, I was quite pleased to add it to the collection.

But, as of a few days ago…  the Peerless-less Peerless has a Peerless-less peer.


This version also is marked PAT. APL’D FOR.


And, it worked tremendously last night on a bottle of Goosecross Cabernet!

A Two-Pronged Sales Approach: Converse Cork Extractors with Advertising

Originally published in the most recent issue of The Bottle Scrue Times:

A Two-Pronged Sales Approach:

Converse Cork Extractors with Advertising


On May 9, 1899, Maschil D. Converse of New York, NY was awarded U.S. Patent number 624,457 for his Cork-Extractor; a rather straightforward example of the prong cork puller, his patent description explains:

Cork-extractors have been made with prongs which in use are inserted next the inner sides of the neck of the bottle on opposite sides of the cork by pressure to embrace the latter.  It is to this class of cork-extractors that my present invention relates.  In this type of cork-extractors heretofore various devices have been employed to adapt the prongs to operate on corkscrews of different diameters, involving more or less complication, consequent costliness of manufacture, and liability to derangement or breakage, and in all the flat external plane of surfaces of the blades or prongs have been arranged at right angles to the longitudinal axis or land of the handle, so that it is inconvenient to adjust the prongs astride the cork.  The objects of my present invention are to overcome these several disadvantages, to cheapen the cost of manufacture, and to provide a cork extractor of the type described that will be durable and that may expeditiously used, all of which I accomplish by means of the devices, combinations, and arrangement of parts and the forms of their construction hereinafter fully described and claimed, where in it will be found that my invention consists chiefly in first arranging the flat plane sides of the tapering prongs in planes parallel to the axis of the handle; second, in improved means of securing the prongs to the handle and in certain other particulars. 

Converse had sixteen patents, and the fact that he was a patent attorney is an interesting side note.   Until, of course, you come to find out that our man Maschil was actually the patent attorney for Lucien Mumford–whose pronged cork extractor (Patent No. 474,480, issued May 10, 1892) would have been one, “…involving more…complication, consequent costliness of manufacture, and liability to derangement or breakage…” that Converse describes in his 1899 patent.

In a 1913 catalog from the Shapleigh Hardware Company, they illustrate the Quick as a Wink (Converse patent) but also provide detailed instructions for use:



 Does not Injure the Cork


Take the Puller into the hand so that the handle rests in the palm, putting the thumb on one tine and the forefinger on the other.  Adjust the tines to size of Cork by pressing thumb and forefinger together, insert the tines each side of the cork between Cork and Neck of Bottle, work the tines carefully below the bottom of the cork by pushing one tine then the other (a rocking motion).  When the tines are well below the bottom of the cork turn the Puller around and around, at the same time pulling very gently.  Around goes the Puller, Cork and all, and out rides the Cork on the tines and drops from the Puller without labor injury to cork or spilling contents.

If the cork has flattened edges out over neck of bottle push the tines through the flattened edges and operate as above; for Cork in bottles of Glue, Mucilage or other adhesive matter insert the tines in two or three different places before turning the Puller.   Per dozen.

No. 35—Tempered Blued Spring Steel Tines; Maple Handle, Mahogany Stained and Varnished; Nickel Plated Brass Case; Length Closed 4 in; Length of Handle 3 in; Weight per dozen 3 lbs………………. $ 4.00

One Dozen in a Box.

When I was first collecting, I ran across an estate sale not too far from where we were living in Chicago, and having exhausted the various rooms, I headed down to the basement.  And, in a toolbox amongst various wrenches and gadgets, I found my first Converse Cork Extractor.   When I headed over to pay for the item, I was told that it was free, and to have a good day.  Free!

Over the years, many variations of the Converse have made their way into our collection; European and British made examples, the Converse in Sterling, the unusual patent applied for example, a variant made of ivory and Sterling marked SPAULDING GORHAM, and of course the subject of this article several Converse cork extractors with advertising.

Before we get to the various advertisements that appear on the Converse, we should actually start with the Hawley Manufacturing Company of Stepney, Connecticut.  Hawley placed many ads in various newspapers at the time, looking for sales people for their product.



And, upon the sheath a few Converses have turned up that were indeed salesperson samples.

These salesperson samples, beyond providing a means through which to demonstrate the cork puller itself, they also demonstrated the usefulness of the sheath as an avenue for advertising one’s business.

The list that follows are the Converses with advertising that exist within our collection, with one addition from collector John Stanley and another known example from collector Robin Preston.



CH RITTER, DETROIT, MICH, SOLE PROP’RS, WESTMINSTER RYE WHISKEY (marked across the handle, rather than on the sheath)



Arthur Lehmann & Co., used the converse for several of their products; Elmore Bourbon, Lehmann’s Rye, and Jersey Whiskey.  Lehmann also made “May Bloom”, “Richland”, and “Spring Valley.”  Could there be other Converse that carry advertisements for these brands?



JERSEY WHISKEY – ARTHUR LEHMANN & CO. – PEORIA,ILL (according to a past eBay sale per Robin Preston of pre-pro.com)






The Converse Cork Extractors with advertising listed above, as mentioned, are largely examples from our own collection, and clearly the list is not exhaustive.  What others are out there?

If any of you have a Converse with different advertising, I would love to add it to the list, and keep a running inventory of Converse cork extractors with advertising.  Or, if you have a different Converse with which you would like to part, feel free to drop me a line.