It is early in the year, and there is much hunting and collecting to take place, but over the last couple of days a deal was struck for a cork puller that easily will make the best six of 2018.
If over the next 12 months, I manage to find 6 pieces that are rarer, and it doesn’t make the list, well…that would be a good problem to have.
As mentioned in the past, I spend lots of time looking at O’Leary’s tome on American patented corkscrews. And, while I haven’t memorized every patent drawing in the back of his book, there are some that I indeed have. Still, only going by a patent drawing isn’t really enough. From drawing to manufacture things can change. So, it really really really helps, when suddenly you are presented with a previously yet discovered cork puller that is clearly marked with a patent date.
The question of who?, what? when?, is that really what it was intended for?, is answered pretty quickly with a quick glance in the back of O’Leary. This, of course, is often followed by visit to google patents.
Now, this very well may exist within another collector’s collection, but given it isn’t in O’Leary (at least the front) and given that it has yet to appear in any of the patent updates, I will say “new discovery.” If it has been previously found, I will happily say, “it is a rare thing.”
“So, what did you find Josef?” You are asking yourself
Ladies and gentleman, I present to you, the 1867 James D. Van Zandt patent for an Improved Cork Pull.
Marked “PATENT JULY 30, 1867,” within short order, I found the patent drawing on page 181 of O’Leary.
And, after checking on Google Patents, found even more…
Van Zandt’s patent description explains:
“The operation is as follows: The cork-drawer being in the position indicated in Fig. I, it is forced down into the centre of the cork until the swing-bar has been pushed beyond the bottom of the cork, when, on drawing up the cork-drawer, the friction of the cork on the sliding prong d causes it to descend, b which the swing-bar is placed in a right-angled position to the prongs, and the cork follows the instrument as it is drawn out of the bottle. The cork being drawn, it is easily disengaged from the prongs by sliding back the prong d by means of the thumb-piee and drawing it off, when the cork-drawer is again ready for use.”
The Improved Cork Pull will arrive in a couple of days, and I will add better pictures when it does. Definitely a Best 6 candidate! And, a fantastic addition to the collection.
In the meantime, the lovely and I are heading to Vermont for a quick getaway tomorrow… could the best 2 or 3 of 6 of 2018 be found in our adventures?