I was offered this celluloid figural corkscrew the other day, and he bears a resemblance to Bonzo the Dog.




He may not be Bonzo,


but it is also a figural celluloid dog that I can’t remember seeing before.

What do you think?  Bonzo, or not Bonzo?

Better pictures will be posted when it arrives.




Winkelmeyer Brewing

This afternoon, I hopped on eBay for a moment, and there sat a Clough wire double helix corkscrew with brewery advertising with a buy it now of $17.50 or best offer option.

I weighed my options for a moment, but knowing that I couldn’t remember seeing that particular marking before, I opted not to make an offer, but instead, clicked the buy it now option.


Marked JUL. WINKELMEYER BREW’G. ASSN., word has already come through that only a few have been found.


And, after a brief exchange of messages, it has been placed in the Tipped Worm Johnny pile for a future deal.

On that note…  I was contacted by a brewery collector looking for the same corkscrew but with a marking for “M. SCHORR BREWERY WATERLOO, ILLS.”

If you have one, feel free to drop me a line.

Kinsey Confusion (Five Years Later)

Five years later after the 1948 article in The New Yorker,  Dr. Alfred C. Kinsey was set to release the follow up book, entitled Sex and the American Female.   And, in 1953, the Kinsey Distilling Corporation still benefitting from customers assumptions that there was a relation between the two enterprises, placed advertisements in various newspapers around the country in an attempt to limit the amount of labels, bottle tops, or simple requests that a copy of the new book, be went to consumers of Kinsey Whiskey or Kinsey Gin.

The following appeared in the Chicago Tribune:






We’re KINSEY, the Distiller…

We’re not Dr. Kinsey, the Author-Scientist…

Nor are we the publisher of his famous books.  TO OUR MANY FRIENDS:  Please don’t misunderstand this public notice.  We are delighted that many of you are acquainted with Kinsey Whiskey and Kinsey Gin.  We always enjoying hearing from you.

But it gets mighty embarrassing when you confuse us with Dr. Alfred C. Kinsey, author of “Sexual behavior on the Human Male” and the about-to-be published Sexual behavior in the Female”.

You see, we have absolutely no connection whatsoever with Dr. Kinsey or with the publication of his books.

The late J.G. Kinsey, founder of our distillery back in 1892, came from an old Pennsylvania Dutch family, long famous in distilling history.  He wasn’t even distantly related to Dr. Kinsey.

Dr Kinsey’s books are published by the W.B. Saunders Company, also a Philadelphia concern.  And, we have no connection with the Saunders Company.

So please don’t write us for copies of Dr. Kinsey’s book, as so man of you did five years ago.  The new Kinsey book sells for $8.00 at the book shoes and you can readily understand that we could not afford to send you a copy in return for a label or bottle top of Kinsey Whiskey or Kinsey Gin.  Nor could we do so legally, since the Government frowns on sex in the promotion of alcoholic beverage.

So, if you would like a copy of Dr. Kinsey’s new book, you will have to buy it from your book store or from the publisher.  That is what we’re doing friends.

Our best wishes to you all and to Dr. Kinsey, too.  We hope his new book is a great success.  We hope, too, that all you good people will let us go about our business of distilling and distributing Kinsey Whiskey and Kinsey Gin.



The hunt continues to find linkages between Syroco and Kinsey.  and hopefully in a couple of weeks the truth will reveal itself.  I will be headed to Syracuse and Syracuse University to look through their Syroco materials collection.

If anything comes to light, I will update you all here.


Confusing Kinseys

In doing research into the Syroco Knight and the Kinsey Knight connection, I ran across an amusing article in The New Yorker...  Apparently, consumers were confusing the producers of Kinsey Whiskey and Gin and The Kinsey Report: Sexual Behavior in the Human Male.

The following appeared in The New Yorker, on September 18, 1948:


One of our enterprising young assistants stopped off in Philadelphia to get to the bottom of those stories that the hullaballo over the Kinsey Report has resulted in substantial rise in the sale of Kinsey, the Unhurried Whiskey.  Kinsey Distilling is now part of a corporate agglomeration known as Publicker Industries, Inc., of 1429 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, and our man beat his way there and had a talk with Mr. T. A. DuBois, the Kinsey sales manager, who was found to be a mild, unhurried gentleman in horn-rimmed glasses.  Mr. DuBois stated that, despite a general slump in the liquor business, Kinsey whiskey has been selling briskly all summer, and that the Kinsey Report has indeed had much to do with this gratifying phenomenon.  “The Report,” he said, “has impressed our brand name on the public consciousness.  We keep denying that it has any connection with our product, but people choose to go on confusing them.  It may be silly, but…”  He sighed comfortably, and added that the company has received several hundred letters asking for copies of the Report and that some of the writers of these letters have gone to the trouble of enclosing a label, soaked off a fifth of Kinsey, in the belief that these entitles them to a free copy.  There seems to be a rumor to this effect in several sections of the country.

Fairly early in the game, Mr. DuBois prepared a form letter explaining to hopeful correspondents that the Kinsey Distilling Corporation and Dr. Kinsey are working in altogether different fields, and that the Report may be purchased at bookstores for $6.50.  Along with his reply, Mr. DuBois has lately been enclosing a brochure entitled, “Kinsey’s Own Report on the Kinsey Report.”  The cover of this booklet bears a reproduction of a knight in full armor, the advertising symbol of Kinsey Whiskey; he is depicted reading a copy of the Kinsey Report.  The contents consist chiefly of reprints of newspaper accounts of incidents, most of them transparently apocryphal, resulting from a confusion of the two Kinseys.  Retail liquors frequently write in for a Report, on the assumption that it is a piece of promotional material put out by the whiskey company, and Mr. DuBois is, naturally, more generous with them than he is with the lay public, sending them a copy but advising them that he had to pay $6.50 for it (he has made no effort to get a special professional discount) and warning them that if they want further copies, they will have to go out and buy them.

A liquor dealer in New Haven has filled one of this display windows with equal portions of Kinsey whiskey, Kinsey gin, and Kinsey Reports, and a dealer in Washington wrote Mr. DuBois a while back that he was planning to rent out to his regular customers, on a weekly basis, a copy of the Report that Mr. DuBois had sent to him.  Helpful strangers keep handing in suggestions on how to exploit what seems like the chance of a lifetime.  A novelty manufacturer offered to make up a plastic reproduction of the Kinsey Report, with a niche inside to fit a pint bottle of Kinsey.  “it would have been wonderful for the Christmas trade,” Mr. DuBois said, “but we’re not interested in any unethical attempts to muscle in on Dr. Kinsey’s pitch.”

The Kinsey of Kinsey Distilling Corporation is Jacob G., no relation to Dr. Alfred C.  The forebears of Jacob G. were named McKenzie, Mr. DuBois told our man, and this was first shortened to Kinzie and then changed to Kinsey.  Mr. DuBois had no dope on the evolution of Dr. Alfred C.’s name.  Jacob G., a facsimile of whose signature appears on every bottle, founded Kinsey Distilling in 1892 and ran it until 1942, when it sold out to Publicker as a consultant.  Jacob G., now ninety, is retained by Publicker as a consultant.  Mr. DuBois has no idea what he thinks of all the hubbub.

Kinsey Knight III


On October 10, 2013, I blogged about a Syroco Golden Knight corkscrew, that had was sold on eBay (not to me) for a buy it now of $125.00, and this example came with a box signed Kinsey, and included a business card from Kinsey Distilling.


A few years later (May, 2016) I blogged about another Syroco Golden Knight corkscrew that turned up on eBay, this too included a box signed Kinsey, with no business card, and sold for a fair amount more than $125.00.

Two golden knights, two Kinsey boxes…  Hmmmmm…

Of course, and I blogged about this too, clearly there had to be some connection.  And, after a bit of research, I found a couple of advertisements for Kinsey Whiskey that featured a golden knight.  And, you might want to note the resemblance, down to the little K (Thanks Bob Gilbride) that appears both on the Kinsey advertisements and the Syroco Knight’s belt buckle.


Of course, what was equally interesting was that there was “GOLD” knight and a “SILVER” knight pictured in the advertisements.

Was Kinsey having these made by Syroco, and handing them out as promotional items to their favored dealers or retailers?

Is that the reason for the two boxes and business card that have turned up?

And, if they were having the gold knight produced, or purchasing it as a promo, could it be that somewhere out there…there is a Silver Syroco Knight?

Cue the suspenseful music…

Indeed, there is…


And, this is not a re-painted formerly Golden knight, it looks to be original, and as you can see also includes a copyright for Syroco.

I haven’t put the Gold knight and Silver knight next to each other, I will do that later today.  But the other difference, beyond color, is that Silver knight has a wire worm and bell that Syroco used on the Syroco Indian, rather than the bladed worm like the Golden knight.

I will continue the hunt for linkages between Kinsey and Syroco.

But, what do you all think?  Given the two Gold knights with Kinsey boxes and business card, the advertisements of the time that date in the late 40’s featuring the Gold and Silver knights, the fact that there has yet to be found a Syroco catalog reference for the knight, and now a Silver Syroco knight, are these Syroco/Kinsey knights?

The hunt continues!

Stay tuned!



I will preface this by saying, if you are going to hire an engraver, you might want to be sure that they know how to spell.

Just sayin’

The Manufacture of Ballet-Corkscrews corkscrew arrived the other day, and while there are a couple of hairlines to the celluloid, the corkscrew is pretty fantastic.

Although, in looking closely (really closely) at the writing across the advertising plates it looks as if the piece is marked CORKSEREWS rather than CORKSCREWS.

Now, clearly they had a C nearby, as CORKSEREWS starts with a C, and MANUFACTURE also has a C.

And, as they got to the end of the plate, knowing that were trying to make CORKSCREW (or more aptly CORKSEREW) plural, but were running out of room, the S is a bit smaller, but they still made if fit.


Even with the replacing the C with an E, the corkscrew is pretty darn awesome, and has the potential of making the best 6 of the year.

I have yet to clean the shank of the helix up yet, but it does look to have a maker’s mark. I will report back here once I figure that one out.

More corkscrew news as it happens.  Stay tuned!

Pisula’s Reliable

The other day, a Reliable corkscrew was listed on eBay with it’s original box.  It had a fairly low buy it now, so I snapped it up.

What I found interesting about it, is that it isn’t the 1885 Weirs patent that is marked with the patent date, and with “THE RELIABLE” or “RELIABLE”


Instead of the U.S. Patent date, this is a corkscrew from France, and is an advertising piece for D. Recher Co, Chicago.


And, it is indeed marked RELIABLE…


And, while I haven’t tried it, I am sure that one can rely on it.




On the box, which is a bit tattered, someone has written “Best one.”  I am assuming that at some point someone had decided that not only was the Reliable reliable, but perhaps it was the most useful, or perhaps the best they had tried.  Or, maybe the best of their collection.

Also written on the box, in pencil, is “Belongs fo Fr. Pisula.”  And, inside the box, was a scrap of paper that read the same: reading “belongs to Fr. L. Pisula.”  Perhaps Father Pisula, loaned this out with hope of getting it back?  There was a Reverend Leon E. Pisula in Fort Wayne Indiana, and the seller of the Reliable lives only 20 miles away.


The good reverend is no longer with us, but the corkscrew upon which he relied still is!