So, as it happened, this morning I was perusing eBay, and ran across an antique bar screw, listed in category other than collectibles / corkscrews.

It looked vaguely familiar, yet not.

The seller also explained in his description, that it was unmarked, yet in the photos, you could make out the word PATENTED on the base.

And, there was also a buy it now price on the listing.

I went for it.

Before I could check out Wayne’s book on bar screws, I had to be at the wine shop.  So, I sent a picture to RL and TC, and RL came back with a picture of the Simplex Bar Screw in Wayne’s book.

I thought it looked similar as well, having owned the Simplex in the past.

Still, without a counter mounted version of the Simplex in Wayne’s book, I did wonder.

A bit later, I emailed images to Wayne, who responded with, “Looks like a top mount version of the Simplex to me, without the fancy casting.”

Okay, thus far we are thinking along the same lines.    Simplex, but not one that was documented in his book.  Could it really be a Simplex, or…?

So, I did a little digging, as I am want to do.   And, what should appear, but in an 1894 issue of The Iron Age, the top / counter mount version of the Simplex illustrated with description

Simplex Cork Puller

The illustration herewith shown represents a cork puller introduced by Manning, Bowman, & Co., Meriden, Conn., and 57 Beekman street, New York. The construction of the cork puller, which is nickel plated, is shown in the cut, the parts on which the strain comes are roller bearing to reduce the friction to a minimum.


The cork puller is simple, having no cogs or levers; and it is impossible, it is stated, to get it out of order. It is claimed that bottles cannot be broken when using the puller, as the cork revolves while it is being drawn. The wire is cut, the cork drawn and thrown off the worm automatically simply by turning the crank. The manufacturers claim that the puller requires little room in which to operate it, as the it is smaller than other machines; that it takes one-third the power to oepratte it, and that it is positively noiseless in operation.


Not a bad way to ring in the New Year, and to start building the 2019 Best Six (a day early)!



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