Clough’s Cork Handles

From an 1876 issue of The Publisher’s Weekly

“CLOUGH’s CORK-HANDLE. The latest article designed for a permanent cork – handle is Clough’s Cork-Handle, patented April 1975 and sold by R.G. Hutchinson 44 Malden lane.


The price of this little article will ultimately insure its universal use, it being sold at $1.50 per gross for all sizes. The Ne plus ultra corkscrew is the neatest as well as simplest, best, and cheapest earticle of the kind in the market. Price-list on application.”

Several years ago, I found a small box of Clough’s Cork Handles…


That would be Clough’s patent (No. 161,755).

And, at some point, I traded it away to Ron MacLean.

In a recent deal, the Clough’s Cork Handle box, containing Clough’s Cork Handles, are heading back to Vinalhaven.


Thanks for the deal Ron.

I actually can’t remember what I got in exchange for these in our initial trade, but I am happy to have them back in the collection!


ooooh, something shiny

Over the last week, on eBay, there was a fabulous Perille Express waiter’s corkscrew that was  garnering lots of bids.


Knowing that this would go for a pretty penny, I kept it on my watch list, and the corkscrew listing ended today, for bargain price of $ 3,559.27.

(I didn’t win it)

And, it came with the box!

Such a fabulous corkscrew!

The “NIFF-T” Hammer Kit


While you will recognize this tool kit, as the L.E.B. Pocket Tool Kit with Cork Puller, the following advertisement comes from a 1913 issue of the The Shepherd’s Journal:

The “NIFF-T” Hammer Kit

is an intensely practical tool set to have about the house, the office desk or in your camping outfit, put one in your automobile.  There will be dozens of times you will bless the day you bought it.

  1. The Saw.—Best quality of steel, strong enough to saw a two inch plank or a ham bone, will do all the work that the average flat dweller, traveling man, camper or those wh live in hotels have occasion to do.
  2. The Cork Puller.—Worth the price alone, it’s the only cork puller that will pull the cork without mutilating it or shoving it into the bottle, bit or little they come out in a jiffy, shove the point between the cork and the neck of the bottle, turn hook under the bottom of the cork then pull, out she comes in a jiffy, clean as a whistle.
  3. The Chisel.—How often have you had occasion to do a little repair job, to fix that door that will not stay shut, dozens of uses for a chisel that we need not suggest to you.nifft1
  4. The Tack Claw.—It will not pull spikes, but it will open a cigar box or pull that exasperating nail that’s been threatening dozens of times to tear your clothes.
  5. The Screw Driver—It would Insult our intelligence to suggest its use, but how often have you let a little repair job that’s been making you testy slide because you didn’t hve a screw driver handy.  Here is one right in the handle.
  6. The Reamer.—Some people don’t know what a handy tool a reamer is. It has a hardened cutting edge that will cut metal, you can enlarge holes in either wood, meral, or leather and shave off the tiniest piece evenly all around, even use it as a counter sink to set that screw head into the wood.
  7. The Stiletto.—To punch holes in leather, linens, wood or metal, and it makes a splendid ice pick.

8 and 9.  The Brad-Alls.—Both of these make fine screw drivers for small work, particularly good to fix those troublesome eyeglasses, use them instead of an auger to start screws in hard wood.

The “Niff-T” Hammer Kit and the “Shepherd’s Journal” for one year $1.25 postpaid.  If you have just subscribed for the “Journal,” get this handy tool and have your subscription dated one year.


The Milam history hunt continues

While I am still on the hunt of the history of the Kentucky Cork Extractor, there is definitely some history out there about the Milam’s in Kentucky and the fishing reels they made.



And, Milam reels are quite sought after, by the way.  You all might to keep a look out for them.

That said, as I am working out the history of the company, and when John W., joined his father in the family business, I did find a picture of the inventor of the Kentucky Cork Extractor…


And, of course, here is his invention: The Kentucky Cork Extractor…


I have no doubt the story will end up as an article at some point, but until then, the hunt continues…

A well-traveled pair of legs

A couple of months ago, I picked up a mother of pearl and striped pair of ladies legs corkscrew.


And, in short order, said pair of legs was put up for sale, and purchased by a collector in Switzerland.

Within a couple of days of the sale–this was mid December–the legs were shipped off to Switzerland via the U.S. Postal Service.

A couple of weeks later, I received an email from the purchaser asking about the whereabouts of the legs…

Having misplaced the customs form, I visited the post office here on Vinalhaven, and they quickly found a copy of the form.  Not a lot of shipments to Switzerland from Vinalhaven apparently.

With the customs number in hand, I went online to see if we could track down the legs.

And, we did.  They were indeed in Switzerland, and were set to be delivered…


I took a screen shot of what the tracking said, and sent it, as well as the tracking number, to the aforementioned purchaser.

Nearly four weeks after they were shipped, the tracking said, the legs were out for delivery.

When I checked again, a few days later, the tracking said, delivery attempt made…

An attempt?

A few days later, I checked the tracking again, it also read out for delivery.

Okay… they are soon going to be delivered

Around this time, I set it up with the USPS that I would receive emails to notify me as to the delivery.  I wanted to be sure that the legs made it to their new home.

But, no email saying “delivered” came.

Instead, over the last two weeks, I have received emails explaining the legs were now in New York, back in Maine, and as of yesterday, back on Vinalhaven.

This morning, they will again begin their second trek to Switzerland, and we shall see what happens.