I will preface this with an apology. I haven’t bloggy blogged in several days, as my attention has been elsewhere. In Maine, April is industry-wine-tasting month, and there have been tastings after tastings after tastings after tastings over the last couple of weeks.
I know, a tough job, but someone has to do it.
That said, I will admit, I spend way too much time studying the patent drawings in the back of Fred O’Leary’s tome on American corkscrews. And, one of the drawings has always fascinated me, as it doesn’t actually show a corkscrew. It shows some sort of bell assist, but no screw is present.
And, that is the Creamer patent of 1863:
What the patent looks like, is that the bell is supposed to be adjustable for variances in the size of the neck of the bottle.
And, in reading the patent description the bell, or holder, is intended to be adjustable. Creamer’s patent reads:
In order to adapt the holder to the variety of sizes of bottles and their corks, I construct the frame so as to be adjustable in size at the lower end. To do this, I generally have the frame made entire, as shown in Fig. 1, and attach an additional piece, B’, in the insde to make the adjustment. (There may be two such pieces, if desired.) The adjusting piece, B’ has its lower end shaped like that of the skirt B. It is fastened to the upper part of the cylinder, so as to act as a spring. It is moved, as required, by a little handle, D, and the size of the mouth of the holder is thus larged or diminished to suit any size of the bottle.
(I know… I am still confused)
Coincidentally, in a recent search for corkscrews online, I ran across a catalogue from Landers, Frary, and Clark (yes, that Frary) within which contained an image of the Creamer’s patent corkscrew with the patent date.
And, while it looks nothing like the patent drawing, I think the illustration might give us (collectively) something to look for, as well as pause to examine corkscrews that already exist within our respective collections.
From the illustration, there doesn’t not look to be any adjustable bell assist, but perhaps instead, with the shape of the bell assist itself, it allows for various sizes.
Do you have Creamer’s patent in your collection?