Wishlist for 2020

It is New Year’s Eve, and as we are about to ring in 2020, as is tradition, I figured I would throw out a corkscrew wishlist for the coming year.

As mentioned previously, it was a great year of collecting, and one of the corkscrews that has been on my wishlist for years, found its way into the collection.  And, actually, since I managed to find two different versions of the Sperry, they made their way into the collection.

Here is my wishlist from a couple of years ago:


Frary Sullivan Bar Screw

Something from the back of O’Leary

Frary with can opener

Jenner patent

Philos Blake patent

Sperry patent


So… the Sperry is off the list, and I did manage to find something from the back of O’Leary!

Still, finding something in the back of O’Leary, or a patent that doesn’t appear within his book, is always on the wish list.

And, while someone, I am sure, will be adding an 1862 Russell patent (albeit a broken one) to their corkscrew collection this year, amongst others the piece I would really like to add is another Zeilin.


So, here is the list.  Of course, I would love to add all kinds of corkscrews, but let’s see if we can’t knock a couple of these off.

Frary Sullivan

Something from the back of O’Leary

Frary with can opener

Jenner patent (I do have one, but it is in horrible shape)

Philos Blake patent

Zeilin patent: pictured on page 63 of O’Leary and marked, “ONE TEASPOONFULL PARRISHS HYPOPHOSPHITES, J.H. ZEILIN & CO. PHILA, PA”

Let the hunt continue!

What is on your wishlist for 2020?  

Feel free to email your corkscrew wishlist for 2020 to me.  Maybe some of our readers have doubles or are up for a trade!



Best Six (+1) for 2019


1.1885 Edward P. Haff patent (317,123) corkscrew with frame and spring assist, marked across the metal band for two patents, “HAFF MF’G CO., NEW YORK, PATD APL. 14 85 MAY 5TH 85” (See O’Leary, page 71).


2. Two 1878 Alfred W. Sperry patent (204,389) corkscrews. The normal version with a longer turn-button (the word used in Sperry’s patent description) is on the left. On the right, is constructed differently, with a shorter turn-button, and marked in a different location.  It also comes closer in design to the patent drawing.  Both are marked, “PAT’d MAY 28, 1878” (See O’Leary, page 42).


For those playing along, by placing a thumb on the turn-button, it is easily moved to one side, thus allowing for the helix to be replaced.  Sperry’s patent explains, “The object of this invention is to construct the instrument so that several screws may be supplied with the instrument, or any person unskilled may remove the screw or introduce a different one…”

3. 1888 John W. Milam patent (390,691) cork extractor, as shown at our AGM Show and Tell, and in the most recent issue of The Bottle Scrue Times, the Milam Cork Extractor was marketed as the Kentucky Cork Extractor. It is marked, “J.W. Milam, Frankfort, Kentucky” and “PATAPPLIEDFOR”(See O’Leary, page 201).

4. Double lever corkscrew, marked PAT. APD. FOR. Interestingly, the action of the levers raises the cork by squeezing them together.  Also, marked on the levers with two 9’s (or 6’s should you turn it upside down).


5. Marked PAT APPD FOR this unusual combination tool has a fold out corkscrew. A fellow collector of corkscrews, explained that the serrated edge on the opener part, indicates that the chain attachment is intended to serve as a jar wrench.


6. 1930 Nathan Jenkins patent (1,784,488) combination tool marked “15 TOOLS IN ONE” and “PAT. DEC 9 1930” (See O’Leary, page 145).


A year of corkscrewing around…

While the best six will be published in the next day or so, it is the day before Christmas, and looking back, it has been yet another fantastic year of corkscrewing around.

I just want to take this opportunity to say thank you, to all of you, for your friendship (and readership).

Merry Christmas!  And, good hunting in the New Year!

Dirty Dozen of 2019

As I have done in the past, I have narrowed the list of possible best 6 candidates to 12.  And, over the coming days, I will narrow the list that much further.

It would be really cool if something suddenly knocked something off the list.

And, that very well could happen.  We do have 10 more days in the fiscal corkscrew collecting year, after all.

But, feel free to weigh in, what do you think should make the list?


Rabbit 99

I have been considering what best 6 corkscrews should make the best 6 corkscrews for 2019, and this morning I am reconsidering what best 6 corkscrews should make the best 6 corkscrews for 2019…


as this morning at the post office what should I pull out of the box, but a rabbit.

No, not this rabbit…


A very cool lever corkscrew, it is faintly marked PAT. APLD. FOR.


And, interestingly, the levers are marked with 9 and 9.


A really cool addition to the collection…   Will the Rabbit Ear Corkscrew make the Best 6 of 2019?

Could be!


Corkscrew and Opener Flag

So, over the past week, there has been this interesting little flag / pennant lapel pin that was on eBay.  And, the there is a logo with four letters, and at the center of the four letters is what looks to be a crossed bottle opener and corkscrew.

With the letters:

O M I T.












Not having any reference point, other than this was sold by a UK seller, do any of you out there have an idea of what the four letter combination should be, and what does the acronym represent?

You can respond to this post with your ideas, and I have no doubt many of them will be hilarious.

That said, it would be great to actually know what the letters stand for, and what organization might have had a crossed corkscrew and opener logo.


Just over a decade ago,  I received an email with an offer of “two iron corkscrews.”  The images were promising, but also a little off-putting as the worm on one looked…wrong.

After going through the various books I had at the time, and sending off a couple of emails, I decided to go look at the corkscrews in person.

We were living in Massachusetts at the time, with the two corkscrews were in some random antique shop in Connecticut a few hours away.

Prior to starting the drive, I exchanged emails with the seller, and he confirmed that they would be waiting for me, and several hours later I was in the shop.

A group shop, the actual seller wasn’t present, and at first glance, neither were the corkscrews.  After a phone call to the seller, we came to find out that the corkscrews had been placed in a brown bag inside an armoire/hutch.

I pulled the two corkscrews out, and one was more of the common variety, and the other was a lovely early two pillar corkscrew with what ended up being a very nice  worm–it was just poor photography and lighting that gave it that off-putting look, and it was also marked J. PLANT.

Ultimately the signed J. Plant found its way into Barry’s collection in a trade we made that year at Brimfield–I believe it made his best 6 that year, and one of the corkscrews that he traded to me in exchange made mine.

So, the other day, I was again sent a few images of some corkscrews that were available.  And, one was most intriguing, as it was yet another two-pillar, but it looked like it might also be marked.p1.jpg

With a little brightening, it did look like there is some lettering on the collar.

And, with a little photoshop and enlarging the image, it does sort of look like PLANT…




After another email exchange, clearer photos came through…




A deal was struck.

Actually, a deal was struck before the clearer images came through…

And, the PLANT (and a few other corkscrews) will soon be arriving on the island.