In Wally’s book on British Corkscrews, there is a drawing of J.E. Morris’ patented “Improved means for extracting corks or others substances from the interior of bottles or other vessels”


Interestingly, the patent number given in Wally’s book is No. 20,963, but in literature from the time, specifically an 1899 issue of The Engineer, it shows that that patent is No. 20,968.



20,968 October 20th.  J. E. Morris, Nottingham, “Uwanta lightning cork extractor.”

Of course you-want-a lightning cork extractor.

How brilliant!

Fortunately, I did want a lightning cork extractor, and when one turned up recently, I snapped it up.


It’s even marked with the patent number…





Two Tormeys

While the hunt will continue for the Tormey variant that Don shared with me the other day, the shorter Tormey showed up at the post office box yesterday, and it will soon be in the cork extractor case in the corkscrew room.

Yes, for those that haven’t visited, the corkscrews have their own room…


For those unfamiliar with the Tormey patent.  His idea was that, using the narrow end of the handle, intentionally push the cork into the bottle, and then utilizing the hooks, be able to pull it back out.


Not a method of opening a bottle of wine that I am going to try anytime soon…

But, then again, I have a few other corkscrews laying about.


From an 1892 issue of Chemist and Druggist:


F & S

Price per doz. 8s. This is One Thousand times better
than any that have gone before for the purpose.


One Thousand times better?

How bad were the previous ones that were intended for this same purpose?

F & S, would be W. B. Fordham and Sons, and in another issue of Chemist and Druggist, the advertisement for the OUTYOUCUM, also explains that the cork extractor is patented.


One thousand times better than any that have gone before, for taking Corks and parts of Corks from Bottles, Jars, &c.

Tormey x3

After posting the bloggy blog about Tormey the Lesser, I received an email from Don Bull about yet another version of the Tormey patent cork extractor.

This version, instead of two sets of hooks at the base of the shaft, was designed with a single set of hooks.  And, this one too is marked with the 1890 patent date.


If any of you have the third Tormey in your collection and are interested in parting with it.

Feel free to drop me a line.

Thanks Don!


Tormey the Lesser

In 2018, I managed to pick up a Tormey patent cork extractor at Brimfield.  It was one of the many cool pieces that were discovered that day.


It was the first time that I had ever had the opportunity to get the 1890 Tormey patent, and was excited to add it to the American patent cork extractor collection.


That said, there are two versions of the Tormey patent.  There is the larger (or longer) Tormey that is nearly 12 inches, and the smaller (or shorter) version that is closer to 9 inches.

And, given that I didn’t have Tormey the Lesser, when the opportunity presented itself, I snapped it up.

Marked, PAT. NOV. 25, 1890 on the shaft, it is a welcome addition to the collection.


Old Way versus New Way



This is the experience about the condition of nine-tenths of all corks extracted in the old way with a pen-knife, scissors, or the clumsy cork screw sometimes used when at hand, exposing the contents of the bottle to Evaporation, and greatly inconveniencing the user.


Contrasting the other with this, we need not point out the advantage to all concerned of our new industry.  One of our new substantial patrons remarked, —

“It is a Blessing to my customers, and for that reason alone I will use it.”