Looking for Lowenstein…


I am currently working on an article on the 1903 Lowenstein patent corkscrew.

In looking at the past collectorcorkscrews.com auctions, these sometimes are referred to as a:

“Clough Corkscrew with hang tag”

“Clough Corkscrew with advertising tab”

“Clough Corkscrew with hanging tag”

“Clough Corkscrew with adverting tag”

“Clough Tin Lithograph Hanging Tab”

And, within O”Leary – the Lowenstein patent of 1903–and Fred explained that these were most likely made by Clough.

Lowenstein, amongst other illustrations, shows this in his patent:


There are several known variations of advertising on the Lowenstein, and I am just trying to compile a list of known examples.  

So, if you have a Lowenstein patent with advertising (or without advertising if such an animal exists) please let me know.

I would be interesting in adding your version to the list.  And, if you want to send pictures of yours, feel free to email me at josef@vintagecorkscrews.com

Here is the current list of Lowenstein’s that I have seen:









“THE GREAT A & P TEA CO. EXTRACTS” (in red or yellow/tan).


What others are out there?  Drop me a line!





The Norvic Corkscrew Mystery

Just the other day, a patent pending corkscrew was ending on eBay, and while on my watch list, I forgot to place a bid.

I don’t have the Norvic rack and pinion, and would love to add one to the collection if you have one.

And, in some ways it was good that I didn’t throw out a bid, as the winning bidder was Bob G.


After this win, we were exchanging messages about the piece, and we began to wonder who Norvic is / was.

That said, before we start heading down that path, Bob was messing around with the rack and pinion corkscrew, and noticed that the helix seemed a little loose.

He explained, “While inspecting the Norvic closely, I thought what?  A loose helix?  But, on further inspection, I discovered it was equipped with a replaceable helix.”


Our exchange continued, and we set about trying to determine who Norvic might be.

Now, there is a Norvic Shipping, but they were established in the last 20 years, and we know this corkscrew has some relative age to it.

But, who (or what) is Norvic???

As you all know, I do get a little obsessive about this type of thing, and I started looking closely at the handle and the markings.

Is there information present that might help inform the search?

norvic mark

As you will notice, the NORVIC is not just a marking, but appears to be a very intentional font choice; a logo perhaps?


And, then there is the patent pending mark.


What is that odd set of characters just after U.S.A?  Is this a clue?


What is the purpose of this?


Ancient alien code?

Perhaps a clue as to the mystery of Oak Island?

That all said, Bob and I thought it would make for an interesting discussion.  And, so we put it out to all of you in blogland: Who (or what) is Norvic?

I did come up with a couple of options, but let the search commence.


Norvic Shoes?


Norvic Lager?

Who is Norvic!!!!????????!!!!!!!!??????

Do you know who Norvic is?  And, whether you have ideas, or have the definitive answer, drop me a line at josef@vintagecorkscrews.com

And, if you have a Norvic corkscrew with which you would wish to part, feel free to email me as well.

Dog’s Head Guinness


If you look closely at the Dog’s Head Brand Bass and Guinness advertisement, you will notice there is a corkscrew on the ground, and the bottle in the chap’s hand has wires that would serve to keep the cork within its confines.

Of course, the cellarman at his feet wouldn’t assist in cutting those wires.

However…this would probably work splendidly.


And, not coincidentally, it is marked across the handle, “DOG’S HEAD GUINNESS.”

A fun addition to the collection…


The other day, I was perusing eBay, when I saw an interesting lazy tong corkscrew.

At first glance it looked to be a normal Ideal, but instead of IDEAL and Brevete, it is marked for Jaboulet Vercherre:

Screen Shot 2020-05-18 at 8.18.46 AM

A Burgundy producer.


Screen Shot 2020-05-18 at 8.23.34 AM

I do have a thing for corkscrews with advertising, so I snapped it up.

A neat variant of the Ideal.


Best or Favorite Find…

This morning, had life been normal, I would have woken up before daybreak, and headed out from some airbnb the lovely and I would have rented, and made my way to the antique mecca known as Brimfield–this would have been the second day of Brimfield’s May show.

On Wednesday morning at Brimfield, the first field opens at 6 a.m., and after buying your ticket for 5$, people line up waiting to get in.

And, and the appointed time, I would head off on the hunt;  peaking into darkened areas with a flashlight, and over the course of the morning, asking the question and getting a similar response countless times:

“Do you have any antique corkscrews.”

Only to be met with, “What?”


followed by the internationally recognized pantomime of pulling a cork

On occasion, the response is in the affirmative, and sometimes, just sometimes, something fabulous is unearthed, sometimes emerging from a case, just laying out on a table, and on one or two occasions, emerging from a dealer’s pocket knowing that I would make my annual May sojourn to the fields of Brimfield, and they were holding it back for me.

That said, with the show being cancelled this year, I thought I would share some of my Brimfield finds from over the years, and also share my favorite find.

The images below, are all from various trips to Brimfield, and all are corkscrews found in those fields…



I will have to admit, when I got the collection at Brimfield, it was a banner day…

There have indeed been some fabulous finds at Brimfield, and these are just the from a few years of attending.  Over the years, you would be amazed at what turns up, and this is with other corkscrew collectors roaming around Brimfield as well–and also making fabulous finds.

Still, despite some rare variations of the legs, and some cool patents, that have been picked up in May, July, or the September shows, there is one corkscrew that is my favorite Brimfield find.

And, that would be the A.W. Stephens patent.

It was on an early morning, on the first day of the show, and in a dark tent, I found a tray of Clough corkscrews, and noticed one that looked a little different.  And, feeling for the end–opposite where the corkscrew would go it, it was hollowed out.  I paid the asking price, and brought it into the early daylight to reveal the cigar perforator that was hidden inside.

It made my best six of that year, and was a very cool find whilst traipsing the fields.

While there have been lots of other finds, in various antique malls, stores, and similar, I would love to hear from each of you about your favorite find at you regular antique show.

If there is a regular antique show that you go to, or a regular large flea market that you attend, what has been your best or favorite find in the wild?

8 Greely’s

April 1889 issue of The Iron Age:

Greely’s Cork-Extractor.

This article which is represented in the accompanying illustrations, embodies, it will be observed, new features in a cork extractor. 


It is represented in Fig. 1, while its use is indicated in Figs. 2 and 3.  From these illustrations it will be seen that it consists of a piece of steel bent and handled in the form indicated.  There is however, along the back a groove, which is not clearly shown in this cut, this groove being intended to permit the air to enter the bottle when the extractor is in place, thus overcoming the suction which is countered in drawing the cork the usual way.  As indicated in Figs. 2 and 3, the extractor, the end of which is rounded as to conform with the inside of the bottle neck, is inserted between the cork and the bottle, and when sufficiently far down the hook on the end is turned into the cork, placed direction under the end of the cork which may then be extracted.  It is obvious that in the use of this article the cork is not as liable to be injured as with the ordinary corkscrew, and it is referred to as doing its work efficiently.  These cork-extractors are made in eight different sizes and styles, giving a requisite variety for the different uses for which they may be required.

“…eight different sizes and styles…”


We have three different versions within our collection.  Two different sizes, and the folding Greely (found in a tray of button hooks in Florida).

I know that John Morris has an example that has a hole for one’s finger.


But, that would make 4 versions.  Two different sizes, as shown in O’Leary (4.5″ and 3.7″), the folding version, and  also the Morris example.

I will add here, that in other literature from the time explains that the Detroit Cork Screw Company was making the Greely Cork Extractor, and I wonder if that could explain John’s other find.  The folding Greely bow, with the patent date, but with a helix instead of the hook cork extractor.

So, let’s see if there are any variations within our respective collections.

Grab a measuring tape, or ruler, and go check your Greeley’s.   Do you have other sizes of configurations?

It pulls corks with despatch…

From an 1894 issue of Hardware Merchandising:


In the march of invention the indispensable cork puller has not been forgotten.  One of the latest developments of the kind on the market is the “Rapid,” which is handled by M. & L Samuel, Benjamin & Co.  The accompanying cut conveys a good idea of its construction.  The reasons advanced by the manufactures to justify their claim that it is the best cork puller extant are these—


It is the simplest and cheapest machine on the market ; in pulling corks you can never break a bottle, as the strain is on the strongest part of the bottle ; you can cut the wires and pull the cork out of any bottle with one small movement of  the hand ; is much smaller and therefore takes less room than any other machine of the kind ; the parts of these machines are interchangeable, so that in case of breakage of any part can be replaced without returning the entire machine to the factory.  The puller, prior to being operated, is screwed to a table.  The cork of the bottle is placed directly against the under part of the body of the puller, and the bottle is held firmly until the screw enters the cork.  Then the lever is pushed down quickly until it hangs straight with the body of the puller.  This action cuts the wire and removed the cork which on throwing back the handle drops from the screw.

For those wondering, this would be the Harry J. Williams patented bar mount corkscrew (US. patent # 450,957) of April 21, 1891.

Davids’ Improved Corkscrew…

From an 1884 issue of American Stationer:


A neat, novel and useful invention has recently been patented by John B. Davids, of John B. Davids & Co.  It consists of a combined inkstand and pen-rack, designed to meet the wants of the million, the price placing it within the reach of everybody.  The pen-rack is a decorated metal band having sectional arms, which, when extended, form supports for pens, pencils, &c.  The inkstand, upon which the band pen-rack is fitted, is of the class known as “bell” or “trumpet” mouth, is cylindrical in form and has a deflected base, which insures safety from over turning—the whole comprising as perfect an article in all its parts as could be desired.  The pen-racks are in assorted lithographed colors—red, green, yellow, lavender, &c—and will form a valuable addition to the stationer’s stock in trade, inasmuch as they can be arranged to make an attractive display, and at the same time prove an attraction to buyers.  The cuts represent the pen-rack stand with the arms closed, as it is packed for shipment, and with the arms or supports turned outward, ready for use.  These stand complete, each with the Davids’ improved corkscrew fitted in the cork, and containing the firm’s productions—to wit, black blue, violet, red, green, scarlet and carmine inks and chemical writing fluid, combined writing and copying fluid and blue-black copying ink—can be obtained from the manufactures John B. Davids & Co, 184 William street.


For the convenience of the trade these goods are packed in neat lock-corner wood boxes, each containing one dozen.


Anyone out there have the Davids’ Improved corkscrew?