and, the count down begins…

It’s November 27th, and we are just one month shy of the end of the corkscrew collecting fiscal year…

And, while COVID certainly hampered corkscrew acquisitions with the lack of antique shows, antique fairs, our annual meetings, or even a weekend jaunts further afield to visit antique shops and malls, over the next month the corkscrew collecting world will soon begin assembling their respective best sixes for 2020.

I have picked up a few pieces over the course of the past 11 months that will make my best 6, and a few that have been moved on, that will no doubt make others’ best sixes.

Over the coming weeks, I will be putting mine together, and as often the case, I will ask you all to vote on what makes the cut…

And, of course, with a month yet to go, maybe something special will turn up, and change the list entirely…

Frary, Frary, Frary, Frary

This morning, a listing came up on eBay for a couple of catalog pages from 1890’s Dunham, Carrigan & Hayden Co. catalog,

And, while I don’t collect catalog pages, the images shown were pretty cool, as there are four Frarys pictured on one of the pages…

In the literature from the time, there is a reference made to a Frary catalog that features his corkscrews. If any of you find it… I would be interested.

a few teaspoons…

As mentioned the other day, during the most recent auction, I picked up a Sterling spoon with folding corkscrew.

As many of you know, I have lots of medicine / dosage corkscrews, and it does seem that the spoons generally have some uniformity of size–a teaspoonful of medicine…

or alternatively:

A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down

The medicine go down

the medicine go down

Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down

In a most delightful waaaaaaay

But, I digress…as I am want to do.

If you are wondering, all three of the spoons pictured above do really hold a teaspoonful (yes, I actually measured)

I have larger spoon with corkscrew that has been in collection for some time, and it holds 3 teaspoons.

So a tablespoonful.

(yes, I measured that one too).

There are other medicine spoons with corkscrews out there, as well as variations of the Zeilin dosage cup with corkscrew.

And, I would love to add others to the collection. If you have a dosage cup with corkscrew, or medicine spoon with corkscrew, drop me a line.


Yesterday morning, over coffee, I was perusing eBay, and a 1906 Noyes patent came up with a 5 $ opening bid or best offer.

Not that I need another Noyes corkscrew, but when one comes up with a different advertisement, I do take notice.

So, I offered, and got a prompt response. Yes, they would accept, but did I want any of their other openers–apparently yet to have been listed.

Nothing really jumped out at me, so he accepted the offer, and the Noyes will soon be arriving to join its kin.

This one carries advertising that reads:


–O.B. COOK @ CO–

O.B. Cook was a distillery out of Detroit, and made multiple brands; Export Brand Whiskey, Knickerbocker Whiskey, Olco Whiskey, Vallonia Whiskey, and Yankee Rye.

A neat addition to the Noyes advertising corkscrew collection.

What other are out there?

Blank / No Advertising

Still looking for:


Any other advertising Noyes-es in your collection?

Greely # 3

As mentioned the other day, I managed to pick up a dozen Greely patents in their original box.

The box arrived yesterday, and I am quite pleased.

Not only did it contain 12 Greelys, as advertised. It also 5 included sheets of instructions:

And, it included a small sheet of instructions as well.

For those of you that are longtime readers of the bloggy blog, you might remember that I previously shared an article from an 1889 issue of The Iron Age, which explained “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.

Notable also on the new arrival, is the corner of the box, written is the number 3. And, all of them are new old stock 3.7 inch versions.

The larger type that turns up is 4.5 inches. Might those be # 4’s?

And, also as previously mentioned, we also have the hard to find folding version.

But this leads me to a question for all of you there, do you have any Greeleys with the wooden handle that are different than the 3.7 or 4.5 inch variety?

If so, what sizes are they?

Where’s Wallace?

As mentioned the other day, I have long had a multi-tool corkscrew in the collection that was missing the fold-out blade.

So, it was a place holder of sorts, until I would be able to acquire a complete one. And, a complete one is enroute to the island.

While I have yet to hear of a signed / marked example of this particular corkscrew, could this be the 1908 Wallace patent for a Combination Tool?

Clearly there are differences between the corkscrew as pictured, and the patent drawing…

Still, this leads me to a couple of questions for the corkscrew collecting world.

Do you have this combination tool with fold out corkscrew that carries a patent mark, or maker’s mark?

If so, how is it marked?

Alternatively, do you have the Wallace patent as shown in the patent drawing?

A few wins…

Well, that was exciting!

On Saturday and Sunday, the 983 corkscrew auction lots came to an end with many corkscrews changing hands, with said corkscrews soon to be sent off to collectors across the world.

There were a few bidding wars, a few that snuck through, and a few that garnered attention after the auction was over.

I managed to win a couple (I guess technically 14) and I am quite pleased.

The first, is an interesting multi-tool that I have been hunting for a while. I actually already own this piece, but, it was missing the fold out blade, and I have after a complete one for some time–more on this piece soon!

And, I picked up another Sterling spoon with folding corkscrew.

And, after the dust had settled, I agreed to a fair price on a box of a dozen Greeley cork pullers. I don’t really need a box of Greeley cork pullers, but it will make for a nice display amongst the other cork pullers in the collection.


From a 1903 issue of Hardware:


“Can’t find the corkscrew!”

This remark startled a party of campers among New Hampshire hills, for everybody knows that a corkscrew is one of the very necessary articles to a camping party.

“Never mind,” said the guide, “we’ll have some made.”

So he got a buckboard, and surprised the campers by starting for a corkscrew factory in the New Hampshire hills, and the only shop of its kind in the country, too.  A lively drive over mountain roads brought the party to an old New Hampshire farm on the outskirts of Alton, and a little, weather-beaten on-story shop several miles from the railroad, it was located in the place of the usual barn.  The old oaken bucket hung in a well beneath an elm tree.  A sheep bleated a greeting, and the factory superintendent stood in the doorway of the shop, and pleasantly welcomed his visitors.  In this quaint little shop, situated and managed in the midst of rustic beauty and artistic expression that would delight a Roycrofter, it is claimed all the machine-made corkscrews of this country are produced, a half-ton of wire being daily converted into corkscrews to pull the stoppers of the world.

Ten ingenious machines, each a little bigger than a sewing machine, do all the work, and half a dozen men and girls feed their hungry jaws with sufficient wire and pack for shipment their finished product.  The wire, on spools, is fed into the machine much as thread is run into a sewing machine.  Swiftly, a sharp knife cuts off; leaving a sharp bevelled edge, a piece of wire the desired length for the corkscrew, and just as quickly a revolving core catches the end of the wire, twists it around a fixed post, and then twirls it into the mould of the core. Into the crooks of the corkscrew.   Then the machine ejects the wire, a finished corkscrew.  The bevelled edge is the sharp point of the screw, and the ring, for the pulling finger, was made by the loop around the post.

All day these little machines are busily working, and all night, too, if neccessary to fill orders.  Each one of them is capable of making 150 gross of corkscrews a day.  With slight manipulation they will make any size corkscrew desired, and a change of wide and of the mould of the core being alone necessary to make the finished corkscrew greater or smaller.  Some of the machines spin corkscrews on wooden or tin handles, perhaps with an advertisement of a medicine stamped upon them. Twenty-five thousand gross, or 3,600,000 small corkscrews are taken every year by a Western medicine manufacturer.  Forty bushels in bulk of large corkscrews were being packed for shipment to Germany the day the campers visited the factory.

The ingenious machines are working in interest of the brains and as the energetic ally of Rockwell Clough, wo might be called “The Corkscrew King,” were he not too patriotic a native of rock-ribbed New Hampshire to care for such empty honors.  Rockwell Clough, is however, a Yankee genius.  He made corkscrews by hand in New Jersey, as they still do there to-day, and eventually worked out his ideas for the ingenious machines that do the work to-day.  When he got his machines perfected, he went back to the old Clough homestead, high up on the hills of New Hampshire and in the village of Alton, and he set up his machines in the barn.  For years, nobody was allowed inside the factory, securely guarding the patents on the machines, as they were of great value.  Mr. Clough to-day claims to control all patents of corkscrew making machines in this country, and in most of the countries of Europe.  He is now at the age of three score years, and is contentedly enjoying life, either at the old homestead or in travelling, while his machines spin out corkscrews for the multitudinous public and dollars for himself.

The superintendent generously gave the visiting campers corkscrews of many styles and sizes for souvenirs, and for use.  The campers, having registered their names on the factory visitors’ book, drank from the old oaken bucket, petted he sheep, bade the genial superintendent goodby, and whirled down the mountain road in the springy backboard, and sped back to camp with the corkscrew.