“…millions of corks that have been ruthlessly torn with a crude, brutal jerk from the mouth of loving bottles …”

From a 1902 issue of Iron and Machinery World:

A Wonderful Invention.

Some of our Japanese friends are evidently making up for lost time. One of them has just invented a new kind of cork-screw and got it patented. It only requires eight operations before you get ready to let the cork know that its time has come.

  1. You use the corkscrew as though it is an ordinary corkscrew and screw it into the cork, but you must not forget yourself and pull out the cork. That would finish everything at once and leave nothing to do for the patent. Of course you have the diagram with you with detailed instructions what to do to draw that cork.
  2. You pull No. 2 with two fingers.
  3. This has the effect that a pipe inclines No.4, the handle.
  4. Upon this something gives way. Part No. 5 now bends.
  5. You lower it
  6. Hook No. 6 to the mouth of the bottle, which presumably is a patent bottle, too, so that you can find a place to which to hook the hook to.
  7. Now press on part No. 7 and firmly hold the neck of the bottle with one hand.
  8. The serious and practical part of the work begins; you now work the handle up and down with the hand you have left.
    “And, then the cork will gradually come out.” Just think of the millions of corks that have been ruthlessly torn with a crude, brutal jerk from the mouth of loving bottles before this benevolent invention was made—Eastern World, Yokohama.

No illustration was provided in the issue of Iron and Machinery World, but could this be a description of the operation of Ian’s fantastic Japanese ratchet corkscrew patented in 1901? The patent drawing does use a hook-like end that rests on the lip of the bottle.

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