Gorham Weinke…

Not too long ago, a Sterling version of the 1883 Weinke patent appeared on eBay, and over the course of those seven days, I kept my eye on it.

I threw out a bid, and was taken out by another collector, with the Weinke ultimately heading to Little Rock.

I do have a Weinke patent in the collection with the American patent dates, but that is the all steel version.

Last week, I was offered a Sterling example, and the price was right; a deal was struck, and it arrived at my post office box yesterday.

Marked AUG. 21, 1883 PAT’D, and with the rampant lion, Gorham anchor, and G as well as 55, it is a nice addition to the collection, and is a nice pairing to the other version, marked “R. DOLBERG, PAT’D AUG. 21st, 1883”

There is a third version of the Weinke, the carries the 1883 patent number of “283,731” but serves as an advertisement for A WELLMAN NEW ORLEANS .

If anyone has an extra Wellman Weinke with which they would like to part, I would be interested.

It’s fairly fabulous…

The Von Gieson arrived the other day, and it is fabulous.

A nice addition to the collection.

What might turn up next?

On an antiquing note, the Union Antiques show in Maine has been cancelled for this year, “due to a supply chain issue experienced by our supplier of tents and tables…”


Yes. Really.

Maybe a trip to Brimfield in September is in order…

We shall see…

Van Gieson…

In 1867, William H. Van Gieson, of Passiac, New Jersey was awarded patent number 61,485 for his Improved Cork-Screw.

For years, the Van Gieson has proven illusive. I have seen them come up for auction, and have tried trading really really hard with Robert for one he picked up a couple of years ago for a pittance, and as of yesterday morning, a deal was finally struck for one–not from Robert.

In reading through the patent description, Van Gieson explains:

“The object of my invention is to produce a cork-screw which shall be rapid and simple in its operation, as well as strong and durable, and not too bulky to be convenient in handling.

To accomplish this object, I attach to the middle of the handle a metallic tube, in the position usually occupied by the shank of the instrument, and extend the shank of the screw or spiral to about double its usual length, making the upper part in the form of a regularly twisted square, or other prism-shaped rod, having about one twist to the inch, and turned in the opposite direction from that of the screw or spiral itself, and make this twisted square portion to turn up into said tube through a plate at its lower extremity. This place has a hole through it, of the exact form of the twisted rod, acting on the rod in the matter of a screw-nut, so that as the rod passes up into the tub, it is caused to revolve on its axis, thus driving the screw or spiral into the cork against which it is pressed. When the twisted square rod is thus driven up into the tube, and the screw or spiral into the cork, a spring-catch, which is fastened to the lower end of the tube, catches under a shoulder at the lower end of the square rod, where it joins the shank for the spiral, and holds it securely while the cork is being withdrawn. The cork can be removed in the usual way, or the spring-catch may be disengaged, and the twisted part drawn out, ready for use again. In the last case the cork would be run off from the spiral at the same time.”

When it arrives, I will give it a try…

This could make the best 6 of the year!

I kind of hope it doesn’t…

The loss of a legend…

The bottle opener (and corkscrew) collecting world got word yesterday that Art Santen has passed away.

A superhero in the bottle opener collecting world!

And, as mentioned the other day, Tommy and I were fortunate to visit Art at his home in St. Louis a few years ago, and I even got to don his corkscrew cape!

It was a terrific visit, and of course, seeing him at the JFO meetings over the years was fantastic.

Our condolences go out to the Santen family.

By the way, city of Saint Louis, if anyone deserves a star on the sidewalk, it would be Art!

The Utility Patent

As mentioned the other day, recently I picked up a Japanese patented corkscrew (patent # 64,845) from 1922. And, in the patent drawing it shows a can opener that is house within the handle.

Also, as previously mentioned, I promised to give the handle a good twist, just in case the can opener was actually was present.

There will be no big reveal here, as the handle is solid wood; pinned on the side, but no can opener…

Still, a nice addition to the growing Japanese patent corkscrew collection.

Anchors Away

7 years ago, and a few days, I was in St. Louis going through the process of becoming a certified personal property appraiser, and I reached out to Tommy, who made the drive from Chicago, and we spent a few days antiquing around St. Louis.

Of course, one of those days included a visit to Art Santen, and you can read about that visit here.

During our visit, amongst a few other corkscrews, I acquired an interesting wallmount corkscrew made by Anchor Products… you can read about that one here…

That said, at some point, the Anchor Products Pat. Pend wallmount bottle opener went elsewhere. I honestly don’t remember to whom it was traded, or what I got in exchange…

And, since the two were acquired (Tommy got one too from Art), I have yet to see, or hear, of another one.

Clearly, Anchor Products didn’t only make two, but it is surprising that others haven’t shown up.

Last week, one did.

For a week, on eBay, a lot of three items entitled “Vintage Ice Pick, Sharpening Stone and Multi Can & Bottle Opener” was sitting unnoticed with no bids.

Except, I had noticed, and put it on my watch list.

Yesterday, with a few hours to go, I placed a bid.

And, I hoped, and patiently waited.

Interestingly, while the images showed the corkscrew, a corkscrew was not mentioned in the listing. And, I really don’t even know how I came upon it.

But, I did, and I bid…

And, I won.

And, now an Anchor Products Pat. Pending wallmount corkscrew will again be in the collection.

Better pictures when it arrives, and a welcome (re)addition to the collection.

on the Fürstenwärther hunt…

On February 7, 1888, Johann B. von Fürstenwärther was awarded his patent (#377,483) for a Medicine Cup and stopper.

And, for those of you not familiar with Johann’s patent, it is quite different than the Zeilin patent, insofar as instead of having the corkscrew extend from the bottom of the dose cup, it is instead set at a right angle. This serves several purposes, but our man Fürstenwärther, explains it pretty clearly in his patent description, explaining:

“The cup A may be made capable of holding any desired quantity of liquid—for instance a tea-spoonful, two tea-spoonfuls, a table-spoonful, &c. –-and may be marked with appropriate inscriptions showing the capacity of the cup for use by druggists and physicians. It will obviously perform the two functions of assisting to extract the cork from the bottle and to measure the quantity of fluid or other material taken from the bottle. If provided with the corkscrew, it can be readily applied to any cork or stopper of any size, and the cork, if worn out or unfit for use, can be exchange for another. On the other hand, the cork or corkscrew, which is attached to the cup at right angles to its vertical axis, will serve as a convenient handle for the cup whenever the cup is used apart from the bottle. The cup may also be used as a cover for the bottle by being inverted and placed over the mouth thereof.

Unless the corkscrew is at right angles to the cup the latter, when filled, would have to be emptied at once. By my invention the dose can be laid aside on a table until the patient has been adjusted to receive it. The bottom of my cup serves as a base to rest it on, the corkscrew not being in the way.”

I would love to add an example of the Fürstenwärther to the collection, and they are out there.

Well, I know of at least one that is out there, but surely they didn’t make just one.

When found, it is marked with the patent date: “PAT. FEB. 7, 1888.”

If you have a medicine cup corkscrew, I would happily make a trade for it. Drop me a line.

Ham’s Patent Cork Puller

From an issue of American Stationer


There is always more or less difficulty in getting corks out of bottles.  Many a knife has been broken and still the cork moved not.  A patent cork puller has been brought out which overcomes all these troubles and saves the cork besides. 


The accompanying illustration shows what it is.  To work it insert the blades between the bottle and cork, rock it forward and back until a firm grip is secured, then turn and pull gently.  It never fails to work, and saves both bottle and cork for future usefulness.  The retail price is 10 cents, and the New York News Company will supply the trade.

As the article explains, this is, “Ham’s Patent Cork Puller.” That would be Herbert H. Hamm and his patent for a cork-extractor (#702,001) awarded June 10, 1902.

And, Triple H explains in his patent description:

“In a cork-extractor, the combination of a resilient bow or fork, a hollow handle embodying a plurality of open-ended hollow parts, the said open-ended hollow parts being adapted for engagement with each other, one of the said hollow parts being slotted to receive the arms of the bow or fork adapted to be alternately contained within the said handle and to be fitted therein to extend from the said handle, the middle portion of the bow being adapted to form a bearing against the interior of the hollow handle, substantially as described.”

While I have yet to find a Herbert H. Ham patent, and not for a lack of looking, there have been a couple found–and when found (see O’Leary page 117) they are marked “PAT APPL’D FOR.”

As shown in O’Leary

If you happen to have one, I would love to add it to the collection.

O.K. Cork Puller

Within a 1900 catalog entitled:












262 – 268 N. CURTIS ST


Amongst other corkscrews, we find The O.K. CORK EXTRACTOR…

How the O.K. cork extractor extracts remains to be seen.

I mean, clearly there is some leverage involved, but to what type of appendage does the cork attach…so the lever can do its assigned job?

Is it a helix that exists within the piece that attaches to the wall, with the bottle screwed on to it?

The search continues.