In his 1870 patent description, J.T. Haviland explains, “Be it known that I, John T. Haviland, of the city and county of San Francisco, state of California, have invented an Instrument for Removing Wire and Twine from Bottles; and I hereby declare the following is a full, clear, and exact description of the same, reference being had to the accompanying drawing, and to the letters marked thereon.”
This invention has for its object the production of an instrument for cutting wires and or twine by which corks are secured in champagne and other bottles…”
Interestingly, Haviland adds some detail for others that would produce the device, explaining: “To enable others skilled in the art and science to which it most nearly appertains to make and use my invention, I will proceed to describe its construction and operation.
A are the curved arms, provided with handles B.
C is the brush, and
D, the cutting-blades, each arm being hinged to the blade E
The blades D and E have serrated edges, but may be constructed with smooth beveled edges, if preferred. The blade E may also be fixed to or form a part of one of the curved arms, or the instrument made b made with only one of the blades D.
It will be seen by reference to figs. 2 and 4, that the inner corners of the curved arms are beveld off toward the cutting-edges.
If desired, the curved arms A may be connected together by a single or double hinge without the pointed blade E.”
Of course, the most confusing part of the patent, is on the drawing, instead of “Device for Removing Wire or Twine from Bottles” it reads “Cork Screw.”
For years, I have been looking at that drawing that is present in the back of Fred O’Leary’s book on American corkscrews, and wondered.
First, how is that a corkscrew? And second, will I ever find one?
Having read through the patent, we may never know why the drawing reads “Cork Screw,” as it isn’t mentioned, but clearly we can understand the purpose of the invention.
And, the will I ever find one question….