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.