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the lower end of the square rod, where it joins the shank for the spiral, and holds it securely while the cork is being withdrawn.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…