Sterling Converse

For my longtime readers, you are very well aware of my love of the Converse patent cork puller.

And, while I have many Converses that have made their way into the collection, in 2012 I managed to procure a Sterling example, and it made my best 6 for that year:

And, in 2017, I managed to pick up the Spaulding Gorham example, which also made my best 6 for that year (I found it amusing that both are no. 6 in the best sixes)

Somewhere in between, I picked up yet another Sterling similar to the 2012 acquisition, and that ultimately became part of a trade with Robert, which then was later traded to Tommy, but it may have changed hands a few times amongst us…I have lost track how many times the Sterling Converse has been the subject of trade discussions–but, at last check it was in Tommy’s collection.

Today, via an exchange with another collector, I was sent some photos, and in the corner of the photo, I spotted what looked to be ANOTHER Sterling Converse.

In short order, a deal was struck, and another Sterling Converse is heading to the collection. It should polish up nicely, and who knows, maybe it will make the best 6 for this year!

Whitehead & Hoag X3

As mentioned the other day, a trade was made between TC and I that sent an R.V. Pierce pinback button corkscrew to TC in exchange for a Mangels & Schmidt’s pinback button corkscrew.

The M & S arrived yesterday, and it is a wonderful addition.

I am sure there are other Whitehead & Hoag corkscrews out there, and the hunt will continue for others. If you do have one, drop me a line at .

Even if it is something with which you don’t wish to part, I would l love to see pictures.

Mangels & Schmidt for R.V. Pierce

As mentioned the other day, the (Adams patent) Whitehead & Hoag R.V. Pierce M.D. corkscrew was a double.

And, it was my (not-secret) secret hope that TC would take the bait, and be willing to trade his Mangels & Schmidt version of the Whitehead & Hoag, in exchange to the R.V. Pierce.

And, having heard nothing, and having hinted more than a few times, the R.V. Pierce was heading for the collectorcorkscrews auction.

Until yesterday morning…when TC hopped on his computer and messaged me suggesting we make a swap.

So, Dr. Pierce will be heading to Elgin, IL, and Mangels & Schmidt will find a home on Vinalhaven!

Thanks for the trade TC!

Dr. Pierce is already on his way to make an Elgin house call.!

Auction Time!

It’s auction time at !

Well, not really auction time, but the latest auction opened for listings yesterday.

And, the viewing will commence Nov. 5th. With the auction closing on Nov. 12th and 13th.

There will be some fantastic and rare corkscrews going up for bid.

You can link to the auction site here!

Bid High and Bid Often!!!

Logging Caliper and the tattoo reveal…

The lovely bride and I took a few days off this past week, and headed to southern Maine, and enjoyed some much needed rest, relaxation, and a bit of antiquing.

We rented a house near York Beach, and ventured out to enjoy the locale fare during the day, with us cooking dinners in. And, there were some fabulous meals (both in and out).

Of course, there was a fair amount of wine too, but owning a wine shop certainly has its advantages!

And, we did go out antiquing. There were a couple corkscrews to be had, the best was a Narragansett nifty-type, but alas, when it was retrieved from the confines of the glass case within which it was housed, both knife blades were missing.

At one shop, I did find this remarkable logging caliper.

It is a fascinating sculptural thing, and it will soon be hanging on the wall in Rockland.

I know, its not a corkscrew, and I have no plans to start collecting logging calipers…

In use, one would measure the diameter of the log with the caliper part, and the star-like piece would measure the length.

And, while I did share this on Facebook, I also realized that it also shows the corkscrew tattoo…

Yes, many of you were right. It ended up being the Woodman’s patent drawing!


In an 1880 John Pritzlaff Hardware Company catalog, there is an illustration of a corkscrew that looks familiar…

…with the description,

“ACME, ” “, Nickel Plated Ferrule and Cap, Convex Twist, Hardwood, ” ” 8 00

For those wondering the quotation marks are from the corkscrew pictured above it, reading Cast, Iron, Handle, and Per Doz.

So, it would read…

Acme — Cast Iron, Nickel Plated Ferrule and Cap, Convex Twist, Hardwood Handle, Per Doz. 8 00

That said, in the illustration itself, the corkscrew shows that it is marked ACME across the bell and has the patent date of June 12, 1883.

Of course, with that patent date, we know that this is the Thomas Strait patent (279,203) of 1883…

But, do any of you have a Strait patent marked ACME? Drop me a line if you do!

Dr. Pierce returns…

Over the past week, a R.V. Pierce World Medical Dispensary Association corkscrew was going through the bidding process on eBay.

It had a couple of bids, and then came to rest at $50 or so for a few days. Tuesday, it was set to end, and by early afternoon, it was bid up a little bit. And, with the auction ending at 9 pm (east coast time), I had stopped keeping an eye on it, with my focus being elsewhere.

That said, even though I already have this corkscrew in the collection, I placed a snipe bid, and went about my business.

Wednesday morning, I got the email confirmation that I had won the R.V. Pierce.

As I have done before when a double like this has come into the collection, I am happy to move it along to someone else.

But, what I would love to do, is trade it for a different example of the same piece–different image/advertising.

Tommy has a Mangel & Schmidt version of this patent (G. B. Adams, 1896, patent no. 564,356), and I have both the R.V. Pierce and one that reads “I have my “eye” on you.”

What other G.B Adams / Whitehead & Hoag pin back corkscrews are out there?

If you have one, drop me a line,. And, if you are up for a trade, please let me know.

This is a new, unique, and powerful instrument for extracting corks from champagnes, porter, and other bottles where the corks are wired down

From the August 14, 1869 issue of Scientific American

This is a new, unique, and powerful instrument for extracting corks from champagnes, porter, and other bottles where the corks are wired down ; and it not only enables the cork to be quickly and certainly, but obviates all previous cutting or breaking wire.

It consists of a stout, vertical shaft, actuated buy a lever, toothed sector, and rack, and having at its lower end a spear with pivoted barbs.  This spear is shown in detail at the left

of the principal engraving.

In operation the bottle is seized by one hand, and the top of the neck is thrust into a funnel-shaped projection at the lower part of the cast-iron plate to which the movable parts attached.  The bottom of the bottle is pressed back toward the wooden support of the apparatus, and rests upon one of a series of shelves about three eighths of an inch in thickness, and having their front edges recurved.  The shelves above the bottom of the bottle are pressed backwards against springs with which each shelf is supplied, so that when the bottle is removed they are again advanced uniformly.  This arrangement gives firm support to bottles of very different lengths.

The bottle being placed as described and as shown in the engraving, the hand grasping the lever is raised ; this thrusts the spear into the cork and a reversed motion of the lever opens all pivoted barbs into position shown in detail on the left of the engraving, and draws the cork, breaking the wires, etc., at the same time.  Subsequent corks being drawn face the first up along the spear, until finally it is split by the conical end of the vertical shaft, and flies off out of the way.

Four motions, two with each hand, draw a cork in less time than the wire could be broken by the old method. By substituting a punch in place of the spear, and placing a small funnel to receive the cork, this machine can be used to cork bottles with great rapidity.

Patented through the Scientific American Agency, July 14, 1869 by Charles G. Wilson of Brooklyn, N.Y., who may be addressed for the entire right at the Holske Machining Company’s Office no. 528 Water Street, New York City

Masterpieces of the Jeweler’s Art…

As seen in the 1924 issue of Masterpieces of the Jeweler’s Art by S. Kind & Sons

Of course this is the 1926 McLean patent (#1,574,497) for his “Combination Tool.”

If you have a folding tool with a key blank (blank key) on it, I would happily add it to the collection, and I will happily pay more than the original $6.50 asking price.

Drop me a line!

J.T. Haviland…

In July, I shared a patent image from the back of O’Leary; the J.T. Haviland patent of 1870 for his “Cork Screw.”

And, within that bloggy blog entry, I wondered why the patent would read “Cork Screw,” then clearly there is no helix present, but also wondered if I would ever find an example, as there had yet to have been one presented in any book, other than the drawing in the back of O’Leary.

After reading through the patent description, and thinking about it. While the tool was indeed intended to remove the twine / wire from champagne corks, one would then use the tool as a cork gripper, and then turn the cork out of the bottle; essentially screwing it out. So… Cork Screw does somewhat make sense.

And, as it happened, an example of J.T. Haviland patent was discovered, and did make its way to the island. During our ICCA AGM / Show & Tell I shared images of the patent, and it definitely is a nice fit within the collection.

A departure from the patent drawings with a different hinge, and no brush in the handle, it is marked J.T. HAVILAND, PAT. APPD. FOR., it surely will make the best 6 of the year!