Equipment: A piece of crumpled paper…

From the 1943 text:


A Text-book for High Schools and Colleges

Cork Screw

EQUIPMENT:  A piece of crumpled paper.



  1. Stand with feet about fifteen inches apart.
  2. Place the object to be picked up near the toe of the right foot.
  3. Swing the left arm across the body, around the outside of the right leg. Next reach through between the legs and pick up the piece of paper.
  4. The legs may be bent as much as is desired: but the feet must remain flat on the floor.


  1. This stunt will be easier if the piece of paper is placed opposite the toes rather than the instep.
  2. Body rotation will be of help.
  3. During the learning process, lifting the heels will be of help.
  4. Performers with relatively short arms will find this stunt difficult.

Another Walker Advertising Peg & Worm

Well, actually another Walker Advertising Worm, as the peg wasn’t present.

Over the last week or so, there has been a corkscrew lot on eBay that within it, contained a Walker advertising corkscrew without the peg.

What was particularly interesting, is the ad on the corkscrew was one that I don’t remember seeing.

It was for Pederson Merc. Co., in Moorhead, Minnesota.

So, I started to do a little digging while the bidding was taking place to find out who Pederson Merc. was.

It didn’t take much to find that Pederson Merc, is Pederson Mercantile, and Pederson Mercantile was a liquor distributor in Minnesota.

Digging a little deeper… in 1890 North Dakota declared itself a dry state. And, Minnesota was NOT a dry state, but North Dakota allowed for its residents to buy alcohol through the mail, and Pederson Mercantile capitalized on this.

Also, interesting, that the Walker worm is not the only corkscrew upon which Pederson Mercantile advertising can be found…

The auction ended a couple of nights ago, and I WASN’T the high bidder.

But, I know who was…

We shall see if a deal can’t be struck…

Stay tuned.

Smith’s Patent Palace Cork Extractor

From an 1890 issue of Iron Age:

Smith’s Patent Palace Cork Extractor

The Chicago Nickel Works, 95 Ohio street, Chicago, Ill., are putting on the market the above-named article, which is represented in the accompanying illustrations in position for use.  It will be perceived that this extractor is different in appearance from others on the market.  The simplicity of its construction and the ease with which it may be operated are referred to by the makers.  In use the neck of the bottle is pressed into the mouth of the device and in line with it.  The lever shown is then pulled sharply forward, which motion rotates the screw into the cork.  Pushing the lever back to its former position draws the cork and reverses the screw.  At the same time the cork is thrown off and the machine is again ready for use.  The appliance is described as made of gun metal with ebony or mahogany and finely finished in nickel.  The screw works on ball-bearings, and the point is made that it has no cogs, racks or springs to get out of order.  The extractor is made with clamp, as shown herewith, or with base to screw on, as may be preferred, and can quickly be attached to or detached from a counter or sideboard.  All parts are interchangeable, and it is state that any person with but little

Smith’s Patent Palace Cork Extractor

mechanical ability can insert any broken part, though the machine is not liable to get out of order.  The elegance of the finish of the machine and its durability and satisfactory working are points referred to by the manufacturers.

And, the excitement continued…

On Sunday, the second half of the latest auction ended, with a flurry of bidding…with the high bid of the auction going to a fantastic French corkscrew:

A rare Merciant patent (French) from 1865, it is truly a remarkable thing.

The rare and fantastic corkscrews that turn up on the auction never cease to amaze.

And, they also create a motivation to get out and hunt! You just never know what might turn up next…

Well… that was exciting

Round one of the latest auction ended yesterday, and there were bids coming in from around the world. I sold a few, bought one, and was out bid on many.

I got beat out on a fabulous Will and Finck…

Although, really, as my high bid was about half of what it sold for. Perhaps I wasn’t beat out, and was simply not in the running. A lovely American corkscrew.

That said, there are 295 lots ending today, starting at 1:00 eastern time. So many twisted treasures to add to one’s collection.

Bid high, and bid often!

Or, in my case, bid higher! And, bid often-er!

1922 Pneumatic Cork Extractor

From a 1922 issue of Popular Mechanics


Quite a novel method of extracting a cork from a bottle is to blow it out with air pressure.

Extracting a Cork by Air Pressure: The Hand Pump Forces Compressed Air into the Space between the Bottom of the Cork and the Contents of the Bottle

A bowed thin hollow air conductor is inserted between the cork and the neck of the bottle.  

Outside the bottle this is bent at right angles and leads to a small pipe, to which is connected an air pump that forces air into the space between into its contents and the bottom of the cork.  The device is of German Origin.

Simmons Brothers Sterling Converse

The other day, I mentioned acquiring another example of the Converse patent in Sterling.

And, also as mentioned, it is different than the other one in the collection.

Nicely marked with the patent date of May 9, 99, STERLING, and with the Simmons’ makers’ mark, it is pretty fabulous.

So, while technically it isn’t a double, as the handle is different, it is actually the second Simmons Brothers’ Sterling Converse in the collection.

They do make a handsome pair, although the recent arrival could use a little polishing.

Actually, both could use a little polishing.

And, placed with the Spaulding Gorham example, a nice tri-fecta.