Another year of corkscrewing around…

While we still await a return to normalcy in the midst of the ongoing pandemic, we did manage to have a few adventures this year, mostly within Maine, and we did venture further afield as guidelines would allow.

Three shots in, (or six, if you take both of us into consideration) we are both boosted, and continue to wear masks as required.

And, this year there were indeed corkscrews bought, sold, traded, auctioned, discovered and acquired.

That said, with antique shows cancelled, travel limitations, and many of our interactions (including our ICCA AGM) being held via Zoom, lots of the corkscrews that found their way in to (or out of) the collection were discovered online.

Although, we did make it Brimfield for the first time in two years, and to our in person meeting at the JFO, which was awesome!

The twisted treasures are still out there to be discovered, and we hope that soon enough, we will be able to make it back into the wild… to Brimfield… to Union… to Bucharest…etc.

Let’s hope that the new year brings a little less, “You’re on mute,” and “Can I share my screen?” and a little more raising a glass with one another…

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Best Six Wishlist for 2022

I will preface this by saying that what tops my list for 2022 is an end to the pandemic, and a hope that we will be able to replace social distancing with social embracing…

That said, as I have done in the past, there are a few corkscrews that I would love add to the collection this year, and once again, it is time to publish the best six wishlist.

For years, a couple have remained on my wishlist, and… they still have remained elusive, so they STILL remain on the wishlist.

Last year, I published the following wishlist:

And, I was fortunate enough to add 3 of the 6; A Jenner, a Ladies Friend, and a new discovery from the back of O’Leary…

And, I will add here, that there are lots of corkscrews that would be welcome additions to the collection, and, you just never know what will turn up next. But, let’s just throw it out there…

Here is the best six wishlist for 2022!

Frary Sullivan


Something from the back of O’Leary


Frary with can opener


Lowenstein patent advertising “Golden Harvest Whiskey.”
In the patent drawing, that is how the patent is illustrated with that advertisement.


1883 White patent.
As mentioned in the past, I did once find a White patent in the wilds of Iowa, but it was broken. Still, there has to be others out there.


Zeilin patent: pictured on page 63 of O’Leary and marked, “ONE TEASPOONFULL PARRISHS HYPOPHOSPHITES, J.H. ZEILIN & CO. PHILA, PA”

Hance Bros. & White

Yesterday, a deal was struck that has yet another 1903 Lowenstein patent corkscrew heading to the island.

Serving as an advertisement for HANCE BROS. & WHITE, PHARMCL CHEMISTS PHILADELPHIA, it will make a nice addition to the collection.

As mentioned the other day, here is the list of known advertisements on the Lowenstein patent:

“BAILEY’S H & C PURE RYE”

“CLARK, CHAPIN, & BUSHNELL’S EXTRACTS NEW YORK”

“FRANCIS H LEGGETT & CO. NEW YORK”

“F. WESTHEIMER & SONS, PLANET, SOUR MASH, ST. JOSEPH, MO”

“HANCE BROS. & WHITE, PHARMCL CHEMISTS PHILADELPHIA”

“HUMPHREY & MARTIN’S FINE WHISKEYS PHILAD“ (in yellow or tan)

LEWIS 66 WHISKEY

“PEARL WEDDING RYE”

“PEARL WEDDING SELECT WHISKEY”

“THE GREAT A & P TEA CO. EXTRACTS” (in red or yellow/tan).

Those in bold are ones that we have in the collection.

I would love to add others, and if you have one on the list, or better yet one that isn’t listed above, please drop me a line.

Best Six for 2021

  • 1. Benjamin N. Shelley patent (#219,313) awarded September 2, 1879 for his “Improvement in Combination-Tools,” marked “PATD. APLD. FOR” and “LADIES FRIEND.”  In his patent description, he explains, “My invention consists of a combined implement for domestic and other purposes, which presents in a single device and compact form the functions of a hammer, screw-driver, cork-screw, can-opener, ice-pick, glass cutter and breaker, stove-lifter, tack-drawer, saw-set, knife-sharpener, wrench, steak-tenderer and, putty-knife.”  (See O’Leary, 1996, p. 189).
  • 2. J.T. Haviland patent (#104,453) awarded June 21, 1870 for his “Improved Instrument in Removing Twine and Wire from Bottles” it is marked “PAT APPLIED FOR and J.T. HAVILAND,” on both sides.  An intriguing piece, as the patent drawing is titled  “Cork Screw,” even though the title of the patent explains the purpose of the tool, with the patent description explaining, “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…” This is a new discovery from the Back of O’Leary (See O’Leary, 1996, p. TK).
  • 3. PAT PEND multitool with interesting fold out, and lock in place corkscrew.  Other tools include can opener, screwdriver, and small tack hammer.  The hammer features a raised section into which the corkscrew locks in place for use.  No patent has been found.
  • 4. George B. Adams patent (#564,356) awarded July 21, 1896 for his “Badge Pin or Button,” marked on the back of the celluloid pinback, “THE WHITEHEAD & HOAG CO., NEWARK, N.J. PATENTED JULY 17, 1894, APRIL 14, 1896, JULY 21, 1896,” and on the edge of the celluloid “JULY 21, 1896.” An advertisement for Mangels & Schmidt’s High Grade Bread; it should be noted that Mangel & Schmidt was also located in Newark.
  • 5. Walter W. Wilkinson patent (458,087) awarded August 18, 1891 for his “Corkscrew,” marked with a maker’s mark for Gorham Sterling on the inside of the folding arms, and on the reverse an additional mark denoting the year of production: 1900. (See O’Leary, 1996, p. TK)
  • 6. Atwood Combination Six, marked “ATWOOD COMBINATION SIX, PAT APL’D FOR. MADE IN USA.”   The advertisement below appears in a 1932 issue of Boy’s Life.   In 1907, John King of Oakland, Maine was awarded patent #854,745 for his “Combined Fork and Spoon.”  The Atwood Combination Six is also from Oakland, Maine and looks to have taken King’s 1907 original patent, and included a few more tools…including a corkscrew.  No later patent has been found.

Circuitous Routes… and a friend in the know!

So, a couple of weeks ago, Tommy and I made a trade. And, in short order (not typical by the way) Tommy’s corkscrew was boxed up and send priority mail to his address in Illinois.

After a couple of days, I double checked tracking and our much beloved USPS showed that the package had been delivered…

to Seattle.

I double checked the address to which I sent the package, and it was indeed addressed correctly.

The next morning, the tracking showed the package was now in Kent, Washington!

A few hours later, it showed the the package had departed and was enroute to its destination.

I worked under the assumption that would be Tommy’s address, but who knows…?

I mean apparently the postal service thought sending the package from Vinalhaven to Seattle before getting to Illinois was a good idea. Where was it REALLY headed?

Word from Tommy this morning, was the package had been received.

Meanwhile, the corkscrew that was supposed to be received in Vinalhaven in return, also had gone missing, and after a bit of his own tracking, Tommy found that the package intended for me was delivered to the Vinalhaven post office a couple of days ago.

I picked it up yesterday, and not only was there the traded corkscrew, but it was packaged up nicely as the corkscrew would have intended to be in 1903. Attached to a bottle!

And in this case, a bottle of Goose Island Bourbon County Stout!

A wonderful addition to the Lowenstein Patent Collection!!!

Thanks for the bonus gift TC, and I love how you attached the “Bottle Attachment!”

Fab Five

In considering the best 6 of the year, I have narrowed the list, and have come up with 5…

And, there are plenty of twisted treasures that could be number six, but I am still pondering what that should be.

Of course, something could turn up in the coming days that could change everything, and I can only hope as much…

You just never know.

So, for the time being, this is the projected best 5… And, I will let you all weigh in on what should be number six.

Shelley patent, Haviland patent, PAT. PEND with foldout locking corkscrew, Mangel and Schmidt’s Bakery (Adams’ Patent), Wilkinson Patent…

But, what could be the sixth?

Feel free to respond with your suggested 6th best…

And, along came Lewis…

This morning a deal was struck that has another Lowenstein patent heading to the collection.

Lewis 66 Whiskey was (apparently) a …”Whiskey Unexcelled for Medicinal Purposes…”

A product of Strauss Pritz & Co., distillers out of Cincinnati, Ohio, it is a nice addition to the 1903 Lowenstein patent corkscrew collection… And, yet another addition to the list of advertisements that have been found by collectors.

Here is the list of those that I know about:

“BAILEY’S H & C PURE RYE”

“CLARK, CHAPIN, & BUSHNELL’S EXTRACTS NEW YORK”

“FRANCIS H LEGGETT & CO. NEW YORK”

“F. WESTHEIMER & SONS, PLANET, SOUR MASH, ST. JOSEPH, MO”

“HANCE BROS. & WHITE, PHARMCL CHEMISTS PHILADELPHIA”

“HUMPHREY & MARTIN’S FINE WHISKEYS PHILAD“ (in yellow or tan)

LEWIS 66 WHISKEY

“PEARL WEDDING RYE”

“PEARL WEDDING SELECT WHISKEY”

“THE GREAT A & P TEA CO. EXTRACTS” (in red or yellow/tan).

The bolded examples, we have in our collection, and we would love to add others.

If you have a Lowenstein that you would like to trade, please let me know.

And, if you have one that isn’t on the list, please send pictures!

Unlucky Pig…

I was running some errands this morning, and ducked into a small antique mall.

And, while there were no corkscrews worth buying, had what was described as, “Lucky 4 Leaf Clover Design Pig” been unbroken, it would have definitely been worth buying.

Of course, our Lucky piggy here, was a little less than lucky, having had his corkscrew tail broken off.

Miss America 1935

Shortly after sharing the blog about the Miss America 1934, Bob G. sent me a message about his Miss America corkscrew. His reads MISS AMERICA 1935 CALIFORNIA…

With the rest of the corkscrew being the same as the 1934.

In doing a little research, Miss America of 1935 was crowned in Atlantic City, however in 1935 the California Pacific International Exposition was held, and perhaps Henrietta Leaver made an appearance.

What other markings for Miss America are out there?

Miss America 1934

The eighth Miss America pageant, was held in Atlantic City on September 9, 1933. And, the winner was Marian Bergeron.

With no pageant held in 1934, she held the title for two years. And, was the reigning Miss America at the World’s Fair in Chicago.

As of this morning, this Miss America corkscrew, marked “Miss America, Chicago, 1934” is heading to the island.