In May of last year, I picked up a small lot of corkscrews, and one piece was clearly a cigar box opener. TWJ and I had a back and forth about it, and discussed how the patent date that it is marked with, isn’t a real patent date.
In the latest issue of the Just for Openers newsletter, John explains this, but also by doing a different search (changing the date on the patent from 1915 to 1914) he discovered the patent, and that the little opener was a design patent for a “Tool,” and awarded to Clayton H. Blantz.
What TWJ also mentions in his write up is that no where in the patent description does our man Blantz, mention what the function of the tool is. The patent description reads as follows:
“Be it know that I, Clayton H. Blantz, a citizen of the United States, residing at Lebanon, in the county of Lebanon and State of Pennsylvania, have invented a new, original, and ornamental Design for Tools, of which the following is a specification, reference being had to the accompanying drawing, forming a part thereof.
The figure is a perspective view of a tool showing my new design.
I claim :
The ornamental design for a tool, as shown.
CLAYTON H. BLANTZ”
I get it…it’s a tool. But, a tool to do what?
Clearly it had an opener, presto-lite key, cigar box opener… But, was this a cork puller…
As it happened, the example I found in May is somewhere in Maine between Rockland and Vinalhaven, as I can’t seem to find it. Still, I am always up for a research challenge, and following TWJ’s write up, I started to hunt down the Blantz tool.
And, with a couple of searches, I found a mention of Blantz in 1916 issue of The Billboard. That said, as often happens with archived material on the Internet, there were a few words, no images, but…
…there are other options, and knowing that Blantz appears in one source, there has to be another mention elsewhere.
And, after a bit of sleuthing, I found the advertisement for the 8 in 1 tool.
“BLANTZ’S COMBINATION HOUSEHOLD TOOL”. 8 in 1: Bottle Cap Remover, Label Cutter, Presto-lite Key, Hammer, Nail Puller, Cork Extractor, Nut Pick, and Ice Pick. This tool may be put to a hundred other practical uses. Agents make big profits. Sample mailed for 15c in coin.
C.H. BLANTZ & CO.. 505 N. 8TH ST., LEBANON, PA.
So, it is a patent. And, it is a cork extractor.
Given that mine has gone missing, I hit up TWJ to see if he had an extra one (or two, as Tommy’s had one, but he can’t find his either), and of course he had a couple available.
And, a deal was done.
It cost more than .15 in coin each…
Two BLANTZ patents heading to the island.
Thanks for the deal TWJ. And, another patent to hunt down for those that collect American patented cork extractors.