Hawaii Flash for Tommy

Yesterday, as I was making my usual rounds, I happened across a Williamson Flash corkscrew that is a souvenir for Honolulu, Hawaii.

Knowing that Tommy easily has the largest collection of Flash corkscrews in the universe, I sent him a message to see if he is still on the hunt.

He is.

Albeit, selectively…

And, in short order, a deal was struck.

He hasn’t shared his Flash list in a while, but at last check a Flash Souvenir corkscrew / opener from Alaska is the only state he is missing.

For newer readers, if you would like to learn more about the Williamson Flash corkscrew, and see some of what is in Tommy’s Flash collection, you can link to an article we worked on together on the theicca.org library here: The Williamson Flash Corkscrew: Souvenirs of Roadside America .

Of course, that article was published nine years ago, and he has added 100’s and 100’s and 100’s more since its publication.

If you do have an Alaska Flash corkscrew, or perhaps one from further afield (Cuba maybe), feel free to drop me a line!

Don’t fool away your time trying to get a cork out of a bottle with a string…

April 11, 1868 issue of Scientific American:

Don’t fool away your time trying to get a cork out of a bottle with a string, when Waterman’s patent cork extractor is so cheap.  It takes a cork out in an instant.  Private families, doctors, apothecaries, beer establishments, and barrooms is where they are in demand.  Send 60c. for sample.  State Rights for sale.  Cork screw and spring all combined.  Direct to Wm. G. Waterman, Middletown, Conn., Box 1388.

That would be William Waterman’s of 1867 (No. 72,247). To my knowledge, no example of this particular “Improved Cork Extractor,” has been found. And, if it has, I would love to hear about it.

I did do a little digging to find the patent drawing, and in Waterman’s patent description, he explains how it works:

“The operation of the instrument is as follows: Whenever a cork is to be extracted, the end of the handle is inserted into the bottle, then, by taking hold of the thumb-piece G, the spring E can be pushed into the bottle, the spring expands, and when the bottle is inverted, the cork goes between the inner sides of the spring E, and when drawn by the handle, the spring closes around the cork, and is drawn out. “

Let the hunt continue!

Brown & Bigelow II

The Brown & Bigelow advertising roundlet that advertises Brown & Bigelow’s Remembrance Advertising, arrived the other day, and it is a neat little thing.

Aluminum, which might help to date the piece, it is a bit longer than a Williamson roundlet; measuring 3 1/4 inches.

And, it does have more of a champagne bottle look to it.

While I have been doing a little research, thus far, nothing has come to light. So, if any of you have any insights into the age of the Brown & Bigelow Remembrance Advertising roundlet, or if you have a similar aluminum roundlet, I would love to hear about it. Drop me a line!

a couple of arrivals

A handsome corkscrew and lovely cork turner arrived in the mail yesterday.

The Korn’s is in lovely shape, and a wooden handled Will & Finck is a nice addition as well.

The Korn’s is the first example I have owned that doesn’t have cracked scales, and it will remain in the collection.

The W & F? Not sure. It is kind of Adelaide-ish, and may have to end up in Ian’s collection.

Brown & Bigelow…

Brown and Bigelow was founded in 1896 by Herbert Bigelow and Hiram Brown. And, while they made a myriad of products; pin-up calendars and playing cards a plenty, they were also known for employing ex convicts.

Bigelow himself was incarcerated for tax evasion, and after his release used Brown and Bigelow to create a ex-convict rehabilitation organization, hiring hundreds of those that had been previously incarcerated.

And, boy did they produce product. From calendars featuring artwork by Maxfield Parrish to risqué playing cards, from paperweights to letter openers, from dogs playing poker to Lawson Wood’s monkeys, a simple Brown & Bigelow search will net out hundreds of pieces that they produced.

And, while Brown and Bigelow is still in existence, at some point in their history, they also produced a corkscrew.

A bottle shaped roundlet, in what looks to be aluminum, I picked this up the other day online, and it will soon be arriving on the island.

I have never seen another bottle roundlet corkscrew quite like this, and of course send DB an email regarding this piece.

When it arrives, or should additional information come to light, I will share it here.

Stay tuned!

Springing Forward

We had to spring forward yesterday, and before you knew it, it was time to the road.

We were on the mainland, and there was an antique show in Bath to start the morning.

We headed down, found parking, and made our way into the show.

A small show, but with really good dealers and some fantastic things available–not so much in the way of corkscrews–but both the lovely bride and I definitely have an eye for antiques that are too large to carry, and Ralph-Lauren-y-looking stuff that really doesn’t fit into our house.

So, we passed on the fabulous rowing oars the were totally underpriced, what looked like a galvanized steel satchel (perhaps for a horse) an awesome Cartier flask with matching cups monogrammed MEOW (with a cat and mouse drinking martinis also monogrammed on the flask), and a few other items.

Down one aisle, I found a dealer that I know from Brimfield and Montsweag, and he always has corkscrews. Nothing super, but I picked up a faceted bow as we exchanged pleasantries.

We headed down the next aisle and the next, and ran into another Brimfield dealer friend. He too usually has corkscrews, and I picked up a Walker peg and worm from him.

He and I had a promising conversation. A few years ago, I showed him the Van Zandt patent that I had recently picked up…

…and he explained he had a similarly functioning cork extractor–he didn’t know that patent–but we have been talking about it ever since.

Yesterday, he mentioned that he will bring it to Brimfield for me (unfortunately, not the May show coming up).

Looks like I will HAVE to be at Brimfield in July as well.

After walking the entire show, and not buying anything large or oversized, we made another pass around the perimeter, and I picked up a Weinke patent marked O.I.C CORK DRAWER.

It was cheap, and I like how it was marked.

From the Bath show, we headed south to El Rayo for lunch. Then off to Lucky Pigeon! A Maine craft brewery doing only gluten-free beer. Their pale, blonde, and IPA are really good.

Their stout is awesome. And, the lovely picked up 3 cases to bring back to Island Spirits, with a four-pack of stout heading to the house for me.

From Lucky Pigeon it was of to Woodfire (another brewery) where we picked up another wholesale beer order, and after a bit of Trader Joe’s-ing, we were on the road again, but still had another antique mall to hit along the way.

No corkscrews there, and we opted NOT to buy a large brass camel saddle.

Really, the camel saddle was tempting.

A great day on the mainland, and a few corkscrews were acquired.

And, the promising conversation regarding the Van-Zandt-like cork extractor is definitely promising.

Stay tuned!

Korn’s Cork Turner

On August 28, 1883 George Korn was awarded patent 283,900 for his “Cork Turner.”

A remarkable non-worm extractor, his patent description explains:

“The advantage in using this cork-turner to remove corks over other means used is as follows: As the long arm C is forced into position an opening is made, through which carbonic-acid gas or other cases can escape without the overflow incident to suddenly pulling the cork out.  The breaking of the cork is also obviated, as the long arm C passes down beside the entire length of the cork, and as the turning takes place the entire cork is removed.”

We certainly don’t want overflow incidents!

or carbonic-acid gas!

or broken corks!

And, those reasons, a Korn’s Cork Turner, is heading to the island.