On the Hainisch Hunt…

As you all know, in the back of Fred O’Leary’s book on American corkscrews, there are a myriad of patent drawings that (literally) illustrate the inventiveness employed in the removal of a cork from a bottle. And, over the years, there have been a few newly discovered corkscrews and cork extractors that have been found that appear in this section of his book.

For those that are new here, when Fred put together his tome Corkscrews: 1000 Ways to Open a Bottle (published in 1996) he photographed the known examples of American patented and patent wannabe corkscrews, and he also included the patent drawings of all known corkscrew patent drawings in his indices; hence creating a corkscrew collecting reference for a corkscrew being in O’Leary, or from “the back of O’Leary,” which JM tends to refer to as BOO.

And, while there have been one or two patented corkscrews that have been discovered that DON’T appear in the front NOR the back of O’Leary, that is generally a result of the patent and patent description not actually including a reference to the use of the invention in the removal of a cork. The recent Blantz patent would be an example of this, where the patent is for a “Tool,” and in the patent description, no reference is given for its actual use, and only in literature from the time was it found that one of the uses was as a cork extractor.

But, I digress. As, I am wont to do.

While the patent drawings in the back of O’Leary seem to be getting smaller as I have gotten older, it is still a section of the book to which I often turn and thumb through, as I am intrigued by what hasn’t been discovered, but might be out there in the wild.

And, one of those corkscrews that I find most intriguing is the Victor Hainisch patent of 1913.

In the June 21, 1913 issue of Scientific American, the patent drawing is shown, with the description that reads:

CORK EXTRACTOR—V. HAINISCH, via Bellognardo 16 Trieste, Vienna, Austria. In removing corks from bottles with a screw like extractor, it often happens that no portion of the cork is removed when the extractor is drawn out, except that held between convolutions of the screw. The cork puller must then again be inserted, which is done with difficulty, and the cork afterward removed, often in sections. Sometimes the upper half


is removed by the corkscrew while the under remains in the neck. This is due to defect in the cork, and because the upper portion of the neck is often constructed so that the lower portion of the cork offers greater resistance than the upper, in removal. The inventor, as shown in the engraving, overcomes these difficulties by constructing the lower portion of the screw a greater diameter than the upper.

Hainsich was awarded patent #1,062,458 on May 20, 1913, and while part of his patent description mirrors the description in the Scientific American write up, there is an interesting paragraph within his patent description that explains that there are two versions of the cork extractor.

Hainisch explains, “The corkscrew 5a shown in Fig. 2, is substantially the same as the corkscrew 5, except that the convolutions or threads do not extend as high up on the shank, the enlarged convolution or portion 6a, corresponding to the convolution or portion 6 being similarly located. In either case, the larger broader convolutions take hold of the lower portion of the cork and exert a lifting action greater than the upper portion of the extractor, so that the entire cork s readily removed.”

So, there is the high shank version and a low shank version, in either case the helix is wider towards the point of the corkscrew, and tapers as it nears the handle. But, has anyone ever found this patent?

To my knowledge, there hasn’t been a documented example shown in any book on corkscrews. And, I would love to add this to the collection.

The Hainisch hunt will continue, and if you have a corkscrew with a reverse tapered worm or, “broader convolutions” that appear at the base of the worm, I would be interested in acquiring it.

Drop me a line.

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