“Two-Legged” CORK PULLER

From a 1905 issue of Normal Instructor:

Get the “Two-Legged” CORK PULLER.

Anyone can use it.  One size pulls large or small corks with perfect ease without injuring the cork.  Far superior to best cork screw ever made.  Legs are easily removed and slide in handle for pocket use.

Prevents tearing corks to pieces, breaking knifes pushing corks back into bottles or jerking and spilling contents.  Worth the price a thousand times.  Postpaid, only 25c.  Agents wanted.

Kennedy Mfg. Co., Hackensack, N. J.



Now the Two-Legged Cork Puller would be the T. Kennedy patent (777,380) of 1904…

and I would love to add one to the collection.

If you have a cork puller that resembles the Kennedy, feel free to drop me a line!

I have a thing for spoons (with corkscrews)…

Yesterday, a deal was struck for a folding Sterling spoon with corkscrew…

No, I will say that I do have a few spoons laying around, and I was quite pleased when I got the tablespoon version of the Sterling Williamson version a couple of years ago…

And now, there is a tablespoon-size of this type of Sterling spoon corkscrew on its way to the island:

It will be a nice addition to the growing number of medicine / poison corkscrews in the collection!

Mina L. M. Peck’s invention…

From a 1911 issue of Pharmaeceutical Era

Mina L. M. Peck, Hamilton, N. Y., has been granted United States Letters Patent No. 986,855 for a cork puller which is in effect an automatic cork screw comprising a barrel closed at one end and open at the opposite end, a disk movable longitudinally in the barrel and a central axial shaft which, when rotated by means of an operating handle, causes the screw to travel forward and engage the cork, the latter being withdrawn from the bottle as the screw is revolved.

For those of you scratching your head… Peck in her patent description explains:

The operation of my improved automatic cork screw is as follows: to extract a cork from a bottle or the like, the lower open end of the barrel is placed around the neck of the bottle, and the disk 25 is thus disposed on the upper end of the cork, and its points 26a engage the cork and keep the same from slipping. The operator grasps the handle 4 and then presses the barrel downwardly over and around the neck of the bottle and thereby contracts the spring 29. The relative movement of disk 22 upwardly in the barrel causes the balls 28 by engagement with the worm grooves of the worm shaft to rotate said worm shaft in one direction, and the rotation of the worm shaft drives the cork screw into the cork, and the ratchet head of the worm shaft and the coacting pawl permitting rotation of the worm shaft in such direction. Having thus firmly engaged the cork screw in the cork, the operator then pulls upwardly or outwardly on the handle 4, and thereby extracts the cork.

I have never seen a Peck patent (awarded March 14, 1911), but would love to add one to the collection.

I really want to see how this works in action!

No. 105 Key-Knife

From a June 7, 1928 issue of Hardware Age

The No. 105 Key-Knife

A handy and serviceable knife has recently been placed before the trade by the Meriden Knife Co., Meriden, Conn.  This product, known as No. 105 key-knife, has a blade, a bottle opener, a corkscrew, and a combination key blank.  The bottle opener is incorporated into the blade, while the key blank can be cut to individual requirements.

The knife is made of white metal with either rolled gold plate, gold, or sterling silver finish.  T has a loop at one end permitting it to be carried on a watch

chain.  The knife is said to be serviceable in all its parts and has an attractive appearance.

Back from Brimfield…

The lovely bride and I somehow managed to make the last ferry back to the island after a three day jaunt to Brimfield.

After 2 years of COVID, Brimfield is mostly back. There are some fields that were a little smaller than usual, but New England Motel, Herman’s, and May’s were pretty packed. And, both the buyers and the sun was out.

Lot of treasures to be found, but not a lot in the way of corkscrews.

I did manage to pick up a couple, and I did buy 5 vintage beer taps, that I actually sold while walking down the road to the next field.

I was walking at a fair clip, when I passed the dealer who asked, “are those for sale.” And, when I stopped and turned, I recognized him, and we struck a deal. I had sold brewery items to him in the past, and my plan was to seek him out the following day and offer them up.

This visit, the lovely and I rented an airbnb in Holland, MA, which is about 7 miles from the show, and because of our location, we managed to avoid any traffic coming into Brimfield–this made for less early early early mornings, and replaced them with early early mornings.

We did buy a few things for the house, and we will be back in July and September.

A few days antiquing in near perfect spring weather.


This morning, we begin our journey south, as Brimfield starts tomorrow at daybreak.

Rockland to Portland–for supplies.

Portland to Pepperell Cove–for “lunch.”

Pepperell Cove to Portsmouth, NH–for more supplies.

Portsmouth, NH to Holland, MA–where we have rented an airbnb for a few days.

And, tomorrow morning. Brimmy!

Last September, the Brimfield show was quite a bit smaller than years past. Of course, COVID-19 was much of the reason for that. So, this will be our first May show in two years, and word on the street is that Brimfield will be abuzz with dealers and buyers.

If any corkscrews are found on our journey down, I will report back here. And, of course, I will provide news from Brimfield each day.

Stay tuned!

Looking for Löffler

In an 1886 issue of Scientific American, his Karl Löffler’s patent as described as follows:

Cork Puller —Charles Loeffler, Hoboken, N. J.—This invention relates to a cork puller which consists of a thin shank provided at one end with a suitable handle, and at the opposite end with a curved, sharp-edged tooth, in such a manner that by passing said tooth down between the cork and the neck of the bottle and turning it so that the same bears on the under surface of the cork, said cork can be withdrawn without being injured ; and, furthermore, by the very act of passing the tooth down between the neck of the bottle and the cork, said cork is loosened and the operation of withdrawing the same Is facilitated.

In looking back at his patent drawing, it is a pretty straightforward looking piece, but the figure 2. in the drawing is important, as it shows the sharpness of the tooth, as well as the curve of that tooth that will fit in between the neck of the bottle and the curve of the cork.

Several years ago, an example of the Löffler was sold at auction, and that example does look similar to the patent drawing, and the cork puller is marked PATENT on the shaft.

Another example sold on the auction, but it was unmarked. It too looks close to the patent drawing:

with the upper part of the shaft looking closer to the drawing.

That said, in looking at past auction listings, there are several similar tooth-type cork extractors that operate in a similar fashion, with the tooth itself taking on various shapes–thicker, longer, barbed.

Still, we need a Löffler patent in the collection, so if you have a spare on laying about, drop me a line. And, if it is marked Patent, with a Pat. Apld For marking, or better yet with a patent date from 1866, I would be very interested.

New corkscrew pursuit vehicle…

7 years ago, I traded in the Mini for a Tacoma, and the truck has been the vehicle of choice for countless antiquing (and construction) adventures.

But, as the miles have been adding up, it was clearly time that it was time to send the truck over to the mainland, and get a new corkscrew pursuit vehicle.

And, with a couple of texts and a couple of phone calls, a deal was struck with a dealer on the mainland.

They actually offered to deliver the new vehicle and drive the truck back on the ferry so we didn’t have to leave the island.

Of course, with the ferry system being what it is, and COVID having contributed to a lack of available crew to sail on said ferry, I suggested we wait a few days until we can ensure that the ferries are running, and that I will make it across and swap out the vehicles.

So, tomorrow, the Tacoma will be on the morning ferry to Rockland, and at 10 am, or so, I will drop it off at the dealer, and drive away in the new corkscrew pursuit vehicle–and, just in time for some corkscrewing adventures.

“The Art of Antiquing” is having their opening show on Friday.

Montsweag Flea opens this coming weekend.

Brimfield is opening soon.

And, the lovely and I will be hitting all of them.

Tales of our latest antiquing adventure will be reported back here. Stay tuned.

Zeilin arrives…

The bottle opener auction lot arrived today, and it arrived safely–all wrapped up together as one lot, in bubble wrap, in a box.

And, after carefully removing the tape, and unwrapping the contents, the Zeilin looked to be in nice shape, but with a fair amount of tarnish.

With a jar of Wright’s Silver Cream at the ready, I gave it a quick polish.

Much better:

Marked with S. Cottle’s makers mark, STERLING, and 10, it is a lovely addition to the Zeilin collection.

The embossed one on the right is also marked for S. Cottle, STERLING and 11.

If you have a dosage cup corkscrew with which you would like to part, I would love to add a few more.

Drop me a line!