BALLET-CORKSEREWS

 

I will preface this by saying, if you are going to hire an engraver, you might want to be sure that they know how to spell.

Just sayin’

The Manufacture of Ballet-Corkscrews corkscrew arrived the other day, and while there are a couple of hairlines to the celluloid, the corkscrew is pretty fantastic.

Although, in looking closely (really closely) at the writing across the advertising plates it looks as if the piece is marked CORKSEREWS rather than CORKSCREWS.

Now, clearly they had a C nearby, as CORKSEREWS starts with a C, and MANUFACTURE also has a C.

And, as they got to the end of the plate, knowing that were trying to make CORKSCREW (or more aptly CORKSEREW) plural, but were running out of room, the S is a bit smaller, but they still made if fit.

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Even with the replacing the C with an E, the corkscrew is pretty darn awesome, and has the potential of making the best 6 of the year.

I have yet to clean the shank of the helix up yet, but it does look to have a maker’s mark. I will report back here once I figure that one out.

More corkscrew news as it happens.  Stay tuned!

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Steinwender & Sellner

A couple of weeks ago, I found a non-ebay online auction lot, that I found pretty interesting.  And, over the following days, I would go back and see how the bidding was going.

After registering for the auction, I placed a bid, and went back to business at hand.

At the end of the first week, I was the high bidder, and actually the only bidder.  As we got closer to the auction close, a few more bids were placed, but I was still in the lead.

My initial bid was not particularly high, but obviously higher than others that had also seen the auction.

With about 8 hours until the auction close, and knowing that there were 8 other bids, I went back to the auction lot, and upped my bid quite a bit, hoping to ensure that the lot would indeed be heading to Vinalhaven.

Last night the auction ended, and this morning I got the confirmation email.  I had indeed won.  And, the additional higher bid wasn’t necessary, the lot ended at a whopping $27.50 and with a 10% auctioneer’s fee, just over 30 bucks.

The auction lot, was billed as “Metal cork screw, “Steinwerder & Sellner”, St. Louis”

And, the metal corkscrew?

It is a Brangs patent, and it carries advertising, not for Steinwerder & Sellner of St Louis, but for Steinwender & Sellner of St. Louis

And, who is Steinwender and Sellner?

That would be Gustav A. Steinwender and Christian Albert Sellner; wine, beer, and liquor importers and dealers in St. Louis

 

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Steinwender and Sellner, was established in 1863, and the ads above date to 1891 and appeared in the St. Louis Dispatch.

Of course, the Brangs is the Jules Brangs’ French Patent Number 122,704 of April 23, 1878, which is a hard to find piece.  But, with the additional advertising, it is pretty darn cool.

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I will add pictures, sans the Cory Craig, Auctioneer watermark, when it arrives in a few days.

A really neat little corkscrew that I have tried to acquire several times to no avail.

Best 6?  It certainly will be in contention!

 

 

Buffalo Co-Operative Brewing Co.

I picked up a nice little Williamson roundlet corkscrew yesterday on our second favorite auction site.

And, while there is some finish loss on the bottle, it has a pretty cool advertising place for Buffalo Co-Operative Brewing Co.

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This badge reads:

SPECIAL BREW

EXTRA 6

BUFFALO CO-OPERATIVE

BREWING CO.

 

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And, while not described in the listing, there is a hole in the top for a stanhope.  We can (stan) hope that it is still present.

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I will provide updates on the stanhope or not stanhope when it arrives in a couple of days.

A neat little addition to the collection.

On another corkscrew note, I am awaiting a second shipment of corkscrew stands so we can continue filling the various corkscrew cases that are now housed in the corkscrew room.

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More pictures to follow, as the corkscrews get put in place…

Of course,  with the various cases, it is clear that I need more corkscrews.  Feel free to send pictures of corkscrews you have for trade!!!

 

Van Zandt Re-Vizited

While the deal for the Van Zandt patented cork pull was struck last week, the agreed upon price and subsequent payment needed to be completed through the U.S. Postal Service with a USPS Postal Order.  And, with holidays and Sundays, and then the lovely and I heading off  for a get away, the Van Zandt didn’t make it into my hands until yesterday.

Opening up the package, and looking at the piece, I am beyond pleased.  The mechanism works just as Van Zandt describes in his patent description, and oddly enough, functions very much like the Call’s Ideal that made my best 6 for last year.

I haven’t tried to clean the piece up (yet) but as mentioned the other day, this should make the best 6, and perhaps the best cork puller / corkscrew

of the year.

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I have done a bit of research into Van Zandt, and have yet to unearth anything other than the patent.  The hunt will continue, as will the hunt for antique corkscrews.

Stay tuned!

 

Best 1 of 6 of 2018…

It is early in the year, and there is much hunting and collecting to take place, but over the last couple of days a deal was struck for a cork puller that easily will make the best six of 2018.

If over the next 12 months, I manage to find 6 pieces that are rarer, and it doesn’t make the list, well…that would be a good problem to have.

As mentioned in the past, I spend lots of time looking at O’Leary’s tome on American patented corkscrews.  And, while I haven’t memorized every patent drawing in the back of his book, there are some that I indeed have.   Still, only going by a patent drawing isn’t really enough.  From drawing to manufacture things can change.  So, it really really really helps, when suddenly you are presented with a previously yet discovered cork puller that is clearly marked with a patent date.

The question of who?, what? when?,  is that really what it was intended for?, is answered pretty quickly with a quick  glance in the back of O’Leary.  This, of course, is often followed by visit to google patents.

Now, this very well may exist within another collector’s collection, but given it isn’t in O’Leary (at least the front) and given that it has yet to appear in any of the patent updates, I will say “new discovery.”   If it has been previously found, I will happily say, “it is a rare thing.”

“So, what did you find Josef?”  You are asking yourself

Ladies and gentleman, I present to you, the 1867 James D. Van Zandt patent for an Improved Cork Pull.

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Marked “PATENT JULY 30, 1867,” within short order, I found the patent drawing on page 181 of O’Leary.

 

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And, after checking on Google Patents, found even more…

Van Zandt’s patent description explains:

“The operation is as follows:  The cork-drawer being in the position indicated in Fig. I, it is forced down into the centre of the cork until the swing-bar has been pushed beyond the bottom of the cork, when, on drawing up the cork-drawer, the friction of the cork on the sliding prong d causes it to descend, b which the swing-bar is placed in a right-angled position to the prongs, and the cork follows the instrument as it is drawn out of the bottle.  The cork being drawn, it is easily disengaged from the prongs by sliding back the prong d by means of the thumb-piee and drawing it off, when the cork-drawer is again ready for use.”

The Improved Cork Pull will arrive in a couple of days, and I will add better pictures when it does.   Definitely a Best 6 candidate!  And, a fantastic addition to the collection.

In the meantime, the lovely and I are heading to Vermont for a quick getaway tomorrow… could the best 2 or 3 of 6 of 2018 be found in our adventures?

Stay tuned…

 

Wishlist for 2018

There are actually a lot of things that are on my wishlist for 2018: peace, understanding, love, good health, etc., but there are also a few corkscrews that I would like to add to the collection.

Over the last couple of years, I have published the corkscrew wishlist, with hopes that someone might say, “Hey, I have one of those.  Let’s make a deal.”

Here are the wish lists from a few previous years.  And, given that we publish our best sixes each year, I have limited it to six each year…

2014:

1. Trunk Patent
2. Folding Hicks & Reynolds
3. Frary with Can Opener handle
4. Jenner Patent
5. Philos Blake (how can we have a dog named Philos, and not have the corkscrew)
6. Sperry Patent

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I did end up acquiring both the Trunk and the folding Hicks and Reynolds in 2014, and so the wishlist was updated with a few others that I would love to add to the collection.

2015:

1. Frary Sullivan Bar Screw
2. A new discovery from the Back of O’Leary
3. Frary with Can Opener Handle
4. Jenner Patent
5. Philos Blake Patent
6. Sperry Patent

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But remained the same in 2016

2016:

1. Frary Sullivan Bar Screw
2. A new discovery from the Back of O’Leary
3. Frary with Can Opener Handle
4. Jenner Patent
5. Philos Blake Patent
6. Sperry Patent

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And, while there were new discoveries from the back of O’Leary, and few that didn’t appear in O’Leary, the Frary Sullivan, Frary with can opener, Jenner, Philos Blake, and the Sperry remain illusive.

So… they are still on the list.  Yes, the list from 2017, and now the wish list for 2018!

2018 Wishlist:

1. Frary Sullivan Bar Screw
2. A new discovery from the Back of O’Leary
3. Frary with Can Opener Handle
4. Jenner Patent
5. Philos Blake Patent
6. Sperry Patent

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But, what corkscrews are on your wish list?  What corkscrews do you most hope to find this year?

Feel free to respond with what you really want to add to your collection this year (email me if you are so inclined)

And, I will gladly post them on the bloggy blog, and perhaps someone will respond to your list with: “Hey, I have one of those. Let’s make a deal.”

 

 

Best Six for 2017

As mentioned, 2017 was a fantastic year of hunting and gathering.  Here are the best six fo

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  1. Wall mount GENERAL APPLIANCE CO. SO. CHARLESTON W.VA. PAT. PEND opener with corkscrew. Not pictured in any corkscrew publication thus far. No patent yet found.
  1. Syroco Painted Clown in Red.
  1. Charles C. Call’s patent of 1909 (#911,292) for a “Cork Pulling Device.” (see O’Leary, 1996, p. 126). Marked CALL’S IDEAL CORK PULLER PAT. APPLIED FOR SPRINGFIELD MASS. An interesting side note, C.C. Call had several patents with some awarded to Smith and Wesson, where Call was an employee for 65 years!
  1. G. B. Adams 1896 Patent (# 564.356). The second example in the collection, the reverse is marked THE WHITEHEAD & HOAG CO. NEWARK, N.J., PATENTED JULY 17, 1894, APRIL 14, 1896, JULY 21, 1896. The front is an advertisement for R. V. PIERCE, M.D. Pres. World’s Dispensary Medical Ass’n.

(see Morris, 2012, http://www.the-icca.net/library/US_Corkscrew_2012/14.html)

  1. Humason & Beckley Ivory handled direct pull. Marked on the shank H & B, MF’G CO.

 

  1. Spaulding-Gorham Ivory and Sterling prong puller. This looks strikingly like a Converse patent, however the only marking is SPAULDING-GORHAM and STERLING 97. Spaulding & Co., originally was S. Hoard & Co., but in 1920 was bought by Gorham Mfg., and they changed the name to Spaulding-Gorham Inc.  The name remained until 1943, when it was changed to Spaulding & Co, in 1943.  So, we can at least put a date range to the cork puller of somewhere between 1920 and 1943.

 

What will make the best six for 2018, you just never know what will turn up.

Good hunting!

Charles C. Call

One of the cork pullers that I have long been after is the 1909 Charles C. Call patent.

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An interesting tool, one would push the spike through the cork.  After penetrating the cork, a button is depressed at which point a lever slides out underneath the cork perpendicular to the shaft of the cork puller. This would then allow for the cork to be withdrawn

At least that is how it looks like it work.

In reading the Charles C. Call patent description, he explained it like this.

The device, preparatory to using it for pulling a cork, has the rod C forced to or near the limit of its downward movement, as shown in Fig. 1, longitudinally alining the pivot bar with the stem. The stem with the bar thus ensconced therein may, because of the pointed extremity a, be readily forced centrally through the cork sufficiently far to bring the pivot g a little ways below the lower end of the cork. Now by upwardly forcing the rod, which will automatically be done by the contacting of the angular exteriorly extending member 2′ against the top of the cork so as to bring the lower deflected end of the rod in the least degree above the axis of the pivot, the spring reaction of the deflected extremity in an inward direction exerts a leverage action on the pivot barresulting in the throwing of the same towards a position at right angles to its normal position. This bar then on the upward drawing of the stem through means of the cross handle 03 becomes interlocked the extraction of the cork from. the bottle neck.

It will be noticed that in the position ofthe bar, Fig. 2, a shoulder h is near the point of the deflected spring extremity of the rod. The shouldered formation and the coaction therewith of the stem having its lower extremity of the character mentioned, faciliates in restoring the pivot bar to its ensconced condition, an occasiontherefor may arise. It will be explained in this connection that a person might improperly force the pointed stem through a cork so far to one side that when the pivot bar were thrown to its transverse relation to the stem it might interlock under the. shouldered neck of the bottle, rendering it impossible to pull out the cork or withdraw the implement; but it will be apparent that in such an event the stem may be forced slightly further inwardly so as to carry the bar clear from the cork and then by the manipulation of the red the cross bar would be restored to its alined normal position of alinement with the slot 6, enabling one hand to easily withdraw the device from its engagement through the cork.

By the provision of a cork pulling device substantially such as described, and made of a comparatively small size, quite large and firmly set corks may be pulled with certainty, and after a cork may have been pierced by the bottle stem, and pulled from the bottle and the stem drawn out centrally from the pierced cork, the latter by reason of the elastic character thereof will fill or close the comparatively small axial hole made, thereby leaving the cork more available for continued use than would be the case were the same subjected to the action of a spiral cork screw.

Aha!  An added benefit.  The cork could be reused!

Our man Charles C. Call was awarded several different patents, and importantly, several were assigned to Smith & Wesson, where old Charlie was an employee.  According to Smith & Wesson folk, he worked there for 65 years!

65 years!

I have been in contact with a Smith and Wesson historian, as well as the S & W historical society to see if we can’t unearth a little more information about Charles C. Call.

More information will be added as it finds its way into my email box.

Until then… this surely is a Best Six Candidate for 2017.

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Auction lots end today

Well, it is that time of year folks.  The latest collectorcorksrews.com auction lots start ending today at 1:00.  You can link to them here.

There are some great corkscrews this time around; and the bidding is already hot and heavy.  Which lots will skyrocket due to bidding wars, remains to be seen.  But, there are already a couple that are garnering lots of bids.

Be sure to check it out!  Bid high, and bid often!