G.B. ADAMS

A decade or so ago, Mark Woodard had acquired, at auction, a celluloid button pinback with an advertisement for R.V. Pierce.  He submitted photos and information to Don Bull, who published said information and more on his Weekly Screw page.

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Not too long after, Jack Bandy had apparently responded with another celluloid button pinback.   This version being an advertisement for Mangels & Schmidt’s Bread, making reference to a trade that happened some time earlier between he and Don.  This too found its way into the Weekly Screw pages.

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And, shortly thereafter, I managed to find my own version of the pinback, this one having an image of an eye, with the words I have my “eye” on you.

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The pinback, on the reverse side, has three patent dates, all from the same patentee, G.B. Adams.  But the dates correspond with his patents for a Trousers Strap, Jewelry, and a Badge Pin or Button…

In reading the patent descriptions, there is no corkscrew mentioned.

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The 1896 patent for the Badge Pin or Button was assigned to the Whitehead and Hoag Company.  And, each of the known examples are marked as such.

On the Mangels & Schmidt’s, the 1896 patent date is also written on the edge of the button adjacent to the worm.

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When Don Bull put his American patents up for sale, Tommy acquired the Mangels & Schmidt’s from Don.  And, in a recent deal, I have now since acquired a second example of the Adams patent, this one being a duplicate to John Morris’ formerly Mark Woodard’s R.V. Pierce.

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So, we have R.V. Pierce (x 2), Mangels & Schmidt’s, and the “I have my “eye” on you” versions.

What others are out there?

Do you have a G.B. Adams 1896 Whitehead and Hoag celluloid pinback corkscrew?  Drop me a line with pictures!

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an eventful few days

The lovely personal personal trainer and I headed off to Chicago for a few days recently, to visit with Tommy; see his new condo, visit the old neighborhood, visit a few favorite restaurants, and of course to see his collection.

But, before our departure, I managed to win a few lots in an online auction.  These particular lots didn’t go too high, and there looks to be a few good t’s, a Murphy, a Bennit, a couple of Henshall buttons, and a couple of Adelaides (Ian) within the lots:

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These are on their way to the island as I type, and I will report back if there are any interesting markings on the pieces when they arrive.

The travel to Chicago was pretty seamless, and Tommy swooped in and scooped us up.  And, soon enough (he brought chilled wine and cheese with him) we were eat the condo we were renting for a few days.

Of course, TC also brought a few corkscrew with him, and there were some fantastic recent finds.

After the happy hour show and tell, we headed off to Bandera for dinner.  One of our favorite restaurants on Michigan Ave, and the meal (the Cliff Lede wines) didn’t disappoint.

The following day, lovely and I decided to walk to Navy Pier.  We don’t usually frequent that as a destination, but Nick Cave was giving a performance, and we knew we had to see it.

And, walk we did.  Meandering from Andersonville towards Wrigley field, stopping by our old condo in Boys Town, then heading towards Lincoln Park, the Zoo, and then heading on to the lakeshore to walk downtown, we made it to where the performance was being held with 15 minutes to spare; where there was cold wine available to bring into the auditorium!

The performance was fantastic!

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Following the performance, and having walked 9.1 miles to get there, we grabbed an uber back to the condo, picked up some wine and cheese, and had another happy hour with TC before heading to RL (Ralph Lauren’s restaurant) for dinner.

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Another fantastic meal!

After getting back to the condo, we shared goodbyes, and see ya tomorrows, as the next day we were going to hop on the train out to Elgin to see Tommy’s collection and condo.

Hopping on the El, we were soon at Union Station where hoped on the Metra to Elgin.  Tommy picked us up, and after a requisite stop to pick up some wine, we were soon pulling into Chez Campnell.

And, if you were wondering why he is referred to as the Syrocokid…

syroco

He has a few Syroco corkscrews…

Having only recently moved in, there are boxes and boxes of corkscrews to go through, but there were plenty to see, examine, drool over, and there was almost a deal made for a couple; an unusual Murphy and an Atwood Combination Six.

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The deal wasn’t made, but you never know what trades might happen at a future date!

After lunch and corkscrew viewing, we headed off on another adventure; looking at potential corkscrew cases for our corkscrew room on Vinalhaven, and then hugs and goodbyes and see you in a month (when Tommy visits Maine) and then it was back to the train.

Knowing we had an early morning flight the next day, the lovely and I had an early dinner at Le Colonial (another one of our favorite places in Chicago) and then made our way back to the condo.

A great few days with the lovely and TC in a city that we love.  Thanks for a great visit TC!

Factual answers, also some conjecture…

The other day, there was a Williamson Bullet roundlet listed on eBay with a fairly low buy it now price.  The roundlet had an advertising plate for Wm. J. KAMMER, WINES & LIQUORS, 1810-1812 BANK STREET, BALTIMORE, MD.

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Also included in the listing was a reference to an issue of Gun Week from Friday Feb. 10, 1978.

Both the bottle and the article arrived yesterday.  The article in question, was apparently a section of Gun Week called Joe offers Factual answers, also some conjecture: Heritage & History

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The article reads:

This week we have a number of interesting questions that should create some controversy in answers.  So let’s get right to them…

Every so often in our column we ask the readers to share some unusual items from their collections.  We make the point that if it is of interest to one collector, others would like to hear of it also.  Ralph White has submitted the following for comments from our readers.  Let Ralph know if you have seen or heard of the novelty item…

“Enclosed is a phot of an item I recently obtained.  I have never seen one before nor have any of my friends.

“As you can see it is a corkscrew, but the novelty is that the corkscrew folds back and is store in the case.

“The cartridge is about three inches long.  It is screwed together in the middle of the case; and when opened the corkscrew is slid along to an opening in the case, and a hinge arrangement makes it possible to bring out the screw at right angles.  Then the front portion of the case is screwed back in place and this locks the corkscrew in the position shown in the phot.

“The bottom of the case is stamped as follows—“WILLIAMS CO., PATENTED, JUNE 97, NEW-ARK, N.J.’

“It seems such an unusual item I thought I might like to share it with your readers.

“If you know of such an item and have any idea of its value I would appreciate any information you can offer.

“I really enjoy your column and also want to thank  you for past favors.”—Ralph L. White, 76 Barber St., Springfield, Mass 01109

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I don’t know if Ralph ever got further information he was seeking, or if the corkscrew that came with the article was formerly Ralph’s.

More likely it wasn’t Ralph’s, as Ralph–who clearly was detail oriented–didn’t mention the advertising plate, that yet another Gun Week subscriber happened to see the article and had in their possession the Wm. J. Kammer Wines & Liquors roundlet, and cut out and saved the article to pair with his prized Williamson Bullet Roundlet!

 

The Peerless-less Peerless has a Peerless-less Peer

In April of last year, I managed to pick up a 1885 Weir patent, that instead of being marked Peerless with the patent date, was marked PAT. APL’D FOR.

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While the 1885 Peerless doesn’t turn up often, the PAT. APL’D FOR version was a new discovery, and made it into JM presentation on newly patent discoveries in 2016 at the AGM, as well as my best 6 for 2016.

(The PAT A’PLD For version is pictured on the left)

A neat variation of the patent, I was quite pleased to add it to the collection.

But, as of a few days ago…  the Peerless-less Peerless has a Peerless-less peer.

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This version also is marked PAT. APL’D FOR.

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And, it worked tremendously last night on a bottle of Goosecross Cabernet!

A Two-Pronged Sales Approach: Converse Cork Extractors with Advertising

Originally published in the most recent issue of The Bottle Scrue Times:

A Two-Pronged Sales Approach:

Converse Cork Extractors with Advertising

 

On May 9, 1899, Maschil D. Converse of New York, NY was awarded U.S. Patent number 624,457 for his Cork-Extractor; a rather straightforward example of the prong cork puller, his patent description explains:

Cork-extractors have been made with prongs which in use are inserted next the inner sides of the neck of the bottle on opposite sides of the cork by pressure to embrace the latter.  It is to this class of cork-extractors that my present invention relates.  In this type of cork-extractors heretofore various devices have been employed to adapt the prongs to operate on corkscrews of different diameters, involving more or less complication, consequent costliness of manufacture, and liability to derangement or breakage, and in all the flat external plane of surfaces of the blades or prongs have been arranged at right angles to the longitudinal axis or land of the handle, so that it is inconvenient to adjust the prongs astride the cork.  The objects of my present invention are to overcome these several disadvantages, to cheapen the cost of manufacture, and to provide a cork extractor of the type described that will be durable and that may expeditiously used, all of which I accomplish by means of the devices, combinations, and arrangement of parts and the forms of their construction hereinafter fully described and claimed, where in it will be found that my invention consists chiefly in first arranging the flat plane sides of the tapering prongs in planes parallel to the axis of the handle; second, in improved means of securing the prongs to the handle and in certain other particulars. 

Converse had sixteen patents, and the fact that he was a patent attorney is an interesting side note.   Until, of course, you come to find out that our man Maschil was actually the patent attorney for Lucien Mumford–whose pronged cork extractor (Patent No. 474,480, issued May 10, 1892) would have been one, “…involving more…complication, consequent costliness of manufacture, and liability to derangement or breakage…” that Converse describes in his 1899 patent.

In a 1913 catalog from the Shapleigh Hardware Company, they illustrate the Quick as a Wink (Converse patent) but also provide detailed instructions for use:

“QUICK AS A WINK”

 

 Does not Injure the Cork

Directions

Take the Puller into the hand so that the handle rests in the palm, putting the thumb on one tine and the forefinger on the other.  Adjust the tines to size of Cork by pressing thumb and forefinger together, insert the tines each side of the cork between Cork and Neck of Bottle, work the tines carefully below the bottom of the cork by pushing one tine then the other (a rocking motion).  When the tines are well below the bottom of the cork turn the Puller around and around, at the same time pulling very gently.  Around goes the Puller, Cork and all, and out rides the Cork on the tines and drops from the Puller without labor injury to cork or spilling contents.

If the cork has flattened edges out over neck of bottle push the tines through the flattened edges and operate as above; for Cork in bottles of Glue, Mucilage or other adhesive matter insert the tines in two or three different places before turning the Puller.   Per dozen.

No. 35—Tempered Blued Spring Steel Tines; Maple Handle, Mahogany Stained and Varnished; Nickel Plated Brass Case; Length Closed 4 in; Length of Handle 3 in; Weight per dozen 3 lbs………………. $ 4.00

One Dozen in a Box.

When I was first collecting, I ran across an estate sale not too far from where we were living in Chicago, and having exhausted the various rooms, I headed down to the basement.  And, in a toolbox amongst various wrenches and gadgets, I found my first Converse Cork Extractor.   When I headed over to pay for the item, I was told that it was free, and to have a good day.  Free!

Over the years, many variations of the Converse have made their way into our collection; European and British made examples, the Converse in Sterling, the unusual patent applied for example, a variant made of ivory and Sterling marked SPAULDING GORHAM, and of course the subject of this article several Converse cork extractors with advertising.

Before we get to the various advertisements that appear on the Converse, we should actually start with the Hawley Manufacturing Company of Stepney, Connecticut.  Hawley placed many ads in various newspapers at the time, looking for sales people for their product.

 

 

And, upon the sheath a few Converses have turned up that were indeed salesperson samples.

These salesperson samples, beyond providing a means through which to demonstrate the cork puller itself, they also demonstrated the usefulness of the sheath as an avenue for advertising one’s business.

The list that follows are the Converses with advertising that exist within our collection, with one addition from collector John Stanley and another known example from collector Robin Preston.

 

ALAMEDA COMPANY, WINE AND BRANDIES, 104 TREMONT STREET, BOSTON, MASS.

CH RITTER, DETROIT, MICH, SOLE PROP’RS, WESTMINSTER RYE WHISKEY (marked across the handle, rather than on the sheath)

COMPLIMENTS OF FRIEDMAN, KEILER & CO., DISTILLERS OF BROOK HILL 

CW GRIFFING, WHOLE SALE LIQUOR DEALER, FARRELL, P.A.

Arthur Lehmann & Co., used the converse for several of their products; Elmore Bourbon, Lehmann’s Rye, and Jersey Whiskey.  Lehmann also made “May Bloom”, “Richland”, and “Spring Valley.”  Could there be other Converse that carry advertisements for these brands?

ELMORE BOURBON – ARTHUR LEHMANN & CO. – PEORIA, ILL

LEHMANN’S RYE – ARTHUR LEHMANN & CO. – PEORIA, ILL.

JERSEY WHISKEY – ARTHUR LEHMANN & CO. – PEORIA,ILL (according to a past eBay sale per Robin Preston of pre-pro.com)

FRANK RIPLEY WHISKEY BEST FOR FAMILY USE, L. HEINEMAN JAMESTOWN N.Y.

GREEN VALLEY WHISKEY, CASEY BROTHERS, SCRANTON, PA (collection of John Stanley) 

HOLIHAN BROS, WHOLESALERS TO THE PEOPLE, LAWRENCE, MASS

MC CORMICK’S STRAIGHT WHISKEY 

MURRAY HILL CLUB WHISKEY, JOS. A. MAGNUS & CO, CINCINNATI, O.

The Converse Cork Extractors with advertising listed above, as mentioned, are largely examples from our own collection, and clearly the list is not exhaustive.  What others are out there?

If any of you have a Converse with different advertising, I would love to add it to the list, and keep a running inventory of Converse cork extractors with advertising.  Or, if you have a different Converse with which you would like to part, feel free to drop me a line.

Another alligator is heading to the corkscrew swamp…

For the last week or so, I have been keeping an eye on an non-eBay auction, and the lot I was watching ended the other day.

The lot of interest contained several corkscrews, and one was a celluloid alligator.

ALLY

As I am inherently cheap, I threw out a fairly low bid, and went about business as usual.

To my amazement, the following morning as I was checking my email, it was confirmed that I won the auction.

Wait… What?

Really?

So, it looks like the celluloid alligator (and all the other stuff) will soon be heading to the island.

The cigar tools are not my thing, so if anyone wants to make a trade, feel free to drop me a line.

Old Elk Whiskey – Always Pure

The lovely personal personal trainer and I headed off island over the weekend for a trip Down East.  For those of you not from Maine, which I gather is everyone that will read this, to go down east from where we live, you actually go north.

Down East which now is used to describe the geographical area of northern coastal Maine and the Canadian maritime provinces, stems from nautical terminology referring to wind direction, rather than physical location. In warmer months, the prevailing winds along that area of the coast blow from the southwest.  Ships then would sail downwind, to travel east; hence down east.

Not that really has anything to do with corkscrews, but what the heck.

So, we got off the boat, and headed north.

We skipped the Big Chicken Barn, but did hit the Trash or Treasure Barn.  No corkscrews were found, but we did see a few pieces of furniture that might work in the house.  And, we did hit a few more antique stores along the way.  Similarly, no corkscrews were found.

This was our first trip this far up the coast, and as we meandered north, we both enjoyed the bold rocky coastline.

Eventually we got to our hotel; which is also, conveniently, a pub.  Located in Lubec, Maine it is the easternmost town in the U.S.  So, we ate at the Easternmost restaurant, visited the Easternmost gift shop, toured the Easternmost museum, and had several pints at the Easternmost brewery in the U.S.   I will add here, that not every establishment advertises themselves this way, but several do.  Not that there are a lot of establishments in Lubec.  It is a fairly sleepy little town even this time of year, but that will change in the coming weeks as Summer travelers visit the seaside town.

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With Lubec being our homeport for a few days, we visited the Quoddy light house, East Port, and also Campobello (Canada is across the bridge from Lubec).  A word of advice in driving through Campobello…slow down for the turtles…

All in all a really fun trip.  We got to see an area of Maine that one could easily fall in love with, a bit of antiquing (no corkscrews were found), some good food and wine (and beer), and some stunning scenery.

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For those of you in the ICCA, we are hosting the meetings in Maine in 2018.  With those extra days that you might be spending, a trip down east (which includes Acadia and Bar Harbor) is definitely worth experiencing.

Okay Josef, so what does this have to do with corkscrews???

Nothing really, but it was a pretty fabulous weekend.

And, in between all of this fabulous-ity, I managed to pick up an interesting pair of ladies legs online.

On one side, it would seem, more or less common as they are pink and white striped legs.

On the reverse side, however, there are two advertising plates mounted across the celluloid which carry advertising for OLD ELK WHISKEY ALWAYS PURE.

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The Old Elk Bottle pictured above is courtesy of the Lexington Historical Museum and they date the bottle to 1895, so it is pretty much the very bottle that these particular legs might have been used upon.

An interesting pair of legs…and a great weekend.

 

 

 

midway

Well, I just looked at the calendar and realized two things.  One, I have been remiss in blogging.  And, two…we are pretty much midway through the corkscrew-collecting-year, and I need to buy/find more corkscrews!

It has already been a pretty good (half) year for corkscrew hunting already, and with Summer travels, corkscrew meetings, two more visits to Brimfield, and other wine related adventures, you never know what might turn up.

Tonight we are having a wine tasting at the shop, but tomorrow we begin a boat/road trip up the coast of Maine towards (and possibly into) Canada.  There certainly will be some antiquing along the way.

Still, at this halfway/midway point, I started to consider some of the better finds that have been made so far, and wonder if these will ultimately make the best 6 of the year.

While there have been many corkscrews already, here are the potential candidates…

 

The Voigt Brewing Davis

Spaulding Gorham Prongs

Ivory Handled H & B

Unusual (unmarked) cork extractor

General Appliance wall mount

Yes, I know that is only five…

I did pick up an interesting Thomason the other day with a really unusual fluted/ribbed barrel.  Unfortunately, it had a replacement handle–a poor choice at that…and similarly unfortunate, a marked Guinot worm.

I am still working on a more appropriate repair job, but I have no doubt this will find its way into another collector’s collection.

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It could very well be that over the course of the coming months, corkscrews are found that knock all of the aforementioned five off the list.

At least we can hope!

Stay tuned…

 

 

JFO handbook listings…

As mentioned yesterday, the Voigt Brewing Davis is a new discovery.  But, given that I have quite a few Davis/Detroit and Puddefoot/Detroit corkscrews with advertising, brewery and otherwise, I decided to revisit the JFO handbook listings to what other advertising was out there.

And, it looks like there is some more hunting to do… (the ones in bold, I do already have…)

According to the Just for Openers Handbook, here are the variations of brewery advertising (this does not include non-brewery advertisements) that appear on the Davis Detroit Corkscrew, Davis Detroit Corkscrew with Knife, and Puddefoot Detroit Corkscrew:

Davis/Detroit Corkscrew (P-002, in JFO speak)

COMPLIMENTS OF GERKE BREWING CO. CINCINNATI

COMPLIMENTS OF THE GREENWAY BREWING CO.

COMPLIMENTS OF THE GREENWAY BREW’G CO. SYRACUSE, N. Y.

LOCK CITY BREWING CO.

COMPLIMENTS MINNEAPOLIS BREWING CO. MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. “GILT EDGE”

COMPLIMENTS OF MINNEAPOLIS BREWING CO “EXPORT WEINER”

COMPLIMENTS OF MINNEAPOLIS BREWING CO “GILT EDGE”  

COMPLIMENTS OF PABST BREWING CO. MILWAUKEE

COMPLIMENTS OF JOS. SCHLITZ BREWING CO.  

THE VOIGT BREWERY LTD. DETROIT, MICH. U. S. A. “EXPORT RHINEGOLD”

THE VOIGT BREWERY LTD. DETROIT, MICH. U.S.A. “DRINK RHINEGOLD” (will soon be added to the handbook).

VOIGT BREWERY CO. LTD. DETROIT, MICH. U.S.A

VOIGT (V IN TRIANGLE AND CIRCLE) DETROIT  

Davis/Detroit Corkscrew with Knife (P-185, in JFO speak).

COMPLIMENTS OF PABST BREWING CO. MILWAUKEE.  

Puddefoot/Detroit Corkscrew (P-70, in JFO speak).

COMPLIMENTS OF GREENWAY BREW’G CO. SYRACUSE, N. Y.

COMPLIMENTS MINNEAPOLIS BREWING CO. MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. “GILT EDGE”

Of course, going through the handbook listings, gives one pause.  There are two different versions of the Greenway Brewing Davis, two variations of the Minneapolis Gilt Edge Davis, and four variations of the Voigt Davis!

With the variations in advertising, you might want to check your Davis corkscrews to see if you have one that isn’t on the list.

Want to access the handbook, and other Just For Openers information?  Click here!