On Sep. 02, 1879, Benjamin N. Shelley of Anderson, Indiana was awarded patent number 219,313 for his Improved Combination Implement for Domestic and Other Uses.
When the Shelley turns up, it is usually found with a PATD APLD FOR marking (with the two D’s in superscript) as well as the mark “LADIES FRIEND.”
In Shelly’s patent drawing, he explains:
My invention consists of a combined implement for domestic and other purposes, which presents in a single device and compact form the functions of hammer, screw-driver, cork-screw, can-opener, ice-pick, glass cutter and breaker, stove-lifter, tack-drawer, saw-set, knife-sharpener, wrench, steak-tenderer, and putty-knife.
That is a lot of uses.
And, a lot of hyphens…
That said, when the “LADIES FRIEND” turns up, they almost always have damage to the corkscrew. Odd turns, broken tips; it makes you wonder what material Shelley used for the corkscrew, or perhaps people in 1878 opted to use the corkscrew as the stove-lifter or steak-tenderer…
Still, it is fabulous combination multi-tool with corkscrew that I would love to add to the collection…
If you have a “LADIES FRIEND” laying around, feel free to drop me a line at Josef@vintagecorkscrews,com
Of course, feel free to email regarding any antique corkscrews with which you wish to part.