didn’t you mention a trade???

In yesterday’s Brimfield recap, I did mention a trade.

Yes, a trade.

A few weeks back, Tommy picked up an Sterling and Ivory handled Gorham prong puller that resembles a Converse.  It shares many similarities with the Converse patent, with the biggest exception being that instead of the 1899 patent date, it reads STERLING 97, and SPAULDING-GORHAM–the sheath is also marked STERLING

Spaulding & Co., originally was S. Hoard & Co., but in 1920 was bought by Gorham Mfg., and 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 but date range to the cork puller; somewhere between 1920, but before 1943.

In a 1941 Spaulding-Gorham Catalog, they feature a similar cork puller.  The lines are pretty similar, but it is described “Wine Cork Puller, sterling, and is illustrated with a Sterling handle, rather than one of Ivory and Sterling.

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Do any of you have the Spaulding-Gorham that is entirely Sterling?

After Tommy picked it up, we had discussed trade.  And, he threw out several options that would seal the deal.  That said, after I picked up the General Appliance wall mount with corkscrew, that was what he really wanted.  But, given that I had been trying to find that particular corkscrew for well-over a decade, I just didn’t want to part with it.

The conversation went back and forth over the course of the Brimfield adventure; scarcity, rarity, desirability, value, etc…  And, it continued with possible trade scenarios.

On Wednesday, Tommy presented another offer.  We had batted around a couple in the preceding days…  Folding Greeley patent and the half sized signed Clark, in exchange for the Spaulding-Gorham prongs.

I thought about it for a minute or two.  Tommy has a thing for the smaller (but not miniature) corkscrews, and I have thing for Converse and other prong pullers, so after grabbing a small Hall’s Red Devil Skull poison indicator corkscrew from his stash and placing it next to the prongs, I agreed.

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I also promised, that should I ever begin to trade and/or sell the General Appliance wall mount, that he would get the right of first refusal.

But, given that it will surely make my best six for 2017, I am guessing it will be sticking around.  I am thinking the Spaulding-Gorham prongs will also make the best 6!

Thanks for another epic trade TC.  There have been so any over the years, and I look forward to the next one!

So, what happened at Brimfield?

I know it has been a few days since I blogged, so perhaps I should catch up.  Yes, we went to Brimfield!

Of course, I might as well fill you in on all the other minutiae…

On Saturday, the lovely personal personal trainer, headed off island, while I stayed and completed further finishing touches on the wine shop.  And, as the appropriate hour, I hopped on the boat, and headed over myself.  The afternoon, and the following day, was spent mudding and painting our mainland digs, and also a little further prep for the Brimfield adventure.

On Monday, I headed down early, to check into the house we rented for the week, and also to pick up Tommy from the airport.  Along the way, I passed countless antique stores that were all closed given the early hour.

A bit after my departure, the lovely, who painted her way out of the kitchen, headed back to the boat to pick up our friend Alison would also be joining us for the Brimfield trip.  They plan was to pick up some additional groceries (I already had the wine) and meet up at the rental house.

Tommy’s plane arrived as scheduled, and it wasn’t long before we were back at the house.  He had brought a few corkscrews for show, tell, and possibly trade.  And, I had done the same.  He is rather desirous of the Western Appliance wall mount, and Tommy had recently acquired a Gorham Sterling prongs, that I really wanted as well.  He also brought along a couple of unusual pieces that he recently picked up, one that looks to be a patent from the back of O’Leary.  I have long felt that it is a good idea, when the opportunity presents itself, to be able to handle and examine new discoveries.  What are the functions?  What does it look like in person?

A little wine was consumed, and at that point no trades had been completed.

A little later, a message came in from the lovely, that they were about 20 minutes away.  And, upon their arrival, we popped some Champagne, and toasted our third Brimfield adventure together (third with the four of us, I have been going for for a decade or so).

The evening was spent with convivial conversations, but still an early night, as we would be waking up early, for Brimfield Day One!

Brimfield Day One:

Day one started early.  By 4:30 in the morning,  Tommy and I were on the road to the show.   Sue and Alison would catch up with us later.  After parking the truck, we wished each other luck, and headed off in different directions.

There were many corkscrews to be had, but largely of the Williamson, Clough, and Walker variety.  And, of those, pretty much of the common Williamson, Clough, and Walker variety.

Over the course of the morning, Tommy and I would cross paths, and eventually ran into Barry.  For the most part, the conversation went something like,

“Anything yet.”

“Not really.”

And, we would then part ways again.

In the final field of the day, however, there were a few better corkscrews available.  Tommy picked up a Murphy button, and Barry unearthed the find of the day; an Aaron Austin Toilet Necessity in really nice condition.  As it is a double for Barry, Tommy was hot for it.  I have no doubt a deal will be made between the two of them at some point.

I had a few nice little finds over the course of the day.  Early in the morning, I happened upon a simple t-pull with brewery advertising; Rochester Brewing…  At the hefty price of 8 dollars, I figured it was a good thing.  Later the morning, I happened on the identical corkscrew with different advertising.  This time for Genesee Brewing.  It was a bit more than the Rochester, but it makes for a good pair.

There were a couple of perfumes, which will go into the lovely’s collection, a couple of mechanicals, a Nylin patent, an interesting figural fish marked DENMARK, and a really nice Anri Bacchus stopper–missing the cork.  The cork will be replaced and will remain in the collection, although there is little reason for a wine stopper in our house…

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Not a bad day one.  Of course, there were lots of other things for sale!

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In between, the lovely and Alison arrived, and we met up for a picnic lunch; tail gating on the truck.  Following lunch, they girls headed off on their own adventure, and we would get messages when they ran across a corkscrew.

With all of the fields of the day having been visited, we called it a day.  According to our various devices, it showed that Tommy and I had traversed 14.6 and 13.5 miles over the course of the morning/afternoon respectively.

As has become tradition, the evening was spent with wine and stories of the day, and a Taco Tuesday dinner.

It was, again, an early evening as Wednesday would be an early start.

Brimfield Day Two:

On day two, I headed down to the kitchen and proceeded to consume several cups of coffee.  Tommy soon came downstairs, and we were once again headed to the show.  The first field opens at 6 am, and we rolled into the parking lot at 5:54.  Hightailing it to the gate, we were walking in with the awaiting crowds, just as the field opened.

In the first aisle, I found an interesting Anri Monkey nutcracker, but the price was pretty high.  I still toyed with picking it up.  In the end, I left it behind, but let a friend who collects Anri know where it was.  I did pick up a couple of things in the field; a flash was the first purchase of the day, this was followed by an Atlas Beer opener/pencil, and this was followed by a Murphy patent bell with the spike.  I have lots and lots of Murphys, and this indeed is a double (or quadruple, if you want to get technical).  Still, it is a good thing, at a very fair price.

After a bit more hunting, I ran into Tommy a booth where a particular dealer always has corkscrews.  There was a really handsome Henshall with an interesting button and bone handle.  I got to witness Tommy’s negotiating skills in action.  Still, the dealer was a little less inclined to drop much in price, so we walked away.

We meandered a bit through other fields for the next hour, and in anticipation of the 9:00 field opening, headed over and grabbed a seat.  A few minutes later, Barry joined us, and we discussed how the show was going so far and also gave us a chance to catch up on recent finds.

As the field opened, the lovely messaged to say that she and Alison had arrived, and would head over to the field.  I had picked up a few things in my wandering; a few more perfumes, a Sterling roundlet (in not great shape), and few other interesting bits.

The 9:00 field, was eventually followed by the 12:00 field.  Not much there, and Barry and I crossed paths multiple times.  We actually found ourselves in one booth at the very same time, reaching for the very same corkscrew.  But, 35 dollars for a Hercules seemed a little steep to both of us, and similarly both of us opted to leave it behind.

There were, however, other things to buy at the various fields…

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After exhausting the various fields, Sue and Alison decided to head off to Litchfield for a bit of an adventure, and TC and I decided to head off further afield, and do a little antiquing before meeting back at the house for the nightly show and tell and wine.  This was followed by grilling a few filets, and a trade.  Yes, a trade!

Between TC and I, it was quite the pile of corkscrew and openers accumulated thus far…

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Brimfield Day Three:

Day three started, a little less early, and I drove Tommy back to the airport–amongst other corkscrews, the aforementioned Henshall was in his suitcase, as he went back to the dealer and attempted negotiating the price again.  The dealer stood firm, and Tommy sprung for it.  It is a pretty cool corkscrew, after all.

After dropping TC off, and heading back to the house to help check out, I returned to Brimfield for Mays; which opens at 9 on Thursday.  Walking the line, I didn’t see Barry.  I wondered if he had decided to skip, and start the drive to New York and then back home to Florida.

I wandered the aisles, and at the fourth tent, picked up a nice Murphy with acorn handles; one of the earlier ones.  Two aisles over, I picked up a Bridgewater patent coffin guy.  The price was fair, and I had traded my last one to Leon on his visit to the island.  It was nice to find a suitable replacement.

Not much in the way of exciting corkscrews, but a few pieces.  And, I managed to find another perfume for the lovely.

After one more traversing of the fields, I headed off to say goodbye to a few dealer friends, and hit the road for Rockland, and the following day, hopped the boat back to the island.

For those wondering, there were a few other things to buy in Brimfield on day three…

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All in all, a pretty good Brimfield adventure.

General Appliance Co.

Several years ago, I was sent a collection of past best sixes.  Not the actual corkscrews, but binders of photos and printouts of various collectors best six corkscrews from years prior.

Interestingly, some of these best sixes consisted of a single photograph, some would be a typed up report with several photos, and still others would be a little more elaborate.  As I paged through the volumes of photos, when I got to something I hadn’t seen before, I make note of it.

In one particular best six, was a fuzzy image of a wall mount corkscrew.  I scanned it, and with a little photoshop, enlarged it so I could get a clearer image.

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Okay, maybe not so clear.

But, I knew that eventually I would find a similar one.

Fortunately, there was a description of this wall mount attached to it, so I did have an idea of what I was looking for…  a “General Appliance Co.” wall mount.

After years of searching around, a General Appliance Co.” wall mount corkscrew is heading to the island…

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Marked GENERAL APPLIANCE CO.  SO. CHARLESTON W.VA. PAT. PEND.  this very well could make my best six of the year.

Of course, now the hunt for information on General Appliance Co. of So. Charleston will begin.

Let’s see if we can’t find some literature about this unusual wall mount.

Stay Tuned!

Adding “Simon Lewis” to the Clough list…

As mentioned in the past, there have been several lists published regarding known examples of Clough medicine/advertising corkscrews, both wire or flat band, and sometimes both.  Appearing both on Don Bull’s website, as well as in the Spring 2015 issue of The Bottle Scrue Times, finding a Clough with advertising that isn’t on these lists is pretty cool.

The other day, I happened to click over to eBay, and what should appear, but a folding Clough corkscrew with advertising that wasn’t the usual Listerine, Rawleigh Man, or Goldman’s…

With pretty low Buy it Now attached to said listing, I promptly hit the appropriate button, paid, and then visited both Don’s site, and shortly thereafter Barry’s list.

Nope!

Not on either.

It has yet to arrive, but from the description and the images, it looks to read:

COMPLIMENTS

— OF —

SIMON LEWIS

WINES AND LIQUORS

ROCK ISLAND,

—- ILLS —

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No reference to any inside markings from the seller.  I will provide updates when it arrives.  But, who is Simon Lewis…

As a company, Simon Lewis advertised regularly in the Rock Island Argus and Daily Union, and if one was to spend a dollar, you would get a free bottle of California Wine.

After a bit of digging, I found a couple of references to Simon Lewis and a revolver that was a free gift with purchase.  Finding that a little odd, I happened upon an advertisement that showed the revolver as a “free gift.”

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Who wouldn’t want to drink wine from a revolver shaped bottle?

A nice addition to the Clough advertising corkscrew collection!

“…clever advertising novelty (patented).”

From the January 10th 1915 edition of  the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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FOR sale outright, clever advertising novelty (patented), with dies complete; sells quickly; big profits; owner too far west to manufacturers: snap: sample free.  Josephine Spielbauer.  71 Columbia st., Seattle, Wash.

In doing research into the Josephine Spielbauer patent not much information or history has been uncovered.  I have since been in contact with a Spielbauer family member, and we are exchanging information.  A most recent email set about yet another search, and the above classified ad came up.

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So, Miss Josephine was selling her patent and dies as well to create the corkscrew/opener.  Could it be the “samples” that she sent out, are the few pieces that exist within our respective collections?

Interesting also to note.  The Spielbauer patent was awarded in November of 1914, by 1916 the state of Washington implemented prohibition (earlier than the rest of the country).

No more beer?  Would production of corkscrews and openers cease as well?

 

Empire Automatic Cork Extractor

From an 1889 issue of The Iron Age

Empire Automatic Cork Extractor

This article, patented April 16, 1889, is manufactured by the Empire Knife Company, West Winsted, Conn.  Its form and

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general construction are show in the accompanying illustration.  A spring in the head detaches the handle from the corkscrew rod, so that the corkscrew does not turn in the cork while pulling out, and the corkscrew can be set to turn any distance into the cork, so that the cork need not be pierced through, thus saving it for use again.  The power of this corkscrew is referered to as such that the hardest corks can be pulled with ease.

Of course, the Empire Automatic Cork Extractor is the Seymour L. Alvord and Edward E. Brown patent of 1889 (number 401,672).  Not often turning up with a patent mark, when they do, they are marked “PAT. APR 16 ‘89.”

This one still eludes me, if you have an Alvord and Brown patent with which you would like to part, I have plenty of tradebait available!

Send your order today, pin a dollar bill to coupon below and the shipment will go forward to you the same day as received.

From an issue of Air Wonder Stories, November 1929

Ten Tools in One

A SMALL but handy article which serves every possible need of the all-round mechanic.  In valuable in any emergency.  An excellent combination of all utilities for the household featured:  HAMMER—KNIFE-SHARPENER—NAIL-PULLER—BOTTLE-OPENER—SCREW-DRIVER—CORK-SCREW—CAN-OPENER—WEIGH-SCALE—RULER—TABLE OF WEIGHTS AND MEASURES.

Just glance at the illustration and you will see how really useful this article is.  The “Ten in One Tool” is 10 inches high and finely nickel-pated.

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The new tool is not only handy in the household, but every TOURIST, AUTOIST, CAMPER, PICNICKER, BOYSCOUT, FISHERMAN, CANOEIST, etc., should carry in his bag one of these indispensable combination tools.  No SHOP, OFFICE, STORE, GARAGE, FARM, BOAT, should be without one.  Price $1.00 POSTAGE PAID.

Be the first one to own the “Ten in One” in your town.

Send your order today, pin a dollar bill to coupon below and the shipment will go forward to you the same day as received.

GRENPARK TOOL CO.

245 Greenwich St.

New York

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – — – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – — – – – –

Greenpark Tool Company

245 Greenwich Street,
New York, N.Y.

Enclosed find a $1.00 for which please send me prepaid your “Ten Tools in One

Name

Address

Town                                       State…..

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – — – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – — – – – –

Now, we know the “Ten in One Tool” as the Frederich J. Alderson patent of 1932.

Alderson (having already obtained a Canadian patent) was awarded his American patent for a Combination Tool (# 1,845,038) on February 16th.  85 years ago tomorrow!

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“This machine is very simple and rapid in its operation…

From an 1881 issue of Scientific American

NOVEL CORK EXTRACTOR.    

We give an engraving of a novel cork extractor lately patented by Mr. Chester C. Clark, or Brownwood, Texas, and designed for drawing corkscrew from bottles containing champagne, beer, ale, mineral waters, etc.  It is to be attached to a table, shelf, counter, and is operated by the lever handle, G, projecting from the back of the apparatus.

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CLARK’S AUTOMATIC CORK EXTRACTOR

The bottle from which the cork is to be extracted is placed between the jaws, E, which close and hold it securely when the lever, G, is raised to drive the harpoon head, a, downward through the cork.  The lever, G, has its bearings in a cross piece of the frame, A, and carries a segmental gear wheel, F, that engages the rack on the back of the slide, B.  A shaft journaled in this slide carries at is lower end the extracting instrument, a, and is provided with a pinion near its upper end that is engaged by a bevel wheel journaled on the slide, B, and carrying an arm that extends laterally and between stops on its frame, A.

Two bill-pointed levers, b, are pivoted in a cross bar, D, and extend upward through the guides in the lower portion of the slide, B.  The bar, D, slides upon two rods projecting vertically from the bed of the machine, and is supported by spiral springs.

The operation of the machine is as follows:  The bottle being in positon between the jaws, E, the lever, G, is raised to nearly a vertical position forcing the blade, a, into the neck of the bottle, severing the wires which secure the cork and cutting the cork in two in the center.  Just as the blade passes through the cork the end of the lateral arm on the bevel wheel strikes the lower stop on the frame, A, and turns the blade, a, one-quarter around.  The lever, G, is now brought down, elevating the sliding frame and blade, and lifting the cork from the bottle.  Before the frame reaches its highest point the end of the lever on the bevel wheel, G, comes against the upper stop, causing the blade to be turned to its original position, and at this time the jaws, E, release the neck of the bottle.  The two bill-pointed levers, b, divide the cork and expel it in two parts away from the blade by the lateral motion imparted to the levers by the engagement of the curved ends by the guides on the slide, B.

This machine is very simple and rapid in its operation, and should find a large use in hotels, restaurants, and other places where large number of bottles are opened.

a leg up…

Sometime around Christmas, I ran across an online advertisement for a Detroit leg corkscrew.  And, the person was asking $122.00.  That of course seemed fair enough given the photo.   I responded in short order, asking about other pictures and the like.

In response, the person said, that they would like a bit less than their original asking price, and explained that they decided on 122, as they needed to put something out there, and given the corkscrew was patented in 1894, at it being–when the ad was placed–2016, the 122 year old corkscrew was given a 122 dollar price tag.

After then exchanging phone numbers, I accepted their reduced price, and promptly sent monies.

After payment was made, and accepted.  It was the last thing I heard from the seller.

They promised to send pictures and tracking, and…

And, then nothing.

Being a (somewhat) patient person, I just waited.

And, I waited.

And, I waited.

And, I waited.

No emails, no phone calls, no tracking numbers…and, more importantly, no Detroit leg.

After a couple of weeks, I sent an email, which garnered no response.  And, I picked up the phone a couple of times, only to reach voicemail, and no return phone call.

I waited a bit longer.

Last week, closing in on a month later, I sent another email.  This one was a little more…shall we say, blunt and to the point.

The next morning, I received an email with apologies and explanations, and a promise that the leg would be mailed of that day…and, this was followed up by an email with tracking information.

Yesterday, the leg indeed arrived.  And, my faith in humanity restored.  This leg is the plain variety, and there is some areas of finish loss, but it is nicely marked, and has a nice snap to the corkscrew.

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Thanks for the deal unnamed-detroit-plain-leg-corkscrew-sellers, and I hope that everything improves for you both.

This leg would be a double/duplicate for me, so feel free to offer up any trades you might have!  If you would like information on the Detroit Cork Screw Company, check out my Detroit Cork Screws page

let the bidding begin…

After writing the post about the folding Greeley cork puller, I received several inquiries asking to purchase the piece.

As the offers were pretty much the same, and not wanting to play favorites, I told the interested parties that I would put it up for auction, thusly taking favoritism and friendship out of the mix.

All the inquirers and offerers are indeed friends, and when you all are offering the same amount, or close to the same amount, how/who would I choose?

So… the Greeley is currently up on eBay, with a few bids already.

If  you are interested in tossing out a bid, or just want to watch the bidding action, you can link to the eBay listing here.

Stay tuned!