patented in Rockland Maine

For those of you that found yourselves traipsing around Maine last month searching for corkscrews, there is a corkscrew that was patented in Rockland Maine in 1882.

And, while I have blogged about the Aaron M. Austin patent (#266,073) previously (5 years ago or so) the other day, I managed to find a second example.

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According to  Leading business men of Bangor, Rockland and vicinity: embracing Ellsworth, Bucksport, Belfast, Camden, Rockport, Thomaston, Oldtown, Orono, Brewer published in 1888, ““Austin’s Toilet Novelty,”  “gives but a very imperfect and inadequate idea of the many uses to which that truly wonderful combination tool can be applied…””

Marked with the patent date of  PAT 10-17-82, it is a very cool little combination tool.

That said, given that I already have one in the collection, perhaps a little trade could happen.

Anyone need the 1882 Austin patent?

Drop me a line.

 

Showing & Telling

While both AGMs will be written up in The Bottle Scrue Times and the Quarterly Worme respectively, and surely there will be a myriad of pictures from both, the AGMs both had fabulous show and tell sessions.

This is one of my favorite parts of our get togethers.  Fascinating new discoveries are shared and passed around.

Yes, there are still new discoveries!!!

As for me, I got to show and talk about the 1867 Van Zandt patent…

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as well as the new Syroco Corkscrews book.

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Only a few copies of the book were available at the meeting, but should you want a copy you can email Ion Chirescu at his book email: chirescu.book@gmail.com .

SyrocoWood Corkscrews and Decorative Accessories, is 330 pages of all things Syroco, and has fabulous imagery of the corkscrews and openers that we covet.

With that said, I would like to steal a moment here, to congratulate Tommy Campnell for receiving the Bernard Watney Award for his work on this book.

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Congrats Tommy!!!

A few days at Brimfield…

As it usually happens, the day before Brimfield starts, we drive down, get settled in some Airbnb that we have rented, it is often an early evening, as the how begins at daybreak the following day.

With the meetings soon to be upon us, construction projects, and a few other circumstances that needed to be addressed, in the weeks proceeding Brimfield, we opted to cancel our reservations, and we were going to skip Brimfield.

Still, as we got closer to the date, and our plans began to open up a little, I came up with a new plan.  Since we would be on the mainland on the Monday before, I would get up in the wee hours of the morning on Tuesday, and drive down to Brimfield and get there for the opening.

We both that this was a fairly silly idea, but it is Brimfield after all.

So, with the alarm going off at 1:00 in the morning, it was coffee, shower, coffee, go…  And, away I went.  Driving the next four hours, and pulling into Brimfield with time to spare.  I found another cup of coffee, and in short order parked, and was headed out on the hunt.

Given it was early, and dark, and September, the dealers were slow to open.  Still, in that early first hour, I did pick up a couple of corkscrews.  One a simple t-pull with acorn handle, and a few minutes later an interesting corkscrew with a coin in the handle, marked Aubock (for 8 dollars).

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There were a few other corkscrews seen over the course of the morning, but these were a bit overpriced for what they were; Perille single lever, Mumford Patent (this was available in May as well, and is still with the same dealer for the same price) a fair amount of Williamsons and Cloughs, etc.

As the day wore on, and Dealer’s Choice was to open in about an hour, I ran into someone who had in his possession a collection of corkscrews.  After a bit of a give and take, and given the price was a smoking deal, we made a smoking deal.

A little money changed hands, and these were now in my backpack:  closed barrel perpetual with embossed barrel, a much less expensive Mumford patent, small French T marked Guinot, early Henshall with bone handle, and the two aforementioned corkscrews the acorn handle and the Aubock.

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Not a bad morning!  And, the drive certainly seemed worth it.

Quite pleased with myself, I headed over to Dealer’s Choice…

At Dealer’s Choice there were few corkscrews to be had, not over priced, not under priced, just few corkscrews to be had.  Still, there would be another field opening shortly, and you never know what might turn up.

After paying my entry fee, and waiting for the appropriate time, I went through the gates, and at one of my first stops was discussing cork extractors with a dealer who historically has corkscrews in his wares.  This time around he had a Tormey cork extractor; one that I have been after, and while his price was high, he is also someone that has yet another cork extractor that I definitely want.  I thought, why not pay a little extra, and grease the wheels bit for a future purchase.

As I was counting out money, another collector, that I didn’t know, happened on the same booth, and asked if the dealer had any Aubock pieces.

He didn’t.

I asked if me minded if I showed him the one I had just picked up.

He didn’t.

The other collector was thrilled, and mentioned how much one had sold on eBay.  I had told him I had seen the listing, and gave him a price.  He grabbed his wallet and started counting out the cash.  Coincidentally, what he was willing to pay for the Aubock piece, offset the extra cost of the Tormey.

After placing the Tormey in the backpack, I was once again on my way.  There were a few more corkscrews about, most notably a celluloid mermaid, which was a very fair price.

And, having been up since 1 in the morning, and having walked about 14 miles in the heat and humidity, I decided to call it a day.

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Fortunately, I did have a hotel room lined up, and headed for a much deserved glass (or two) of wine and an early dinner.

The next morning, I headed back to the show.  A field would be opening at 6 am, and then another at 9.  I would skip the afternoon field, as I wanted to get back home to Vinalhaven.

The morning field didn’t offer much, but I just took my time and hunted around.  I did pick up an interesting pocketknife that looks like a Frary design but the blades were stuck closed and a Converse for a combined price of 10 dollars.

When the 9 am field open, the first booth I walked into had a fabulous champagne knife. The dealer deals in old tools, and I was quite pleased walking away with for 15 dollars.

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I meandered through the rest of the field and did pick up some Anri stoppers for a fellow collector that wouldn’t make it to the show until Thursday.  And, did eye a couple of Sterling and stag corkscrews which were a bit too much money.

Did I mention there were antiques other than corkscrews at Brimfield?

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With a 4 hour drive ahead of me, I kept my eye on the time, and started the walk back to the car at 10:00.

Filling up with gas, I started the trek back to Rockland, and then hopped the boat to Vinalhaven.

A good day and a half at Brimfield, with a few goodies coming home with me.

But, Josef, didn’t you mentioned that the dealer had a collection? 

Indeed I did.

These didn’t fit in the backpack, and were boxed up and put into the back of the xterra.

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Okay… it was a stellar day and a half at Brimfield.

Gilchrist’s Lightning Cork Puller

From the the September 19, 1899 issue of Iron age…

The Gilchrist Lightning Cork-Puller

The Gilchrist Mfg. Company, 20 and 22 Michigan avenue, Chicago, Ill., are manufacturing the cork-puller illustrated herewith. In use the neck of the bottle is pressed firmly into the mouth of the puller. When the handle shown is pulled down the teeth in the arm work in teeth in the upright rod, causing it to resolve and screw the corkscrew into the cork, the latter being then readily extracted. Returning the handle to its former position discharges the cork.

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It will thus be perceived that one movement of the lever pulls and discharges a cork. If desired corks may be partially drawn and left in bottles. The manufactures claim that it as making a most convenient article for users and a very attractive sample-case for the trade.

taking a chance on a lot

The other day, a lot of openers with a few corkscrews was put up with a buy it now on eBay.  The price, wasn’t cheap, but it wasn’t crazy money either.

Within the lot was several advertising corkscrews, a peg and worm, an interesting looking roundlet, and a piece that looked like a Jenner patent missing a few of its appendages.

I thought about it briefly, and figured, I might as well go for it.

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The lot arrived yesterday in the mail, and there were some interesting pieces within the lot.  The Jenner, is indeed a Jenner with the 1871 patent date, but missing a few bits.  And, the peg and worm is interesting as it has its leather case.  My favorite piece, however is the roundlet.   It is the smallest roundlet I have ever seen, and it signed F & B Sterling.

Had the Jenner been complete, it would have been the star.  But for now, it will be a place holder until a complete one turns up.

Was the lot worth the price of admission?  Definitely worth it.  That said, if anyone out there has a complete 1871 Jenner patent, I am on the hunt for one.  Feel free to drop me a line.  Heck, if you have a complete one that is has a broken worm, I would be interested : )

13 years, and an alligator…

Time sure flies.  13 years ago, I started the blog.  Initially, it was hosted on MSN, but at some point, MSN migrated their blogs to wordpress.

Unfortunately, when they made that migration, photos prior to the new host site were deleted.  So, if one was to go to an old post from 2005 and 2006, there is verbiage, but no photos.  Still, there have been quite a few blog entries over 13 years, and I promise to keep it going.

As it happened, recently I won an non-eBay auction lot,  with a carved alligator handle corkscrew.  After confirmation that I had won, and promptly sending payment, I was informed that the auctioneer’s preferred shipper would arrange for shipping and provide an invoice for shipping.

I received the invoice for 40 dollars.

40 dollars for shipping???

For a corkscrew that weighs about 8 oz.

I called the aforementioned preferred shipper, and questioned their rationale behind charging 40 dollars (it was actually 39, but still).

A couple of days later, I received a revised invoice.

The package arrived yesterday, and the corkscrew was well packaged; box, paper, bubble wrap, etc., and it was a good thing, as box itself, had been crushed a bit.

 

The alligator remained unscathed.  And, it is a handsome little corkscrew, and a nice addition to the corkscrew swamp.

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Kinsey Knight III

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On October 10, 2013, I blogged about a Syroco Golden Knight corkscrew, that had was sold on eBay (not to me) for a buy it now of $125.00, and this example came with a box signed Kinsey, and included a business card from Kinsey Distilling.

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A few years later (May, 2016) I blogged about another Syroco Golden Knight corkscrew that turned up on eBay, this too included a box signed Kinsey, with no business card, and sold for a fair amount more than $125.00.

Two golden knights, two Kinsey boxes…  Hmmmmm…

Of course, and I blogged about this too, clearly there had to be some connection.  And, after a bit of research, I found a couple of advertisements for Kinsey Whiskey that featured a golden knight.  And, you might want to note the resemblance, down to the little K (Thanks Bob Gilbride) that appears both on the Kinsey advertisements and the Syroco Knight’s belt buckle.

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Of course, what was equally interesting was that there was “GOLD” knight and a “SILVER” knight pictured in the advertisements.

Was Kinsey having these made by Syroco, and handing them out as promotional items to their favored dealers or retailers?

Is that the reason for the two boxes and business card that have turned up?

And, if they were having the gold knight produced, or purchasing it as a promo, could it be that somewhere out there…there is a Silver Syroco Knight?

Cue the suspenseful music…

Indeed, there is…

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And, this is not a re-painted formerly Golden knight, it looks to be original, and as you can see also includes a copyright for Syroco.

I haven’t put the Gold knight and Silver knight next to each other, I will do that later today.  But the other difference, beyond color, is that Silver knight has a wire worm and bell that Syroco used on the Syroco Indian, rather than the bladed worm like the Golden knight.

I will continue the hunt for linkages between Kinsey and Syroco.

But, what do you all think?  Given the two Gold knights with Kinsey boxes and business card, the advertisements of the time that date in the late 40’s featuring the Gold and Silver knights, the fact that there has yet to be found a Syroco catalog reference for the knight, and now a Silver Syroco knight, are these Syroco/Kinsey knights?

The hunt continues!

Stay tuned!

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!

Pisula’s Reliable

The other day, a Reliable corkscrew was listed on eBay with it’s original box.  It had a fairly low buy it now, so I snapped it up.

What I found interesting about it, is that it isn’t the 1885 Weirs patent that is marked with the patent date, and with “THE RELIABLE” or “RELIABLE”

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Instead of the U.S. Patent date, this is a corkscrew from France, and is an advertising piece for D. Recher Co, Chicago.

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And, it is indeed marked RELIABLE…

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And, while I haven’t tried it, I am sure that one can rely on it.

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IMPORTED by D. RECHER & Co, CHICAGO U.S.A.

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On the box, which is a bit tattered, someone has written “Best one.”  I am assuming that at some point someone had decided that not only was the Reliable reliable, but perhaps it was the most useful, or perhaps the best they had tried.  Or, maybe the best of their collection.

Also written on the box, in pencil, is “Belongs fo Fr. Pisula.”  And, inside the box, was a scrap of paper that read the same: reading “belongs to Fr. L. Pisula.”  Perhaps Father Pisula, loaned this out with hope of getting it back?  There was a Reverend Leon E. Pisula in Fort Wayne Indiana, and the seller of the Reliable lives only 20 miles away.

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The good reverend is no longer with us, but the corkscrew upon which he relied still is!

manufacture of ballet corkscrews

Yesterday afternoon, for a moment, I decided to hop on to eBay, and how fortuitous it was that I did.

A pair of ladies legs had been put up for sale with a pretty fair opening bid.

Still, it was a normal pair at first glance, so I simply put it on my watch list.

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And, then I went back to the listing to check for cracks, missing celluloid, size, markings etc.

It looks to have one crack at the knee.

The second photo that came up revealed that this was not your average ladies legs corkscrew.

On one side, it was normal black and white/cream stripes, on the reverse were advertising plates like the Old Elk Whiskey – Always Pure pair of legs that I picked up last year:

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On the plates on this particular pair, the advertising was not for Old Elk Whiskey, instead across the two plates it reads: “MANUFACTURE OF BALLET-CORKSCREWS”

How cool is that?

A legs corkscrew advertising legs corkscrews!

Did I mention it also had a fair Buy it Now price?

I clicked.

I paid.

And, the MANUFACTURE OF BALLET-CORKSCREWS legs are on their way to Vinalhaven.

A really cool piece, that could make the best 6 of the year.

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Better photos after they arrive!