Lyman Metal Products

A few years ago, Don Bull had put up for sale a pair of Lyman Metal Products pieces on the auction.

And, while the pair didn’t net out lots of bids, I thought the corkscrew was remarkably cool.

Definitely not that old, but with a PAT. PEND marking, I definitely wanted to find one.

As it happened yesterday, I did.

patpendpatpend2lymanMarked on one side: LYMAN METAL PRODUCTS, NORWALK, CONN

And, on the reverse:


Probably not best 6 material, but a neat addition to the collection!



New Old Stock

As the story goes, when I was first collecting corkscrews, the lovely and I were in Maine on a quick getaway.  And, armed with my 5 dollar budget for each corkscrew, it was pretty cool that I came away with a few decent corkscrews.

One of those first few was an 1876 double helix Clough, and while I have told the story before, I regretted the purchase a little at first, as it was so perfect, I wondered if it was new.

It wasn’t new.

What had happened was that the dealer had run into some “new old stock.”

It was genuinely an 1876 double helix Clough, but it was recently discovered–with several others–in an old barn/warehouse.

Shortly after moving to Chicago, on eBay there appeared an identical new old stock Clough double helix.   In looking closely at the listing, the seller was in Maine, and after making a purchase, I inquired if they had others.

It was indeed the same dealer, that I had met in Maine, and I negotiated to buy the rest of his new old stock.

The majority of these–close to a dozen–ended up going with me to the CCCC AGM that year, and they were dispersed across attendees’ collections via the buy and sell.

Interestingly, just the other day, I was traipsing across Montsweag flea market, and towards the end of the field, an older dealer was there, and amongst his wares were two new old stock 1876 Clough double helix corkscrews.


Given it was this vicinity of Maine where I made the purchase of that first new old stock Clough…I couldn’t resist.

I bought both.

And, the price was still within my 5 dollar budget…


Three Bows

About a week ago, or so, whilst working the deal for the Sperry, I also managed to swing a deal for three folding bow corkscrews.


The three are indeed interesting, although two are doubles.    The doubles are both Williamson, with one being marked with the 1883 patent date, and the other that is referred to as the apple bow.


The third, I find most interesting, as the metal piece that serves as the hinge as a hard snap to it.


It is shown in a Simmons Hardware Company catalog from the 1890’s, along with a few others…


Of course, if anyone needs the Williamson bow with patent date or the Williamson apple bow, I am always up for a trade…


As mentioned previously, the Sperry lever corkscrew had long been on my wishlist.  And, I am quite pleased to have been able to add one to the collection.

Of course, in going back to the patent drawing, and then back to the corkscrew itself, you can see how easily the replaceable corkscrew would be replaced.

In the patent description, it mentions a turn-button, which covers the hooks upon which the corkscrew is held.

The patent description explains, “On the face of the lower arm of the lever is a turn-button, F, is hung, as to turn over and cover the mouths of the hooks, as seen in Fig. 1, or away so as to open the mouth, as seen in Fig. 3”




Open, you ask?

If you have one, go grab your 1878 Sperry patent corkscrew so you can play along…

That long flat metal piece that rests atop the lever, that would be the turn button, and it easily turns to one side.

Try it!


With the turn button moved aside, the corkscrew, which was intended to be replaced can be removed.

Easy peasy…

Of course, before you go to put your Sperry away, be sure to put the corkscrew back and turn the turn button back into place.


Okay, what is this about a Sperry-ation Josef?  You might be asking yourself.


Well, as fortune would have it, on the heels of acquiring the Sperry mentioned a few days ago, recently I was sent photos of still another.

However, in looking closely at it, the construction is different.

On the Sperry that was recently acquired, on the left, it appears to be similar to that shown in O’Leary, as well as the various Sperry examples that have sold over the years.


The one on the right, has the turn button, but lacks that riveted piece on either side of the lever to hold said turn button in place.  Instead, the turn button is riveted to the top of the lever.    It is also a bit shorter, and is more representative of the patent drawing.

And, the lever is indeed marked with the 1878 patent date.


The turn-button also functions similarly.

Whether this is an earlier version or a later version, it is the Sperry patent, but a variation from the Sperry that recently arrived.

But, if you have one Sperry, why not have two, especially if they are different.

And, so…  a deal was done, and the Sperry-ation is on its way to the island.

Better pictures will be added when the Sperry arrives!

Perhaps two Sperrys will make the best 6 of the year!




And, along came Murphy…

There were a couple of arrivals on Monday, and I am quite pleased with the additions.

The Sperry is quite handsome, with a full helix, and marked with the 1878 patent date.



And, as much as I have wanted to add a Sperry patent to the collection, a fantastic R. MURPHY BOSTON corkscrew also arrived yesterday; this version with a blade and a brush.



While I have no doubt that the Sperry will make the best 6 of the year, the Murphy will also be in the running, as it is the first example I have with a brush and blade.


Years ago, when we put together the Murphy display for the Boston CCCC meeting, there were Murphys with brushes and Murphys with blades, but not both.

A couple of nice additions to the collection!

Alfred W. Sperry patent

On May 28, 1878, Alfred W. Sperry was awarded patent number 204,389 for his Improvement in Corkscrewssp

Within his patent description he explains:

“This invention related to an improvement in the class of corkscrews in which the screw is hinged to the shorter arm of a lever, and in which the fulcrum of the lever is so constructed to set upon the neck of the bottle, so that when the corkscrew has been inserted the turning of th lever on the fulcrum will turn the corkscrew with it draw the cork.”

Also, interesting to note, is that Sperry thought to provide replacement worms, explaining:

“The object of this invention is to construct the instrument so that several screws may be supplied with the instrument, or [sic] any person unskilled may remove the screw or introduce a different one…”

Anyone ever find an extra Sperry screw?

That said, for years the Sperry has been on my wishlist, and I have always expected to find one (not that I really believed that I would) while on the hunt at Brimfield.

But, after years of hunting, looking, searching, and seeking to trade for one, the other day a deal was done, and a Sperry is finally heading to the island.





This should make the best 6 of the year, and I will post more photos upon its arrival!

And, now with the Sperry crossed off the wish list, time to rewrite the list!