Dog’s Head Guinness


If you look closely at the Dog’s Head Brand Bass and Guinness advertisement, you will notice there is a corkscrew on the ground, and the bottle in the chap’s hand has wires that would serve to keep the cork within its confines.

Of course, the cellarman at his feet wouldn’t assist in cutting those wires.

However…this would probably work splendidly.


And, not coincidentally, it is marked across the handle, “DOG’S HEAD GUINNESS.”

A fun addition to the collection…


The other day, I was perusing eBay, when I saw an interesting lazy tong corkscrew.

At first glance it looked to be a normal Ideal, but instead of IDEAL and Brevete, it is marked for Jaboulet Vercherre:

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A Burgundy producer.


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I do have a thing for corkscrews with advertising, so I snapped it up.

A neat variant of the Ideal.


Best or Favorite Find…

This morning, had life been normal, I would have woken up before daybreak, and headed out from some airbnb the lovely and I would have rented, and made my way to the antique mecca known as Brimfield–this would have been the second day of Brimfield’s May show.

On Wednesday morning at Brimfield, the first field opens at 6 a.m., and after buying your ticket for 5$, people line up waiting to get in.

And, and the appointed time, I would head off on the hunt;  peaking into darkened areas with a flashlight, and over the course of the morning, asking the question and getting a similar response countless times:

“Do you have any antique corkscrews.”

Only to be met with, “What?”


followed by the internationally recognized pantomime of pulling a cork

On occasion, the response is in the affirmative, and sometimes, just sometimes, something fabulous is unearthed, sometimes emerging from a case, just laying out on a table, and on one or two occasions, emerging from a dealer’s pocket knowing that I would make my annual May sojourn to the fields of Brimfield, and they were holding it back for me.

That said, with the show being cancelled this year, I thought I would share some of my Brimfield finds from over the years, and also share my favorite find.

The images below, are all from various trips to Brimfield, and all are corkscrews found in those fields…



I will have to admit, when I got the collection at Brimfield, it was a banner day…

There have indeed been some fabulous finds at Brimfield, and these are just the from a few years of attending.  Over the years, you would be amazed at what turns up, and this is with other corkscrew collectors roaming around Brimfield as well–and also making fabulous finds.

Still, despite some rare variations of the legs, and some cool patents, that have been picked up in May, July, or the September shows, there is one corkscrew that is my favorite Brimfield find.

And, that would be the A.W. Stephens patent.

It was on an early morning, on the first day of the show, and in a dark tent, I found a tray of Clough corkscrews, and noticed one that looked a little different.  And, feeling for the end–opposite where the corkscrew would go it, it was hollowed out.  I paid the asking price, and brought it into the early daylight to reveal the cigar perforator that was hidden inside.

It made my best six of that year, and was a very cool find whilst traipsing the fields.

While there have been lots of other finds, in various antique malls, stores, and similar, I would love to hear from each of you about your favorite find at you regular antique show.

If there is a regular antique show that you go to, or a regular large flea market that you attend, what has been your best or favorite find in the wild?

8 Greeley’s

April 1889 issue of The Iron Age:

Greeley’s Cork-Extractor.

This article which is represented in the accompanying illustrations, embodies, it will be observed, new features in a cork extractor. 


It is represented in Fig. 1, while its use is indicated in Figs. 2 and 3.  From these illustrations it will be seen that it consists of a piece of steel bent and handled in the form indicated.  There is however, along the back a groove, which is not clearly shown in this cut, this groove being intended to permit the air to enter the bottle when the extractor is in place, thus overcoming the suction which is countered in drawing the cork the usual way.  As indicated in Figs. 2 and 3, the extractor, the end of which is rounded as to conform with the inside of the bottle neck, is inserted between the cork and the bottle, and when sufficiently far down the hook on the end is turned into the cork, placed direction under the end of the cork which may then be extracted.  It is obvious that in the use of this article the cork is not as liable to be injured as with the ordinary corkscrew, and it is referred to as doing its work efficiently.  These cork-extractors are made in eight different sizes and styles, giving a requisite variety for the different uses for which they may be required.

“…eight different sizes and styles…”


We have three different versions within our collection.  Two different sizes, and the folding Greeley (found in a tray of button hooks in Florida).

I know that John Morris has an example that has a hole for one’s finger.


But, that would make 4 versions.  Two different sizes, as shown in O’Leary (4.5″ and 3.7″), the folding version, and  also the Morris example.

I will add here, that in other literature from the time explains that the Detroit Cork Screw Company was making the Greeley Cork Extractor, and I wonder if that could explain John’s other find.  The folding Greely bow, with the patent date, but with a helix instead of the hook cork extractor.



So, let’s see if there are any variations within our respective collections.

Grab a measuring tape, or ruler, and go check your Greeley’s.   Do you have other sizes of configurations?

It pulls corks with despatch…

From an 1894 issue of Hardware Merchandising:


In the march of invention the indispensable cork puller has not been forgotten.  One of the latest developments of the kind on the market is the “Rapid,” which is handled by M. & L Samuel, Benjamin & Co.  The accompanying cut conveys a good idea of its construction.  The reasons advanced by the manufactures to justify their claim that it is the best cork puller extant are these—


It is the simplest and cheapest machine on the market ; in pulling corks you can never break a bottle, as the strain is on the strongest part of the bottle ; you can cut the wires and pull the cork out of any bottle with one small movement of  the hand ; is much smaller and therefore takes less room than any other machine of the kind ; the parts of these machines are interchangeable, so that in case of breakage of any part can be replaced without returning the entire machine to the factory.  The puller, prior to being operated, is screwed to a table.  The cork of the bottle is placed directly against the under part of the body of the puller, and the bottle is held firmly until the screw enters the cork.  Then the lever is pushed down quickly until it hangs straight with the body of the puller.  This action cuts the wire and removed the cork which on throwing back the handle drops from the screw.

For those wondering, this would be the Harry J. Williams patented bar mount corkscrew (US. patent # 450,957) of April 21, 1891.

Davids’ Improved Corkscrew…

From an 1884 issue of American Stationer:


A neat, novel and useful invention has recently been patented by John B. Davids, of John B. Davids & Co.  It consists of a combined inkstand and pen-rack, designed to meet the wants of the million, the price placing it within the reach of everybody.  The pen-rack is a decorated metal band having sectional arms, which, when extended, form supports for pens, pencils, &c.  The inkstand, upon which the band pen-rack is fitted, is of the class known as “bell” or “trumpet” mouth, is cylindrical in form and has a deflected base, which insures safety from over turning—the whole comprising as perfect an article in all its parts as could be desired.  The pen-racks are in assorted lithographed colors—red, green, yellow, lavender, &c—and will form a valuable addition to the stationer’s stock in trade, inasmuch as they can be arranged to make an attractive display, and at the same time prove an attraction to buyers.  The cuts represent the pen-rack stand with the arms closed, as it is packed for shipment, and with the arms or supports turned outward, ready for use.  These stand complete, each with the Davids’ improved corkscrew fitted in the cork, and containing the firm’s productions—to wit, black blue, violet, red, green, scarlet and carmine inks and chemical writing fluid, combined writing and copying fluid and blue-black copying ink—can be obtained from the manufactures John B. Davids & Co, 184 William street.


For the convenience of the trade these goods are packed in neat lock-corner wood boxes, each containing one dozen.


Anyone out there have the Davids’ Improved corkscrew?

Combined Corkscrew and Time Dial…

From an 1891 issue of Pharmaceutical Record:


THE CLOUGH CORKSCREW AND CAPSULE COMPANY, 132 Nassau street, New York, issue an illustrated price list of vial Corkscrews and Capsules.  The Wire Corkscrew Rings are made plain, and also with name in raised letters stamped on the ring with steel dies.  Folding Corkscrews are made with decorated metal handles, with name printed to order on the outside, or both outside and inside.  Combined Corkscrew and Time Dials are so arranged that the Corkscrews serves as a hand to designate the hour at which time medicine is to be taken.  Clough’s Capsule is metal cap designed to fit over the upper portion of the cork, to facilitate the removing of the cork from the bottle.  This company is prepared to quote prices on these goods in quantities up to 1000 gross.


For years, I have been on the hunt for the Combined Corkscrew and Time Dial; also known as Clough’s Medicine Dial.



On Don Bull’s site, Ron MacLean explains that in 1977 Bob Nugent found a number of them and gave them away as Christmas gifts to fellow members of the ICCA.

I was not a member of the ICCA in 1977 (I was still in grammar school), so I wasn’t one of the fortuitous recipients.

That said, yesterday a deal was struck, and a Combined Corkscrew and Time Dial is heading to the island.



Thanks for the trade RL!



Paging Dr. Pierce…

In 2017, I blogged about the Whitehead & Hoag corkscrew.

Ten years earlier, Mark Woodard had found an example, and as I mentioned three years ago, Don Bull published information about Mark’s find on his Daily/Weekly Screw page.


And, as a follow up, Jack Bandy responded showing his example of the Whitehead & Hoag, also appearing on Don’s website.


As it happened, I ran across a different example, and it made my best six of 2008


Over time, Mark’s R. V. Pierce version made its way into John Morris’ collection, and Jack’s Mangels and Schmidt’s version ended up on Tommy Campnell’s collection by way of Don Bull.

For those keeping score, the Whitehead & Hoag corkscrew, is the G.B Adams patent of 1896.




Sometimes marked on the side with the 1896 patent date, and on the back with both 1894 and 1896 patent dates, the patent was assigned to Whitehead & Hoag.


Three years ago, I managed to procure a R. V. Pierce, M. D. Whitehead & Hoag pinback corkscrew.



And it sits adjacent to the “I have my “eye” one on you.” version.

It made my best six for 2017.


A couple of days ago, a deal was struck for another Dr. Pierce, and it got me wondering what other examples are out there?


I recognize that I have asked this question before, but do you have a Whitehead & Hoag (G.B. Adams patent) pinback corkscrew in your collection?

If you do, what is the advertisement upon it.

And, if you are up for a trade, R.V. Pierce, M.D., would happily come make a house call.