Tormey x3

After posting the bloggy blog about Tormey the Lesser, I received an email from Don Bull about yet another version of the Tormey patent cork extractor.

This version, instead of two sets of hooks at the base of the shaft, was designed with a single set of hooks.  And, this one too is marked with the 1890 patent date.


If any of you have the third Tormey in your collection and are interested in parting with it.

Feel free to drop me a line.

Thanks Don!


Tormey the Lesser

In 2018, I managed to pick up a Tormey patent cork extractor at Brimfield.  It was one of the many cool pieces that were discovered that day.


It was the first time that I had ever had the opportunity to get the 1890 Tormey patent, and was excited to add it to the American patent cork extractor collection.


That said, there are two versions of the Tormey patent.  There is the larger (or longer) Tormey that is nearly 12 inches, and the smaller (or shorter) version that is closer to 9 inches.

And, given that I didn’t have Tormey the Lesser, when the opportunity presented itself, I snapped it up.

Marked, PAT. NOV. 25, 1890 on the shaft, it is a welcome addition to the collection.


Old Way versus New Way



This is the experience about the condition of nine-tenths of all corks extracted in the old way with a pen-knife, scissors, or the clumsy cork screw sometimes used when at hand, exposing the contents of the bottle to Evaporation, and greatly inconveniencing the user.


Contrasting the other with this, we need not point out the advantage to all concerned of our new industry.  One of our new substantial patrons remarked, —

“It is a Blessing to my customers, and for that reason alone I will use it.”


Spring is in the air…

Well, not in Maine.

But, pitchers and catchers will soon be reporting to Spring Training, and that is close enough.

And, as it happened, a deal was struck today for a couple of spring assist corkscrews.

Neither are American (German actually) but they are both pretty cool.





One looks to have inner spikes, like the Bohme, and in perusing the World Class Corkscrews book, it looks like it is a Sommer’s registration.

Once they arrive, I will publish better photos…

taking a chance

So, while I was on the ferry this morning to Vinalhaven, I was checking out ebay, and in a non-corkscrew category, a Haynes-Bates Axe had recently been listed with a Buy it Now.

Unfortunately, the seller didn’t opt to open the handle to reveal what should include a fold out corkscrew.


It wasn’t crazy money, so I quickly snapped it up.

When it arrives, I will share the big reveal!  Hopefully there is indeed a corkscrew.  If not, well, ya gotta take a chance every once in a while.

Interesting negotiating tactic…

After our respective yoga studio and gym visits, and requisite showers afterwards, the lovely lovely bride and I hopped in the car and headed down to a monthly antique show in Bath, Maine.

This particular show has about 50 dealers, and I have set up there myself in the past.  I have picked up a couple of corkscrews there over the years, but largely it is just a fun trip down the coast, and our antiquing adventure is usually followed by brunch on the way back up the coast.

We entered the show and made our way through the first few booths.  There were a few interesting primitives, a Kruger cone top beer can, a cool “No Hunting.  No Fishing” sign which was hand-painted, but was also signed by some distant relative of a friend we have, and a couple of intriguing culinary implements.

As we made our way to the end of the first aisle, I looked down at a table, and there were two corkscrews; a Williamson with a price tag of 25$, and a 1885 Weir’s patent marked with the 1885 patent date and…”THE RELIABLE,” also with a 25$ price tag.

IMG_2519 2.JPG

I picked up the Weir, and mentioned to the lovely that I was going to buy it, and I turned to get the dealer’s attention.  He raised two hands in the air, as I asked whose item the corkscrew was.

“Ten” he yelled.

“What?”  I responded.

“Ten, on the corkscrew.”

But, it’s marked 25?  I thought to myself.

I reached into my pocket and handed him the ten dollar bill.

The lovely had moved on to the next booth while this was all taking place.  And when I caught up with her, she asked what I paid.

“Ten”  I responded.

“What?” she asked.

“But it was marked 25.”  She remarked.

Not that I really needed another 1885 Weir’s Reliable, but I am sure someone else might.




Erie Specialty Mfg. Co.

I will preface this by saying, I don’t really collect bar screws.  I mean, I do have the Frary Fifth Avenue, and I would happily add the Frary Sullivan, but usually bar screws that find their way to the island, ultimately… find their way into other collections.

That said, the other day a really cool looking Walker patent bar screw came up on eBay, and I just couldn’t help myself.


I really dig the the red advertising place that reads “”ERIE SPECIALTY MFG. CO. ERIE, PA, PAT APLD.”