“…millions of corks that have been ruthlessly torn with a crude, brutal jerk from the mouth of loving bottles …”

From a 1902 issue of Iron and Machinery World:

A Wonderful Invention.

Some of our Japanese friends are evidently making up for lost time. One of them has just invented a new kind of cork-screw and got it patented. It only requires eight operations before you get ready to let the cork know that its time has come.

  1. You use the corkscrew as though it is an ordinary corkscrew and screw it into the cork, but you must not forget yourself and pull out the cork. That would finish everything at once and leave nothing to do for the patent. Of course you have the diagram with you with detailed instructions what to do to draw that cork.
  2. You pull No. 2 with two fingers.
  3. This has the effect that a pipe inclines No.4, the handle.
  4. Upon this something gives way. Part No. 5 now bends.
  5. You lower it
  6. Hook No. 6 to the mouth of the bottle, which presumably is a patent bottle, too, so that you can find a place to which to hook the hook to.
  7. Now press on part No. 7 and firmly hold the neck of the bottle with one hand.
  8. The serious and practical part of the work begins; you now work the handle up and down with the hand you have left.
    “And, then the cork will gradually come out.” Just think of the millions of corks that have been ruthlessly torn with a crude, brutal jerk from the mouth of loving bottles before this benevolent invention was made—Eastern World, Yokohama.

No illustration was provided in the issue of Iron and Machinery World, but could this be a description of the operation of Ian’s fantastic Japanese ratchet corkscrew patented in 1901? The patent drawing does use a hook-like end that rests on the lip of the bottle.

Translation anyone?

After digging around at the Japanese patent office, I managed to find the patent description for the 1910 Japanese patent corkscrew.

Of course, with my command of the Japanese language being nonexistent, and the patent description being in a jpg to pdf format, getting any kind of translation online is…well…not happening.

So, why not throw it out to our corkscrewing-around-bloggy-blog readers, can anyone translate the patent description that we have here?

At the very least, I would like to figure out who the patentee is. I would like to be able to name the inventor, so we can attach a name to the corkscrew.

Have at it folks!

And, thank you in advance!

1910 Japanese patent…

A couple of years ago, I was doing an appraisal of a corkscrew collection (for those that don’t know, both the lovely and I are certified appraisers), and in amongst the various pieces–the bulk of which were American, was an unusual corkscrew that was clearly broken, and also clearly of Japanese origins.

As was my practice, I took photos, and included it in the appraisal.

I was intrigued by the sillcock-like handle, and when I got back to Maine, I grabbed Don’s book on Japanese corkscrews, and thumbed through.

Surprisingly, there are a couple of corkscrews in the patent illustrations that have similar handles…

I settled on the piece being an 1910 patent, as illustrated in Bull’s book.

Of course, knowing that this broken example existed, I have been on the look out for a complete example.

And, keep in mind, with the exception of the illustration that is present in Don’s book, a complete 1910 patent has yet to turn up in any book on corkscrews.

As of last week however, after a bit of searching, a complete example is headed to the island.

When it arrives, I will provide better pictures and try to decipher all of the writing upon it.

Stay tuned.

And, if you have an antique Japanese corkscrew, drop me a line!