DON’T LET ANY WOMAN STRUGGLE with a corkscrew and risk cutting her hands to open tightly corked catsup, olive, pickle, medicine, or any other bottles.

From a 1903 issue of Harper’s Monthly Magazine

The YANKEE Cork Puller Should be in Every Home

DON’T LET ANY WOMAN STRUGGLE with a corkscrew and risk cutting her hands to open tightly corked catsup, olive, pickle, medicine, or any other bottles.

THE YANKEE is screwed against upright surface ; Icebox, Sideboard, Door Frame, or Wall.

IT’S ALWAYS THERE.  No hunting for a corkscrew, always ready to draw the tightest cork from any bottle.  It never slips, never breaks the bottle.

Hold the bottle in position.  Raise the handle and the screw enters the cork.  Lower the handle, the tightest cork comes out, clean and whole, leaving no broken bits in the bottle, ad it is automatically discharged from the machine.

THE YANKEE CANNOT BREAK.  Considering that this cork puller is practically indusestructbil and cannot get lost, you must realize that while its possession may be a luxury its purchase is eurel an economy. Settle this problem for a life time by ordering to-day. 

A New Corkscrew

From an 1886 issue of The Iron Age

A New Corkscrew

The accompanying illustration represents a corkscrew which is put on market by W. B. Woodman & Co., Newark, N. J.   The corkscrew is in the usual way turned into the cork until the swivel passes over the cork and rests atop the bottle.  Then the ring at the upper end of the corkscrew is to be lifted off the hook on the handle, when the handle, again turned as before, no longer drives the screw into the cork, but lifts the screw, and with it the cork, and thus withdraws the cork from the bottle.  

A New Corkscrew

The central wire, it will thus be seen, after it is inserted in the cork, remains without turning, and the cork, it is claimed is drawn without difficulty.  The manufacturers allude to the facility with which the operation is performed, and the resulting advantage.

When found, the Woodman’s is marked across the handle WOODMAN’S PATENT and with the patent date of PAT’D JAN.Y 6.1886.

It should be noted, that Woodman’s patent was awarded on June, 29 1886 (patent number 344,556).

It’s fairly fabulous…

The Von Gieson arrived the other day, and it is fabulous.

A nice addition to the collection.

What might turn up next?

On an antiquing note, the Union Antiques show in Maine has been cancelled for this year, “due to a supply chain issue experienced by our supplier of tents and tables…”


Yes. Really.

Maybe a trip to Brimfield in September is in order…

We shall see…

Ham’s Patent Cork Puller

From an issue of American Stationer


There is always more or less difficulty in getting corks out of bottles.  Many a knife has been broken and still the cork moved not.  A patent cork puller has been brought out which overcomes all these troubles and saves the cork besides. 


The accompanying illustration shows what it is.  To work it insert the blades between the bottle and cork, rock it forward and back until a firm grip is secured, then turn and pull gently.  It never fails to work, and saves both bottle and cork for future usefulness.  The retail price is 10 cents, and the New York News Company will supply the trade.

As the article explains, this is, “Ham’s Patent Cork Puller.” That would be Herbert H. Hamm and his patent for a cork-extractor (#702,001) awarded June 10, 1902.

And, Triple H explains in his patent description:

“In a cork-extractor, the combination of a resilient bow or fork, a hollow handle embodying a plurality of open-ended hollow parts, the said open-ended hollow parts being adapted for engagement with each other, one of the said hollow parts being slotted to receive the arms of the bow or fork adapted to be alternately contained within the said handle and to be fitted therein to extend from the said handle, the middle portion of the bow being adapted to form a bearing against the interior of the hollow handle, substantially as described.”

While I have yet to find a Herbert H. Ham patent, and not for a lack of looking, there have been a couple found–and when found (see O’Leary page 117) they are marked “PAT APPL’D FOR.”

As shown in O’Leary

If you happen to have one, I would love to add it to the collection.

Hayward’s Cork Puller

From an 1886 issue of American Druggist; an article taken from Scientific American focusing on Hayward’s Cork Puller, and some editorializing from the editors at American Druggist.


JOHN W. HAYWARD, of St. John’s New Foundland, is the inventor of an appliance for drawing corks, which makes it easy to get a cork out of a bottle as it is to drive it in.  An ordinary cork, O, of the required size, has a piece of strong non-corrosive twine, 1, let into tis sides.  A button or shield, 5, also non-corrosive, is placed on the inner end of the cork to prevent the twine cutting through it.  A hand metal tag, 2, is secured on the twine where it is knotted, or in case a capsule is placed on the end of the piece, 4, which hangs below the capsule.

A rubber button, 3, placed on the outer end of the cork, has a hole slit through which the twine passes.   In 6 is shown the wire attached to the

bottle neck, 61 representing the hook, and 62 the manner of locking it in place.  7 gives the appearance of a bottle when corked and the twine secured on the wire hooks.  In 8, a capsule has been placed over the cork, ad the tag is seen protruding beneath its edge.  9 shows the manner of securing the twin over the wire by stretching the elastic

button, 2 and 91 the top view of the bottle when the operation is completed When the cork is driven into the bottle, the rubber button is turned over on the twine and tag, as shown in 10, to protect from injury.  The button is then reversed, one loop of the twine passed under the wire hook on one side, and by stretching the rubber button the other loops is secured on the opposite hook.  The process of unbottling is shown in our last figure. The tag is grasped, and by an upward twist the capsule is torn open.  The twine is disengaged from the wires, and, by passing the first and second fingers through the loop, the cork can be readily drawn.  This system does away with the corkscrew entirely, each cork carrying its own means of release.  It is applicable for any liquids, medicines, liquors, inks, etc., and as the corks are not injured they may be used a number of times.—Scientific American

[It is by no means necessary to resort to so intricate a device as the one just described, to accomplish the purpose of getting out a cork without the intervention of a corkscrew.  A piece of of small but strong twine is all that is essential, and two (of several) modes of using it are shown.

In Figure 2, one end of the twine having been tied about the neck of the bottle, the tine is laid across the centre of the opening, allowing a little slack towards the end that is fast (a).  The cork having a notch cut across its lower face to prevent the twine slipping, is then pushed into the neck of the bottle, and the free end of the twine (b) will serve as a means for drawing the cork out.

A second, Figure 3, which is a little more elaborate, consists in first tying a loop, a, by means of which to attach a label, or to serve for hanging the bottle up out of the way of children, etc., then tying the ends together at b, so as to encircle the neck, cutting one of the ends short, and tying the other tightly around the cork in the manner shown.  This serves not only to furnish a cork-drawer, but prevents the cork from being lost.  Either method is especially useful in case of medicine bottles for travellers.—ED. AMER. DRUGGIST.]


On May 17, 1892, William G. Browne and John L. Benton were awarded patent # 475,222 for their “Can Opener.”

And, when this can opener turns up, as shown in the patent drawings, it is marked with the patent date and also with NEVER SLIP.

For those of you thinking, that the date rings a bell, it should, as W. G. Browne was awarded a patent in 1895 for another can opener; patent # 541,034

And, when that can opener turns up (with the addition of a fold out corkscrew) it is marked with both patent dates; for 1892 and for 1895, and is also marked KING.

A later version, maintains the 1895 patent date, but then adds a 1908 patent date; which is Reynold’s patent (#896,577) for a combination tool; also marked the KING, with the patent was assigned to Browne and Dowd MFG. Co.

The other day, I picked up yet another version, that predates the 1895 patent, and references the 1892 patent.

A departure from the NEVER SLIP form with leanings toward the 1895 Browne, it is marked PAT. MAY 17-92 AND PAT PEND’D.

And fortunately, includes corkscrew…

A fun addition to the collection.

“…the prettist looking and the most perfect articles of practical use.”

The other day, I ran across an interesting corkscrew, with its original box.

The label on the box, reads as follows:




It is u_______ cork Screw and

Opening of Crown Cork

as well the prettist

looking and most

perfect articles

of practical


Not sure if the corkscrew really is the prettist (sic), and I am also unsure of the word(s) that comes after “It is.”

Still, pretty cool to find the piece with its original packaging.

Also, it does have a utility model patent number. In looking at Bull’s book on Japanese patented corkscrews, you can find the patent drawing, which according to the image, is supposed to have a can opener hidden inside the handle.

I am guessing that attribute in the patent didn’t make it into production.

That said, I will certainly give the handle a twist when it arrives, just to be sure.

Aquos Distilled Water Company

From a 1916 issue of the Indianapolis Star.

Aquos Distilled Water is Used for a Wide Variety of Purposes

Distilled water answers a constantly increasing number of needs in the home, in commerce and in industry, according to the officers of the Aquos Distilled Water Company, 420-West St. Clair street.

Its popularity as a table water grows because of its unexcelled purity and the convenient form of bottles in which it is delivered.  It is an indispensable article in the sickroom, the nursery and the hospital.  It is very generally used for drinking purposes in offices and business buildings.

It serves many uses in commercial and industrial lines.  Druggists, manufacturing chemist and pharmaceutical homes must have it.  Storage battery companies use it.  It is a necessary part of the manufacture of mirrors and it enters into the plating of metals.

Useful In Industries

Photographers find distilled water preferable for a number of their operations and in other lines where the chemical properties of water given the perfection of processes the distilled kind is universally preferred.

“The Aquos Distilled Water Company is twelve years old.” Said I. C. Frush, president and general manager.  “Our business has grown rapidly, owing to the quality of our service and the growing appreciation of the value of distilled water for a variety of purposes.  Each year more families adopt Aquos water for table use, because of the assurance that they will be free from the diseases that may be introduced through water.

“Aquos distilled water is delivered to houses in cases of dozen half-gallon bottles, at a cost of 75 cents a dozen, with a rental charge of 50 cents for the bottles.  Within the ‘mile square’ downtown we maintain a cooler service for offices and buildings, icing the cooler daily and supplying five-gallon bottles of water as frequently as they are needed.  The charge for the cooler service is $2 a month, with ta charge of 50 cents for each five-gallon bottle of water.’

Ginger Ale in Demand.

“In addition to the distillation of water for domestic and commercial uses, our company manufactures Aquos ginger ale and a line of bottled sodas.  The ginger ale is one of our specialties and the growth of the demand for it shows, in our opinion, that it meets the most exacting judgement of what a palatable and beneficial ginger ale should be.  Too many persons have formed an impression of ginger ale as something biting and unpalatable, but they are familiar only with improper compounds which are ginger ale in name only.

“We claim for Aquos ginger ale that it is, “imported in quality, domestic in price,” and the growing preference for it sustains our contention.  It is mile, exceedingly pleasant to the taste, absolutely pure in ingredients, and really quenches the thirst.  It has a tonic quality that makes it an agreeable and beneficial beverage for some disorders of the stomach and alimentary tract.”

The Aquos company operates two stills.  Recently it installed a new bottle washing machine.

Recently, a hook cork puller made its way into the collection that carries an advertisement for both Aquos Distilled Water and Jason Mineral Water…

A neat addition to the collection!

Dudly II

As I have mentioned in the past, and if I haven’t, I should have…one of the best pieces of advice that I ever received in corkscrew collecting was from the late Lehr Roe.

We were at a Just for Openers meeting, and I had just made a trade with Tipped Worm Johnny, and had then visited Lehr’s room where we were discussing corkscrews. I showed him new acquisition, and explained that it was a double.

Lehr responded to my comment, with “are you sure?”

He went on to explain that on this particular cork extractor, that there can be variations. Variations in the markings. Variations in the materials used…

A few days later, I had returned home, and compared my JFO acquisition with the “duplicate” piece in my collection.

It was indeed a duplicate, but Lehr’s advice was indeed valuable, as whenever I run across a corkscrew that I would assume is a duplicate, I hear Lehr’s voice and ask myself “are you sure?,” and then make a comparison. And, there have been many many many times, where I thought a new acquisition is a duplicate, only to find that it is a variation of a patent.

Which…brings me to my point.

And, I actually have one.

Clearly the Dudly mentioned the other day is missing the prong that is used to make it a functional cork extractor, but this morning I once again took Lehr’s sage advice, and compared the two pieces.

They are different…

Yes, the missing prong thing would make them different, but there are differences in their construction. Minor, but different.

The most obvious (other than the missing prong thing) is that the opening through which the front prong is released have two different shapes; one is arched and the other is squared.

Not that these variations mean that we each need to find two versions of the Dudly, but interesting that two versions exist. Which leads me to a question for all of you that have a Dudly in your collections. Which version do you have? Squared or Arched…?

Send photos to .

A few wins…

Well, that was exciting!

On Saturday and Sunday, the 983 corkscrew auction lots came to an end with many corkscrews changing hands, with said corkscrews soon to be sent off to collectors across the world.

There were a few bidding wars, a few that snuck through, and a few that garnered attention after the auction was over.

I managed to win a couple (I guess technically 14) and I am quite pleased.

The first, is an interesting multi-tool that I have been hunting for a while. I actually already own this piece, but, it was missing the fold out blade, and I have after a complete one for some time–more on this piece soon!

And, I picked up another Sterling spoon with folding corkscrew.

And, after the dust had settled, I agreed to a fair price on a box of a dozen Greeley cork pullers. I don’t really need a box of Greeley cork pullers, but it will make for a nice display amongst the other cork pullers in the collection.