and, in brass too

As mentioned previously, the 1893 J.H. Matthews patent Columbian Door Securer advertisement, explained that it came in two versions:

“Lock and key combined with corkscrew, all in a nicely nickel-plated or polished brass case, to be carried in vest pocket.”

So, when the brass version came available, how could I not…

If you have a little tool marked J.H. Matthews South Bend with the 1892 patent date, I would be interested.

I would love to find an example of his previous patent, and compare it with these versions of his 1893 patent.

Ladies Friend…

On Sep. 02, 1879, Benjamin N. Shelley of Anderson, Indiana was awarded patent number 219,313 for his Improved Combination Implement for Domestic and Other Uses.

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When the Shelley turns up, it is usually found with a PATD APLD FOR marking (with the two D’s in superscript) as well as the mark “LADIES FRIEND.”

In Shelly’s patent drawing, he explains:

My invention consists of a combined implement for domestic and other purposes, which presents in a single device and compact form the functions of hammer, screw-driver, cork-screw, can-opener, ice-pick, glass cutter and breaker, stove-lifter, tack-drawer, saw-set, knife-sharpener, wrench, steak-tenderer, and putty-knife.

That is a lot of uses.

And, a lot of hyphens…

That said, when the “LADIES FRIEND” turns up, they almost always have damage to the corkscrew.  Odd turns, broken tips; it makes you wonder what material Shelley used for the corkscrew, or perhaps people in 1878 opted to use the corkscrew as the stove-lifter or steak-tenderer…

Still, it is fabulous combination multi-tool with corkscrew that I would love to add to the collection…

If you have a “LADIES FRIEND” laying around, feel free to drop me a line at Josef@vintagecorkscrews,com

Of course, feel free to email regarding any antique corkscrews with which you wish to part.

 

Lavin & Kitchen ~ Lavin & Lauer

5 years ago today, I received in the mail from TC, the top of a bar spoon jigger (without the jigger spoon part) that included a corkscrew.  He apparently had intended to send it to me as a b-day gift, but couldn’t find it until a few months after said b-day had occurred.

His note, at the time read:

“Knew what I wanted to give you but couldn’t find it… Found it! Happy birthday Brother. See you in a few weeks.”

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It has been sitting in the corkscrew collection since, and was a welcome addition.

The missing spoon would look something like this:


However, there are several versions of the spoon with jigger, and finding the right one appropriate to the corkscrew top has proven somewhat difficult.  Actually, the jigger spoons show up from time to time, but it is difficult to figure out which jigger spoon should be the appropriate fit.

Until recently!

For those of you that receive The Bottle Scrue Times, thanks to DC, we have come to learn that the little bar tool with jigger spoon is actually a patent.  And, was made by Lavin and Lauer.

The patent was granted to James A. Lavin and Edgar M. Kitchen for a design patent for their “Bulk Measuring Device” # 84,090 on May 5, 1931.

Following a bit of sleuthing, after reading Dick’s article, and having my much appreciated b-day gift from Tommy at the ready, the other day I finally managed to find the appropriate spoon to which the corkscrew is supposed to be attached.

Thanks again TC!  And, thanks DC for the fabulous write-up and discovery!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matthews’ 1893 patent arrives…

Yesterday, the Matthews patent door securer with corkscrew arrived, and it didn’t disappoint.

Nicely marked, it is in fabulous condition with a sharp helix, and it is an awesome addition to the collection.

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Marked PAT APL’D FOR

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Note: the door securer is threaded, and screws into the center piece.

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As mentioned previously, it is marked for Matthews’ 1892 patent, as his 1893 patent is a combination of his 1892 patent with the addition of the case and corkscrew in 1893.

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And, the corkscrew does function as a peg and worm, with the door securer serving as the peg.

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I haven’t tried this out yet…as a corkscrew NOR as a door securer…

on the dollar table…

The past week, I have been on vacation.

Yes, it’s true.

I took a week off from developing curriculum, and while some of that time was dedicated to new lighting in the corkscrew room, landscaping the yard behind the Vinalhaven house, and a few more requisite chores that needed tending, the last few days the lovely bride and I headed off on an adventure to Southwest Harbor, Maine.

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For those unfamiliar, Bar Harbor is a pretty popular place, even in these times, and on the OTHER side of Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park, is Southwest Harbor.  This non-Bar-Harbor-ish area is known as “the quiet side.”

So, we packed up the kayaks, a fair amount of wine, and headed up.

And, we enjoyed some quiet time kayaking various waterways, going out to eat again, as restaurants are allowed to re-open for dine-in eating (albeit with a fair amount of restrictions) and doing a bit of hiking and running along backroads of Maine and the trails of Acadia.

On our last day, as we headed back down to the midcoast, we hit a couple of flea markets–most of the dealers and shoppers were wearing masks–and in one tent, I found three corkscrews.

On the dollar table.

Technically, each of which was worth the asking price of $1.00, but I only grabbed one.

A simple T-pull, nicely marked for R. Murphy.

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Actually, it’s marked twice for R. Murphy Boston

After getting back to Rockland, and the lovely picking up Philos from boarding, we headed out in the Penn-Yan; taking a spin around the Rockland harbor.

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A fantastic week of getting away from it all, whilst still staying in Maine.

 

 

 

The Norvic Corkscrew Mystery

Just the other day, a patent pending corkscrew was ending on eBay, and while on my watch list, I forgot to place a bid.

I don’t have the Norvic rack and pinion, and would love to add one to the collection if you have one.

And, in some ways it was good that I didn’t throw out a bid, as the winning bidder was Bob G.

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After this win, we were exchanging messages about the piece, and we began to wonder who Norvic is / was.

That said, before we start heading down that path, Bob was messing around with the rack and pinion corkscrew, and noticed that the helix seemed a little loose.

He explained, “While inspecting the Norvic closely, I thought what?  A loose helix?  But, on further inspection, I discovered it was equipped with a replaceable helix.”

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Our exchange continued, and we set about trying to determine who Norvic might be.

Now, there is a Norvic Shipping, but they were established in the last 20 years, and we know this corkscrew has some relative age to it.

But, who (or what) is Norvic???

As you all know, I do get a little obsessive about this type of thing, and I started looking closely at the handle and the markings.

Is there information present that might help inform the search?

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As you will notice, the NORVIC is not just a marking, but appears to be a very intentional font choice; a logo perhaps?

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And, then there is the patent pending mark.

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What is that odd set of characters just after U.S.A?  Is this a clue?

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What is the purpose of this?

Decoration?

Ancient alien code?

Perhaps a clue as to the mystery of Oak Island?

That all said, Bob and I thought it would make for an interesting discussion.  And, so we put it out to all of you in blogland: Who (or what) is Norvic?

I did come up with a couple of options, but let the search commence.

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Norvic Shoes?

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Norvic Lager?

Who is Norvic!!!!????????!!!!!!!!??????

Do you know who Norvic is?  And, whether you have ideas, or have the definitive answer, drop me a line at josef@vintagecorkscrews.com

And, if you have a Norvic corkscrew with which you would wish to part, feel free to email me as well.

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!

 

 

“simple and powerful implement for extracting corks…”

From the September 4th, 1869 issue of Scientific American

Improved Cork Extractor.

Our engraving shows a simple and powerful implement for extracting corks from bottles, patented Jan. 14, 1868, by James Morton, of Philadelphia. It consists of three bars pivoted together, which, together with the corkscrew, constitute the entire apparatus. One of the bars has a socket or cap at its lower end, which is placed on and around the neck of the bottle. Near the upper end of this first post or bar is pivoted the end of the second bar, near the middle of which the third bar is pivoted. The second and third bars have handles at their outer ends, and at the inner end of their third bar is a hook.

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This hook engages with the corkscrew in the manner delineated in the engraving, and by forcing the handles together or pressing them downward, the cork can be easily extracted. The instrument is equally adapted to extracting corks on which rings or hooks are already formed so that no corkscrew is needed.

For further particulars address James Morton, 912 South Eighth street, Philadelphia, Pa

BALLET-CORKSEREWS

 

I will preface this by saying, if you are going to hire an engraver, you might want to be sure that they know how to spell.

Just sayin’

The Manufacture of Ballet-Corkscrews corkscrew arrived the other day, and while there are a couple of hairlines to the celluloid, the corkscrew is pretty fantastic.

Although, in looking closely (really closely) at the writing across the advertising plates it looks as if the piece is marked CORKSEREWS rather than CORKSCREWS.

Now, clearly they had a C nearby, as CORKSEREWS starts with a C, and MANUFACTURE also has a C.

And, as they got to the end of the plate, knowing that were trying to make CORKSCREW (or more aptly CORKSEREW) plural, but were running out of room, the S is a bit smaller, but they still made if fit.

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Even with the replacing the C with an E, the corkscrew is pretty darn awesome, and has the potential of making the best 6 of the year.

I have yet to clean the shank of the helix up yet, but it does look to have a maker’s mark. I will report back here once I figure that one out.

More corkscrew news as it happens.  Stay tuned!

manufacture of ballet corkscrews

Yesterday afternoon, for a moment, I decided to hop on to eBay, and how fortuitous it was that I did.

A pair of ladies legs had been put up for sale with a pretty fair opening bid.

Still, it was a normal pair at first glance, so I simply put it on my watch list.

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And, then I went back to the listing to check for cracks, missing celluloid, size, markings etc.

It looks to have one crack at the knee.

The second photo that came up revealed that this was not your average ladies legs corkscrew.

On one side, it was normal black and white/cream stripes, on the reverse were advertising plates like the Old Elk Whiskey – Always Pure pair of legs that I picked up last year:

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On the plates on this particular pair, the advertising was not for Old Elk Whiskey, instead across the two plates it reads: “MANUFACTURE OF BALLET-CORKSCREWS”

How cool is that?

A legs corkscrew advertising legs corkscrews!

Did I mention it also had a fair Buy it Now price?

I clicked.

I paid.

And, the MANUFACTURE OF BALLET-CORKSCREWS legs are on their way to Vinalhaven.

A really cool piece, that could make the best 6 of the year.

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Better photos after they arrive!