One month to go (and a day)

Well, it is November 30th, and we are one month (and a day) away from the end of the corkscrew-collecting-fiscal-year. And, what a year it has been.

There are always corkscrews to be found, and while I made some terrific finds in the wild, there were some where, to borrow from Jose… the corkscrews found me.

And, as I am wont to do, I figured I would put together a little survey to see what each of you think should make the best six of the year this year.

Of course, with a month (and a day) to go until the end of the year, the list could change. And, of course, I hope something fabulous, or some fabulous somethings, find their way into the collection that will change the potential best six candidates, but let’s see what you all have to say.

Here are the candidates that are in the running:

Thanks for your playing along, and you just never know what will turn up next!

Hopefully I find a corkscrew, or a corkscrew finds me, that makes the choice that much more difficult.


Pattern of Corkscrew

From an 1889 issue of The Iron Age:

This cork-puller, which is shown in the illustrations herewith given, is the invention of E. Walker, of the Erie Specialty Mfg. Company, Erie, Pa., by whom it is manufactured.  Fig. 1 represents it attached, and the corkscrew in process of insertion in the cork, while Fig. 2 shows the use of the lever by means of which the cork is extracted.  From these cuts it will be seen that the machine is fastented by screws to a table or shelf, the cork being inserted by means of the handle at the top, which revolves freely and is connected directly wit hthe corkscrews.  

The power is applied by a crank-and-lever movement and the point is made that all side pressure and binding of the parts is avoided, making the operation of extacting the cork easy and simple, so that a lady or a child can pull a hard cork with ease.  

Fig. 3 shows the company’s special make of a screw which is used in their machine, but, being of standard thread, will fit other machines.  Other points made in regard to thtis cork puller are:  That it cuts the wire when pulling the cork, is not liable to break the bottle, and from its pattern and finish is attractive in appearance.  The company also make a strong be used on marble and in other places where the machie is to be moved often.

Open for listings

It’s that time of year, and the latest auction is open for listings.

You can link to the auction site here.

I have picked up a few over the last year that will be hitting the auction block, and just to get your pavlovian-corkscrew-juices flowing…

It will be exciting to see what others put up for auction.

And, as always, when the auction happens, I will report back with news of bidding wars, acquisitions, and any other corkscrew-worthy news!

Bidding starts November 4th!

Bid high, and bid often!

I.N. Arment’s Can and Bottle Opener (and corkscrew).

From an 1881 issue of Scientific American:


The engraving shows an improved opener for cans and bottles, recently patented by Mr. I. N. Arment of Dayton, Washington Ter.  On the top of the main bar forming the handle of several parts is a fixed brush for cleaning off the top of the can or bottle.  On one side, and near the center of the handle there is a groove in which is pivoted a corkscrew which is held in either of its positions by a spring in the bottom of the groove.  In one end of the handle is pivoted a short, stub knife blade, to be used for cleaning off wax, cutting wires, etc., and at the opposite end is a sharp curved spear which is designed to be thrust into the center of the top of a can.  This end o of the handle is slotted and contains a follower which carries a double-edged knife and a small roller.  The knife is to be forced into the top of the can, and the roller presses the side of the can at the top, to guide the knife.

A spiral spring is attached to the end of the handle and the follower, and tends to drawer the latter toward the end of the handle.  This device insures a contact of the roller with the side of the can. 

This tool, unlike many combination tools, is convenient and useful in it all of its parts.

JFO Day Three

I know, I just posted about Day Two this morning, but we just left the meeting a little while ago, and we have an early early morning tomorrow, as we had back to Maine.

Today, we headed over to Marvin’s house, and what a collection of breweriana and adverting he has. A feast for the eyes, every where you looked. There were a couple of things available for sale, and the lovely and I picked up an original piece of artwork that I will blog about at a later date.

Following the house visit, we headed over to the JFO meeting space, and the buying and selling continued. At the auction, and through various deals here and there, there were some interesting additons to my box of corkscrews to be going back to Maine.

With the auction coming to a close, a few last deals were made, and one final purchase resulted in the acquisition of another 1914 Blantz patent cork extractor.

Farewells, hugs, handshakes, and see you next years were all exchanged, and while the show will continue for the next couple of days, we will be off in the wee hours of the morning on an adventure back to Maine.

Thanks to all that attended, but a special thanks to John and Pat Stanley for having hosted us all over the years!

(If there are any finds along the way, we will report back here).

Stay tuned!

JFO Day Two

Following breakfast and a requisite mimosa, Tommy and I hit the road for a couple of antique stores 30 or so minutes away from where we are staying.

The drive was filled with corkscrew conversations, and in short order we pulled into the first antique mall. And, it was huge!

So, I ventured right, and TC ventured left, and after scouring the entire place, he came away with a small bag of knives without corkscrews, and I left empty handed.

There were a couple of corkscrews to be had, but they were either rather common, or too pricey.

With mall #1 scoured, we headed to mall #2. Same as before, I went right, TC went left, and as much of the spaces were empty, we walked out with nothing.

Then, it was on to mall #3; same. Except, towards the back of the mall, after seeing a couple of Cloughs, and a English brassy, there was a Woodward tool in pretty nice shape, and a flared frame DRGM marked Columbus. Nothing to write home about (although I am writing about it), but both with low prices, and I did purchase both.

With our appointed rounds complete, it was time to head to the JFO meeting.

Getting to the meeting space, corksrews and openers were again set up, and we each made the rounds, to see if anything new had put out for sale. And, of course, for the seventh time, I rifled through all of Tommy’s corkscrews, and picked up a patented can opener, and from TWJ’s boxes, a Mumford.

And, as often is the case, as more JFOers arrive, there is fresh merchandise put out, and at one table there was the smaller (not patented) Walker peg and worm for 10 dollars, and I grabbed that.

Then it was back to manning my table, talking corkscrews, talking openers, and just engaging in conversation.

At some point, I decided to make another round of meandering the room, and on a table just sitting there, looking like they didn’t care, were two corkscrews. I grabbed the one of them and inquired about the price.

As it was a very fair deal, I paid up, and headed across the room to share my purchase with TC–who has had terrific show with attendees picking up box after box of advertising Clough sheath corkscrews, and looking at every one for their hometown, home state, or something that relates to themselves, their friends, their extended families.

This person is buying 30 or them. This person is buying 25. This person is buying 8. And, each methodically went through the four large boxes of Cloughs.

With the lovely having been at the condo we had rented cooking dinner, at our appointed time, we needed to depart the meeting, and just before we did, TWJ came down with a couple of corkscrews that he hadn’t showed yet.

One was a can opener, with a neckstand, and I liked the look of it. From the Joe Young collection, Joe identified it as the Sowers patent of 1917 (#1,213,034). In looking at the patent drawing, there are some slight similarities, but with no markings, I will dig around to see if I can’t find a reference for it for clarification. That said, a trade was made, and it will be coming home with me.

With the new finds in hand, we headed back to the condo for a fabulous evening of food, wine, conversation, and wine.

This morning, there is to be a visit to a local collector’s home to view his collection, then it is back to the meeting where there surely will be lots more openers, corkscrews, and conversation.

Stay tuned. You just never know what might turn up next.

The Nabob…

From an 1876 issue of The Iron Age



81 Beekman Street, New York P.O. BOX 2355 Agents for


THE UNIVERSAL FAVORITE. A Rapid Knife Sharpener, Skewer Extractor, Cork

Wire Cutter, and Cork Screw.

Especially designed for family use, but a wonderful sharpener of the largest knives, is imperfectly represented by this cut.  The effect is very fine of its glistening detachable radial blades and corrugated handle, which is marvelously neat, light and strong.  It is Handsomely Plated, will Last unimpaired a Lifetime, Actually Sharpens Knives by a Touch, Cuts Cork Wire, and Draws Corks, Neatly Extracts SKEWERS, is an Elegant and Useful Present, and one of the most universally needed and salable of modern inventions.  If families or public carvers remain without Radial Steels, knowing of their existence, it is simply because the fail to comprehend their worth.  Price per dozen $15.

corkscrew and potato peeler

Okay, I will admit that I have a thing for odd tools that have a corkscrew attached.

And, while this isn’t a US patent, patent applied for, or pat. pending piece, and while it isn’t even of US manufacture, and while it isn’t very old…I just had to see it in person.

So, this multi-tool with corkscrew and potato peeler is on its way to the island.

Sent for 60 cents, postpaid.

From an 1867 issue of Scientific American

Whew! how many revolutions ?–one–my cork extractor is making all over the country ! Sent for 60 cents, postpaid. State rights for sale. Address W. G. Waterman, Middletown, Conn.

This would be W.G. Waterman’s patent of 1967 for his Improved Cork Extractor:

His patent description explains:

Letter A, handle ; B, corkscrew ; C, groove in handle for corkscrew ; D, catch; E, spring ; F, pins ; G, thumb-piece ; H, groove for spring; I, ferrule;  J, cork ; K, bottle.  The handle I construct of wood, into which, at or near the centre, of one side, I attach the corkscrew B, so connected that it can be turned down into the groove C, made in the handle to receive it.  D is a catch, fastened to the handle, to hold open the cork-screw when used.  E is a spring, one oend of which is fastened to the handle by pins F F F, the other end being attached to the submb-puiece G.  H is a groove, made the whole length of the handle A, which is wider at the bottom than at the top, that the end of the spring E may slide in it.  I is a ferrule on the end of the handle, under which the spring is made to slide, by taking hold of the thumb-piece G, which is rivetd into the end of the spring E in the groove.  J is a cork, represented as being extracted from the bottle K.

The patent description then continues to describe the piece in use:

The operation of the instrument is as follows:  Whenever a cork is to be extracted, the end of the handle I inserted into the bottle, then, by taking hold of the thumb-piece G, the spring E can be pushed into the bottle, the spring expands, and when the bottle is inserted, the cork goes between the inner sides of the spring E, and when drawn by the handle, the spring closes around the cork, and is drawn out.

If Waterman’s patent was being offered for sale at 60 cents, I am guessing there may have been a few customers that were interested. Yet, I don’t know if a Waterman patent has yet to have been found in our collective corkscrew collecting world.

If you happen to have an example, I would love to see pictures of it.

“Rocking” Cork Puller

From a 1946 issue of House and Garden


No “lost in the bottle” corks, either, with the Gourmet Cork Puller.  It is the slickest way to pull a cork your ever saw.  (It is also a bottle opener).  Very attractive gift box, too.  Silver plated model $ 2.95; Sterling Silver (with tropical wood handle) plus leather case $5.00; Completely gold plated handle $ 10.00 with leather case.  All Postpaid.  Gift Cards enclosed.  Please, no COD’s.

I have seen a few Gourmet Cork Pullers over the years, but I have yet to see one in Sterling. And, I definitely have not see one that is gold plated.

If you have a Sterling or Gold Plated Gourmet Cork Puller, drop me a line.