Van Zandt Re-Vizited

While the deal for the Van Zandt patented cork pull was struck last week, the agreed upon price and subsequent payment needed to be completed through the U.S. Postal Service with a USPS Postal Order.  And, with holidays and Sundays, and then the lovely and I heading off  for a get away, the Van Zandt didn’t make it into my hands until yesterday.

Opening up the package, and looking at the piece, I am beyond pleased.  The mechanism works just as Van Zandt describes in his patent description, and oddly enough, functions very much like the Call’s Ideal that made my best 6 for last year.

I haven’t tried to clean the piece up (yet) but as mentioned the other day, this should make the best 6, and perhaps the best cork puller / corkscrew

of the year.


I have done a bit of research into Van Zandt, and have yet to unearth anything other than the patent.  The hunt will continue, as will the hunt for antique corkscrews.

Stay tuned!


Cork AND corkscrew

Last week, an “unusual old corkscrew” was listed on eBay with a description that read, “Looks to be an unusual corkscrew…..or something is missing?”

I looked closely at the images, and it looked vaguely familiar.


Have I seen this somewhere before?

And, over the course of the week that the auction ran, I would return to the listing.  Okay, so there is a chip in the handle, and the it looks as if the retaining washer thingy at the top of the corkscrew might have been popped.  And, what is this odd thing in the middle.  It isn’t a bell mechanism, so how would it facilitate the withdrawal of a cork?

Still, the opinion bid was 19.99, so why not take a chance.

I placed a snipe bid, and grabbed O’Leary (not that I grabbed Fred, but his book).

Heading to the patent drawings, I turned to page 207.  Not immediately mind you, I thumbed through until I came across the M. Beust patent of 1892.

And, what is the M. Beust patent of 1892 for?

A combined Cork and Corkscrew…

Now, the patent drawing only resembles the piece, but could this be a Beust patent?

It arrived yesterday, and I am quite pleased with it.  That said, in looking at it closely, there are no markings.


Further, the patent description mentions a detachable screw, and this one isn’t coming apart anytime soon.   I sent pictures to BT, who said he found a corkscrew of similar construction to the one I just picked up.

Okay, there are at least two…

But is this the Beust?

To complicate this, while the little retaining washer thingy is raised, the worm is tight, and there is no play in the piece where someone could have removed the washer retaining thingy, and added the stopper piece, only to put it back together.

What do you all think?  A Beust?  Is it missing something?  Do you have one?




“Bristling with attachments, this new gadget is armament for assault on eight different kinds of containers.”

I have been doing a little searching around about the Pretorius 8 in 1 tool (with corkscrew of course) and had sent a couple of photo to Barry.  He asked if I had any idea as to a date for the piece.


With the graphics on the box, I assumed late 40’s early 50’s.


Well, wouldn’t  you know it, after a bit more searching around, I found an advertisement for the Pretorius:


Can Opener Does Eight Jobs.  Bristling with attachments, this new gadget is armament for assault on eight different kinds of containers.  It pries off caps and lids; it helps turn stubborn screw caps off all sizes; it shears off can tops; and it punches milk and beer cans. Priced at $2.95 by Pretorius Approved Products, Glendale, Calif.

Appearing in a 1950 issue of Popular Science Monthly, it seems like we can date the 8 in 1.  Why they opted to not mention the corkscrew is unknown.

Clearly that is the most important function…


More on the Trunks…



I have updated the Anton Trunk corkscrew page with the new images, and a side by side comparison of the two variations.  But, I figured, I might as well add those photos here as well:


They are actually quite different, beyond the britches…

The hunt will continue for more information on Trunk, and if you have any to share, please drop me a line.

Trunk II


A couple of years ago, I managed to find evidence that Anton Trunk was involved in the Frary Cutlery Company.  While I had wanted to add an Anton Trunk Patent (1886 #D-16,799) corkscrew to the collection prior to uncovering this piece of information, it made the want a little more like a necessity, and in 2014 I did manage to acquire one, and it made my best 6 for that year.


And, having acquired a Trunk, and having been able to provide a few linkages to Frary, I added a Trunk page to the website.  You can visit that page here.

Of course, if you look at O’Leary, you would note that there are two variations of the Trunk.  One nude, and one that reflects the patent drawing, with her wearing some sort of britches…

As it happens, the other day, I ran into another version of the Trunk.   The photos online were rather dark, and I couldn’t make out if the helix was in good shape, but the price was fair enough, and I snapped it up.

It arrived yesterday.

In looking at the photos online, I didn’t realize how different the two versions are.  Obviously, if one was nude, and one wasn’t, there were two different castings.  And, when you put them side by side, you can see how different one is from the other.


Of course the helixes are different as well:


And, neither are marked with any patent information.

Still, I am quite pleased to have the second (or first) version of the Trunk patent, and I am pretty sure she will make the best 6 of the year.

If any of you have any information on Anton Trunk’s corkscrew, please drop me a line, I would happily add it here, and to the website.

Greenwich Champagne Tap

This morning, over coffee (big surprise) I was making the usual rounds.  Auctions, eBay, etc., and ran into a listing that I found most interesting.  It was for a champagne tap with what looks to be the original box, but one that didn’t look familiar.

With all of my corkscrew books (minus O’Leary and Bull’s ultimate) currently in storage whilst I build cabinetry for the “corkscrew room,” I dropped an email to Don asking if within his book on Champagne Collectibles was there a reference for a Greenwich Champagne Tap.

In short order (relatively short order), I received an email from Don:

“Not in Champagne Collectibles and not familiar with the Greenwich Tap…”

I knew I hadn’t seen it before.


I went back to the listing, bought and paid for the tap, and immediately started searching “Greenwich Champagne Tap” and the company name on the box.


So far, nothing has really come up.

Do any of you have this tap?  Do any of you have information about this tap.

The box has the following writing:

Greenwich Champagne Tap

DIRECTIONS –The top screw must be closed when inserting the tap in the cork. Top open give the top screw about two turns back, and reverse. Be sure to close it.

Meinecke & Co., NEW YORK

Once it arrives, we will see if there any other clues about the piece…


the “inside information”

After publishing the Emulsion de Scott blog this morning, I promptly received an email from Don Bull.  Turns out that his Emulsion de Scott is indeed marked on the inside of the band as well.


Here is the “inside information.”

The inside of the band is marked:

Clough and Maconnell New York

Para La Tisis Eserofula Etc

Scott & Bowne, New York

Clough’s Patent, July 22-84

Don also followed up with bit more insider information. Here are a few more Cloughs that have advertising/information on the inside of the band:

Inside of Use Wright’s Liver Pills: Clough’s Improved Cork Screw Patent July 22-84

Inside of Lactopeptine for Dyspepsia: For Indigestion, Clough’s Cork Screw, Pat. July 22-84

Inside of Carter’s Inks (small version): Clough’s Cork Screw, Clough & Maconnell, New York, Pat. July 22-84

Inside of Warner’s Safe Cure: Tippecanoe, Clough’s Patent, July 22-84

Thanks Don!

Scott’s Emulsion / Emulsion De Scott

According to Don Bull’s website, and more recently Barry Taylor’s article on Clough medicine corkscrews, there are a couple of different versions of the Clough metal band corkscrew advertising Scott’s Emulsion.


Don’s list of known advertisements mentioned Scott’s Emulsion and Emulsion de Scott.



In Barry’s article he mentions the both versions, but also includes that there is a red version of the Emulsion de Scott.

Yesterday, the Emulsion de Scott example came up on a buy it now or best offer on eBay.

In looking closely at the image (and actually blowing it up a bit on photoshop) it looks to have writing on the inside of the band.  This writing is not mentioned in either Don’s or Barry’s respective publications.  Is this yet another version?  Check your Emulsion de Scott corkscrew… does it have writing inside the band?


From the image on the eBay listing, it looks to have MACCONNELL NEW YORK, and some additional information for Scott’s.  I did ask the seller if they would share what it says, but they couldn’t quite make it out.

When it arrives here on the island, I will update with the “inside information.”


If you have an unusual advertising Clough medicine band corkscrews, feel free to send pictures, I am always open to a trade.


“…the wants of many a poor and unfortunate who finds he has too short a hold on some choicest blessings of life.”

From the August 2, 1876 issue of the Steuben Republican (Angola, Indiana).

Israel Kemery, Esq., of this place, has invented and is about to have patented, a very ingenious device for extracting corks from bottles. The model we saw was rather a rude affair, yet showed at once the utility as well as simplicity of an article long needed, and one which will very certainly be brought to great use. Mr. Kemery will, by this little instrument, meet the wants of many a poor and unfortunate who finds he has too short a hold on some choicest blessings of life. Call Kemery’s harness shop, south-east corner of public square, or at Blass & Aldrich’s clothing store, where can be seen and explained the operation of Kemery’s new cork puller. Mr. George Blass is to be the principal agent for the sale of territory. It will be best for you to take your own bottle along.

Kemery is about to have a patented cork puller?  I searched Google Patents…nothing.  I went to the waaaay back of O’Leary where there is an index of patentees:






Nope, no Kemery listed.

According to the article, there was an example/model made and demonstrated.

What did Kemery come up with in 1876?  Was he ever granted a patent, that we don’t know about?

Let the hunt begin?


three Murphys


As mentioned in the Brimfield post, I picked up the early example of the “challenge-type” Murphy corkscrew.   It is a welcome addition to the collection, and soon enough will be added to the Murphy page.

But, for kicks, I thought I would show three Murphys together.  Each has different markings.  Two with the arched frame, and one with the squared frame.  The one on the right has marking on the handle as well.



As you all know, I like Murphy corkscrews!


And, while I would love to add another Ivory handled one to the collection…



what I am really after is an unusual Murphy that has little teeth below the button.


Do any of you have this?  I would love to trade!