Noyes Patent Variant

Written by our good friend, Bob “The Toolman” Roger:

NOYES’ Patents

Updated 3/21/23

H. W. Noyes was issued patent 793318 on June 27, 1905 for a ‘waiters-style’ corkscrew. He added some improvements to it as patent 824807 on July 3, 1906. He also had a later patent for a different style (898387) of corkscrew.

In his two earlier patents his idea was that by pushing down on the ‘neck stand’ the worm was also opened, and his two patents included three different versions of neck-stand. Most examples of his patents are marked with the Green River brand of whiskey. The common version has a worm with 2 ½ turns, and the pivoted end of the shank is round with cupped inside surfaces of the handle to accommodate the shank. 

Figure 1 shows two examples of Noyes’ patents, an uncommon version and the common version. In the uncommon version, the worm has 3 ½ turns, yet its overall length is the same as in the common version. The pivot end of its shank is flattened and the insides of the accommodating handle are also flat. The collar on the upper shank is also much less pronounced compared to the common version. Both his 1905 and 1906 patents have the ends of the handle cupped to accommodate and hold (snap in and out) the round end of the worm shank. 

What is different in this uncommon version, from both patents and the common version, is that the worm shank end is flattened, and the inside ends of the handle are also flat (not cupped). To achieve holding the worm in the open or closed position, Noyes has two holes in the worm shank – one above and one below the pivot hole. Then he shallowly stamps corresponding points of the handle ends from the outside, forming protrusions (nubs) on the inside. These four nubs (two in each of the handle ends) engage the two holes on the shank from each side, providing the ‘snap’ needed to hold the worm either open or closed. 

The outside of the neck stand on the common example is stamped with the Green River marks, and the inside is not marked. The uncommon version shows no evidence of any marks on the outside, but is stamped PAT JUNE 27 05 JULY 3 06 on the inside. 

It appears that after obtaining his second patent, Noyes experimented with a different method of securing the worm without having to cup the handle ends, and it was a more expensive design to manufacture so was not produced in quantity. This is the only example of this uncommon design that I am aware of.

Thanks for the contribution Bob! And, for those that are reading this. Check your Noyes-es! Do you have this variation?

Beckley’s Cork Extractor

From a 1915 issue of Popular Mechanics:

CORK EXTRACTOR (FIG. 9)—This extractor has a pointed shank, on one side of which is a slot.  Mounted in this slot is a pivoted bar which lies flush with the shank when it is being thrust into the cork but swings outward and engages the cork when the shank is pulled upward.

That would be Harry Beckley’s patent of 1915 (#1,149,112) for his Cork Extractor.

Beckley’s patent description reads:

The invention relates to cork extractors and the principal object of the invention is to provide a device of this character having a pivoted bridging bar which is slidably mounted upon the shank and so constructed that it will be automatically thrown to operative, engaging position as an attempt is made to withdraw the pin or shank from the cork.

If you have a spiked cork extractor that has “….a pivoted bridging bar which is slidably mounted upon the shank,” I would be interested

Bath Antiques Show

This morning, I hopped on the first ferry, and made my way to the mainland.

And, after a brief stop in Rockland, I made my way down to Bath, Maine for the monthly antique show. Well, technically it’s monthly until April, which is the last show, and then they start up again in the fall.

And, it isn’t a big show, but 40-45 dealers usually show up and one always has corkscrews, not great corkscrews, but good corkscrews. Another dealer shows up in Bath every once in a while, and he too always has corkscrews. Generally he has good corkscrews, but they are fairly pricey. Still, every once in a while we can strike a deal.

The first good corkscrew dealer WAS there, the other dealer that occassionally shows up WASN’T there. But, we will run into each other soon enough at Brimfield.

So, I meandered around, looking at each table / booth, and there were some interesting things to be had.

And, the good corkscrew dealer had a case filled with treasures…

And, as he explained, he had just a collection and half of them were still at his house…

After digging around, I came with a small pile.

The German corkscrew with odd spring, I have never owned before. And, I knew I needed to grab that. The small perfume piece, is always good trade bait, and underneath the owl is a metal Haff with a Clough worm with button.

In regards to the owl, it looks to be bronze rather than brass, and I have never seen this particular shape before.

And, well, how could I not pick up a “BUD” open with corkscrew.

No other corkscrews that I really HAD to have, but the aforementioned good corkscrew guy invited me to visit him at his home and see the rest of the corkscrews when was headed his way.

And, as luck would have it, next week I will be in his neighborhood.

Stay tuned!

“…but an apology as a cork withdrawing instrument…”

From a 1900 issue of The Atlanta Constitution:

Handy Cork Extractor

Despite its years of use, the corkscrew, as found in the average household, is still but an apology as a cork withdrawing instrument, as it is almost sure to ruin the cork and make it practically valueless, at least after extraction two or three times.  Then again, a corkscrews is not always at hand when most needed, while the little corkscrew substitute recently patented by Joseph R. Kennedy, of Camden, and illustrated herewith, is designed to come with every tightly sealed bottle.  As its cost is but trifling, there is nothing to prevent its adoption by bottlers on the score of economy.  It consists of a narrow strip of flexible tinplate, the ends of which are formed into claws by means of indentations made in the tin When the cork is driven home one of these tin stripes is bent in the form of a loop, one claw going on each side of the cork.  Now, when the cork is pushed into the neck of the bottle the tin strip is drawn in too, and the superfluous length of the tin forming the loop is bent down as to lie flat on top of the cork, the device being made of a very flexible material for that purpose, when a loop is formed into which the finger of any rigid article may be introduced.  

By pulling on this loop the strip is pulled out and in doing so the cork is extracted.  This device can be used over and over again, and its use does not mutilate the cork in anyway.  Perhaps the greatest objection to its use is that it might not produce an air-tight seal, although with suitable corks, properly put in this could be overcome.

It’s NEW! It’s Sanitary! It’s HANDY

From a 1929 issue of Christian Science Monitor:

Or 2 for 25 cents

It’s NEW!  It’s Sanitary!  It’s HANDY!

This wonderful new MILK CAP LIFTER does a Dozen Different Daily Duties: Cork Puller, Bottle Opener, Nut Pick, Fruit Seeder, and Crisco Can Opener, etc.  It will help you too.  Order YOURS TODAY!  Send money to


706 N. 8th Street.   St. Joseph MO.

Okay… so, what does the “K-P” Kitchen Helper look like?

Do you have one?

Send me photos!

Window Display of Cutlery

From an 1894 issue of Hardware Dealer’s Magazine

Window Display of Cutlery

Where a hardware dealer wishes to make an attractive display of cutlery and small tools in his window without using much of the tock, the device illustrated herewith is easily arranged :

All that is necessary to make this window fixture is a round or square piece of timber of from one and a half to two feet in length and about six inches in diameter.

The wood is concealed by a veneer of cork, which can be obtained in slabs at any wholesale drug store, and if soaked in water will confirm to the shape of the wood interior.

Method of Construction

The cork may be either glued to the wood or fastened with round-head nickle screws.

Two pieces of neatly-turned wood of oak or cherry are needed to cover each end of the block, as shown in the illustration.  When completed the articles to be displayed are slightly imbedded in the cork covering, which holds them at any angle desired and permits of a good view in all directions.  Pocket knives of various styles, fancy scissors, handsome corkscrews and od pieces of butlery, carelessly arranged, produce a very pretty effect.  When suspended from the ceiling of the window by a fine wire or cork, which a bird-cage spring at the upper end of the wire, the block will be in constant motion, and glistening blades of the knives in the sunlight will attract favorable attention.

The device may also be used for small tools, and if it is desired to make a special drive on a line of scissors or pocket knives, a variety of styles at a uniform price may be displayed with a neat car offering the public their choice at a stated price.

Missing Michelin Man

Two weeks ago, or so, a figural Michelin Man figural corkscrew was listed on eBay for a pretty fair buy it now price–not that I really needed a Michelin Man corkscrew…

And, I was reluctant to press the Buy it Now option, as the shipping on the piece was double the asking price.

Considering my options, I changed my address to a UK mailing address, and promptly clicked and paid.

And, then messaged Peter to tell him that the Michelin Man was heading his way.

A few days later, the envelope within which the Michelin Man was housed arrived, but apparently the Michelin Man had found his way out of the envelope…having escaped through a tear in the corner.

So, if you happen to be wandering the UK, and see a Michelin Man just laying on the sidewalk somewhere between Worthington and Reading, feel free to pick him up, and send him my way.

Speaking of which, does anyone have any backstory / history on the Michelin Man corkscrew? If you do, feel free to share.

Best Six of 2022

1, Charles Chinnock’s patent #299,738, awarded June 3, 1884; unmarked (See O’Leary p. 67). 

I found this particular corkscrew walking the fields of Brimfield Antique Flea Market in September.  After putting in miles and miles of walking the fields, after hitting every booth that was open, after a day of solid rain, there was little to be had.  The next day the sun was shining, and in the second field that opened that morning, with only three booths left to visit in the field, just sitting on a table in some random antique dealer’s stall, was the Chinnock.  

Persistence my friends.  There are still treasures out there just waiting to be discovered…

2. Sterling triple medicine spoon (1 teaspoon, 2 teaspoons, 1 tablespoon) marked THEODORE B. STARR, INC., and STERLING (Theodore B. Starr became incorporated in 1907, and closed operations in 1918, when it was sold to Reed & Barton).

3. Pie crimper / can opener / with corkscrew, marked PAT APLD. FOR on the can opener.

4. Charles Blantz’ design patent #46,310 awarded August 25, 1914.  

The patent drawing merely says “Tool.”  And, the patent description, mentions none of its uses, “Be it know that I, Clayton H. Blantz, a citizen of the United States, residing at Lebanon, in the county of Lebanon and State of Pennsylvania, have invented a new, original, and ornamental Design for Tools, of which the following is a specification, reference being had to the accompanying drawing, forming a part thereof.”

This year, I found the Blantz patent, as well as an advertisement that explains its functions; most importantly “Cork Extractor”

5. Brown and Bigelow bottle shaped roundlet corkscrew made of aluminum, and serving as a promotional piece for BROWN & BIGELOW, Remembrance Advertising, REG. U.S. PAT. OFF., ST. PAUL MINNESOTA. 

6. Lucien Mumford’s patent awarded May 10, 1892, marked (faintly) Magic, CORK EXTRACTOR, PAT. MCH. 4-79., MAY 10-92, MADE IN U.S.A.  This the square/flat example (See O’Leary, p. 84).

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.