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?

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.


From a 1916 issue of The Export World and Commercial Intelligence:


A New Corkscrew, Can and Crown Cork Opener.

Our illustration shows the latest combination produced by Coney’s, Ltd., So. Lionel Street, Birmingham, and is self-explanatory.  The new tool is named the “ Anzac “ because it “ gets there. “  In addition to the corkscrew there is a small tool by means of which crown corks can be removed by pressing down or lifting up—this being quite unique—and a tin opener.

New Patent Opener

The “ Anzac “ should secure a large measure of popularity by reason of its handiness.  Being of light weight, it is an ideal picnic companion.

a little sea smoke…

The last couple of days have been cold here on the island.

Yesterday, by 4:00 (about the time this photo was taken, the windchill was 36 degrees below zero…

Still, with the woodstove going, and a bit of wine, we made it through the evening.

And, this morning we awoke to similar (not the wine).

Currently (at 10 am) it is -1 degree, with the wind chill bringing the temperature down to -27. And, the wind has been howling.

That said, the temps are starting to increase, and she be downright balmy by this afternoon, with temperatures expected to climb to 12 degrees by sunset.

So, the woodstove is still going… and will be for the rest of the day / evening.

No corkscrew news to report at the moment…hopefully that will change over the course of the day.

Stay warm!


From an 1862 issue issue of The Post Office London Directory:


The old process of Drawing Corks by ordinary Corkscrews is entirely obviated in the construction and novel action of the “ Presto and Despatch Corkscrews.”  Their superiority will at once be seen and their use understood by the following instructions, vis –Pull the screw A out to its full extent, and then insert the point of the worm into the Centre of the Cork, and by slight pressure (without turning the hand) it will immediately penetrate the Cork ; this being effected, then proceed to draw it.  To remove the Cork from the worm raise the Button B, or the spring C, then slightly pull the Cork, which will instantly be released.

The principle on which these two Corkscrews are constructed is the same, excepting the mode of securing the screw, which is effected in the “ Despatch ‘ by a spring fixed to the end of the barrel, and in the “ Presto “ at one end of the handle, both producing the same result.  The screw A should occasionally be oiled.  The screw being made of solid brass, and the steel worm electroed, it will not rust.





Sample, of a Book of Drawings, may be had on application

B. Nathan continued

The B. Nathan corkscrew arrived this afternoon, and while simple, it is also a pretty lovely thing.

Nice faceted shank and a sharp helix.

Here it is next to the Ivory Murphy for comparison:

Speaking of B. Nathan, upon further research this would be our man…Bernhard Nathan.

B. Nathan

Not too long ago, a fellow collector came across a handsome corkscrew with faceted shank that was marked B. NATHAN.

Looking fairly similar to the corkscrews of Will & Finck, M. Price, and J. Schintz, the corkscrew was shared on social media, and it wasn’t long before those in the know weighed in; offering up that B. NATHAN was a San Francisco retailer of china, crockery, and other household items.

When I first got wind of the B. Nathan corkscrews, I too began doing my research into the corkscrew, and had also inquired if the piece might be available for sale or trade

After a bit of a back and forth, and several weeks later, I received an email suggesting that a trade could be made, and a deal was agreed upon in fairly short order.

That said, as I was away at a conference, and then on vacation in California, no corkscrews had officially changed hands, but as of today, the tradebait has been sent in exchange for the B. Nathan, and the B. Nathan is on its way to the island.

I will upload better pictures when it arrives, but this is a terrific piece from a San Francisco cutler, that made the piece for B. Nathan to offer as one of their wares, and a really neat addition to the collection.

But, there is more than one B. Nathan corkscrew.

The plot thickens…

According the Wine History Project of San Luis Obispo County they have in their posession a Yankee Number 7 bar screw that carries advertising for Nathan, but instead of B. Nathan, it is instead marked, “NATHAN DOHRMANN CO., THE LARGEST BAR SUPPLY COMPANY ON THE PACIFIC COAST, 851 BUSH ST. SAN FRANCISCO.”

Dohrmann joined B, Nathan’s company in 1868, and the name was changed to Nathan Dohrmann Co, in 1875, so the timeframe is right for this to be made by one of the known S.F. cutlers.

Clearly there is more to the story. And, as the story unfolds, I will provide updates.

Stay tuned!

Quite the adventure

During our last days in Los Olivos we hit a few more wineries, with one of the highlights being Holus Bolus.

From what I understand, they don’t have distribution in Maine as of yet, so I have reached out to the owner of our favorite distributor, to see what she can do. If at all possible, we will have Holus Bolus on the shelves of Island Spirits in the near future.

On Thursday, the adventure back to Maine commenced. And, after departing our temporary digs in Los Olivos, we hit Starbucks for the requisite cup of coffee for the drive to LAX. And, at the lovely’s suggestion, we gave ourselves a bit of time, as traffic heading through Santa Barbara, and then into LA, was fierce.

We did make it, with plenty of time to grab a quick bite (lunch), and then boarded our flight. Landing in DC with just an hour before our next departure, we soon were aboard, and taking off for Portland, where we landed just before midnight.

Somewhat on west coast time, but knowing how late we would be flying in, we had booked a hotel adjacent to the airport, and headed back to Vinalhaven the following morning–arriving back on the island just after 1:00 yesterday.

After settling in, I headed off to the post office to receive a pile of mail; including two corkscrew packages–the Walker peg and worm from TWJ and an unmarked Chinnock.

And, this morning it is back to early morning coffee (cup number two), and starting a new article for The Bottle Scrue Times (for those of you considering submitting for the upcoming issue, the end of February would be the proposed deadline. So, you have a month–give or take)

Stay tuned, you never know what might turn up next.

I found corkscrews!

While there has been a bit of antiquing over the course of our Los Olivos visit, there was one store that defintitely had corkscrews. None that I purchased, but they had some!

Largely, our last few days has consisted of visiting new restaurants, checking out some wineries, venturing out to the coast, and just enjoying the sunshine, knowing that we are in for some snow when we get back to Vinalhaven.

There may be some antiquing today, so you never know what might turn up.

If you are in the area, be sure to hop on over to Buellton, and check out Industrial Eats! Their caesar salad was awesome! As wasa their white pizza on a GF crust.