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