Chick Can Opener

From a 1911 issue of Commercial America, Volume 8.

Chick Can Opener

To open a can with the Chick Can Opener illustrated herewith, the opener is simply set to the proper size, the center disc placed on the center of the can and by slight pressure on the large center holder, the pins penetrate the can.  A turn of the long handle then cuts a circle open in the can.  The straight blade at the end is used for opening square or odd-shaped tins and is provided with corrugations to prevent slipping.


The Chick Can Opener is offered for export by the Andrews Wire and Iron Works, 80 Griswold Street, Detroit, Michigan.  It is made in two styles, one for ordinary household use and a larger one for hotel use, the latter opening any cans up to the one-gallon size.

“The Chick Can Opener?” you ask.

Well, sure.  This particular can opener was patented in 1908 by Oscar F. Braconier, and was assigned to our man Oscar F., but it was also assigned to one Thomas Chick.

Hence the Chick Can Opener…


I don’t yet have this patent, but I would happily trade heavily for it.  Or, perhaps make an outright purchase.  So, if you have the Chick Can Opener (with corkscrew), feel free to drop me a line.


This would start the 2017 corkscrew collecting year off right.  Do you have one?


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.


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!

Arthur Merton Parker?

After a bit of back and forth, a price was agreed upon for an unusual multitool with corkscrew.  And, while the back and forth was back and forthing, I messaged Tommy, as I was at the wine shop and didn’t have O’Leary’s book handy.

The piece is marked PAT. PEND., and looked vaguely familiar.


Fortunately, Tommy was available, and had O’Leary handy, and sent back the following photo from the book.


Well, there certainly are a lot of similarities.  But, the 1905 Arthur Merton Parker patent, as pictured in O’Leary, isn’t quite exact.  On the other hand, it is pretty close.


Perhaps with the PAT PEND mark, this simply is an early version of the Arthur Merton Parker patent.

Maybe we should check the patent drawings…


We are getting closer, but not quite there.  But, our man A. M. Parker, had other patents…  Could this have been yet another can opener he created.

Digging a  little deeper, I ran across this drawing from 1907


Okay…  the handle looks closer to the piece that I just picked up, but the mechanism looks closer to the 1905 Parker patent…

Given that I was now home, I grabbed O’Leary and skimmed through, checking the Merton Patent first, and then BOO to see if the drawing existed there.

The drawing is indeed in BOO (Back of O’Leary) but is this PAT. PEND. piece an early version of the 1905 patent (#789,103) ?  Is it an early version of the 1907 patent (#858,532).

Feel free to weigh in.

I have asked John Morris to bring his example of the 1905 Parker patent to the upcoming corkscrew meetings in Vancouver.  It will be interesting to compare them side by side.




W. A. Zietzke…

The other day, I was doing a little research on combination tools with corkscrews, and ran into an 1897 newspaper article from The Tennesseean that mentioned a patented combination tool with corkscrew:


A W. A Zietzke patent combination tool with a corkscrew?

Let’s check the back of O’Leary.


Okay, how about Google patents.  Whatever might this look like.


From his patent description: In the accompanying drawings, which illustrate the invention, Figure 1 is a side view of the present device. Fig. 2 is a bottomplan showing the parts in their folded positions. Fig. 3 is a detail view with one of the sides of the handle cut away to show the construction of the corkscrew and its retaining’spring, and Fig. 4 is a detail showing the wrench and screw-driver in its open position.


A pretty cool looking piece.  Do any of you have this?

Let the hunt begin!

What’s your favorite: A couple of responses

Thus far, there have only been a couple of responses to my question of “what’s your favorite?” And, I would love to read more–so feel free to respond to the blog post, or email me directly at .

Don Bull was quick to respond with his favorite:


John Odd, also responded quickly, but his a little less decisive explaining, “Thinking, thinking … currently well pleased with recent acquisitions including golden knight and Crosby pup as must-haves but THE corkscrew will be a toss-up between i) the folding kupper lager; ii) a crudely carved walrus tusk “greasy luck” T; or iii) one of the favourite group celluloids . Thinking, thinking …. I’ll get back to you.”

I have a feeling that many would be in John’s camp. How do you decide on THE one; that one corkscrew that you cherish over the others in your collection.

Keep the favorites coming!

Yes, I know, I still haven’t published mine…

Novelty Corkscrews Smart, Serviceable

From the November 1, 1927 issue of The Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Novelty Corkscrews Smart, Serviceable

Pulling corks, like everything else, is no longer the simple matter it used to be and there are as many different tools for getting into a can as a burglar uses when opening a safe.

Corkscrews Are Works of Art.

A corkscrew which originated in France has a handle like a pocketknife and blade for opening any type of bottle or jar. The corkscrew gives you a pull with unknown bottles when traveling abroad—a claw like blade pries the can off mineral water


and a can opener attachment makes the opener a useful adjunct to the picnic at home as well as the trip to Europe.

Folding Corkscrew Serviceable.

A folding corkscrew which may conveniently be carried in the pocket is ingeniously contrived into a lever for pulling out the cork. A larger corkscrew for home use also employs the leverage principle by means of a pair of claw-like handles and a circular frame which prevents the bottle from slipping.

Ingenious German Device.

In decided contrast to the versatile French corkscrew, the German ones have heavy bone handles and do not fold or have trick features. Their handles match those of the bone knives frequently carried by men.

A useful little device for retrieving corks which have gone half way down the neck of the bottle consist of two prongs placed on either side of the hollow handle. The cap top pulls the cork out by suction when the prongs are inserted in either side of it.

The much ballyhooed “S-ZONSMA-IT-W” Corkscrew

I was doing my afternoon perusing of eBay yesterday, when a corkscrew came up with a low buy-it-now price, and had an interesting marking.




I looked closely at the picture, and had to ask again, “S-ZONSMA-IT-W”???

Perhaps if they turned the corkscrew the other way, they might have seen things differently.

That said, the listing is still live, and with a 7.99 buy it now, having the previously underdiscovered “S-ZONSMA-IT-W” corkscrew is an opportunity that you might not want to miss.

And, for added convenience, you can link to it here S-ZONSMA-IT-W . And, you may be able to get it for less than the 7.99, as there is a best offer option as well.