Send your order today, pin a dollar bill to coupon below and the shipment will go forward to you the same day as received.

From an issue of Air Wonder Stories, November 1929

Ten Tools in One

A SMALL but handy article which serves every possible need of the all-round mechanic.  In valuable in any emergency.  An excellent combination of all utilities for the household featured:  HAMMER—KNIFE-SHARPENER—NAIL-PULLER—BOTTLE-OPENER—SCREW-DRIVER—CORK-SCREW—CAN-OPENER—WEIGH-SCALE—RULER—TABLE OF WEIGHTS AND MEASURES.

Just glance at the illustration and you will see how really useful this article is.  The “Ten in One Tool” is 10 inches high and finely nickel-pated.


The new tool is not only handy in the household, but every TOURIST, AUTOIST, CAMPER, PICNICKER, BOYSCOUT, FISHERMAN, CANOEIST, etc., should carry in his bag one of these indispensable combination tools.  No SHOP, OFFICE, STORE, GARAGE, FARM, BOAT, should be without one.  Price $1.00 POSTAGE PAID.

Be the first one to own the “Ten in One” in your town.

Send your order today, pin a dollar bill to coupon below and the shipment will go forward to you the same day as received.


245 Greenwich St.

New York

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – — – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – — – – – –

Greenpark Tool Company

245 Greenwich Street,
New York, N.Y.

Enclosed find a $1.00 for which please send me prepaid your “Ten Tools in One



Town                                       State…..

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – — – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – — – – – –

Now, we know the “Ten in One Tool” as the Frederich J. Alderson patent of 1932.

Alderson (having already obtained a Canadian patent) was awarded his American patent for a Combination Tool (# 1,845,038) on February 16th.  85 years ago tomorrow!


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?


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?




Holy McGill Batman


So, apparently while I do spend a bit of time teaching and researching online, I am not paying enough attention to eBay.

Not until a day after the auction ended, did I discover a McGill patent that ended for a pretty low price considering how rare they are.

Selling for just a bit over 300 dollars, it was definitely a deal.

Of course, knowing the usual suspects as I do, I was a little surprised that others really didn’t jump into the fray.


After a second look, it appears that there is a hole in handle.


And, in discussing it with TC, who had it on his radar, he explained that he couldn’t get past that–so he didn’t go for it.

Perhaps others felt similar.

Or, perhaps like me, they just missed it.

Still, a Mcgill is a Mcgill; even a hole-y unmarked one.

Someone got a nice American patented corkscrew for a pretty fair price.

Note to self:  less research, less online teaching, more eBaying!


Culinary Tongs

One of the interesting patented contraptions that has proven rather elusive, is W. S, Elters’ patented culinary tongs. Patented on May 2, 1933, the tongs does sometimes turn up, but there are several iterations, those that look only like a jar lifter, without any of the extra tools that are shown in the patent drawing, one that looks similar to the patent drawing, and one–the one that would be of interest to all of us–that includes a corkscrew attached to a point where the tongs pivot.


Elters’ patent (# 1,906,454 ) was assigned to John E. Ledger and was marketed as, the Vise-o-Lift. And, a couple of years ago I did find one hanging from a beam in an antique store in Vermont, but it was the version without the corkscrew.


I passed on that one, but eventually did pick up a Vise-O-Lift without a corkscrew, mostly as a place holder for the hopeful eventuality that one with a corkscrew would find it’s way into the collection.

And, yesterday one did.


Marked VISE-O-Lift INC. PAT PEND DAYTON, OHIO U.S.A., it is a very cool addition to the collection. This very well could well make the best 6 of the year.