“…clever advertising novelty (patented).”

From the January 10th 1915 edition of  the St. Louis Post-Dispatch


FOR sale outright, clever advertising novelty (patented), with dies complete; sells quickly; big profits; owner too far west to manufacturers: snap: sample free.  Josephine Spielbauer.  71 Columbia st., Seattle, Wash.

In doing research into the Josephine Spielbauer patent not much information or history has been uncovered.  I have since been in contact with a Spielbauer family member, and we are exchanging information.  A most recent email set about yet another search, and the above classified ad came up.


So, Miss Josephine was selling her patent and dies as well to create the corkscrew/opener.  Could it be the “samples” that she sent out, are the few pieces that exist within our respective collections?

Interesting also to note.  The Spielbauer patent was awarded in November of 1914, by 1916 the state of Washington implemented prohibition (earlier than the rest of the country).

No more beer?  Would production of corkscrews and openers cease as well?



For the past decade or so (not counting this year, as I didn’t attend the JFO meeting), I have brought countless corkscrews and openers with brewery advertising to the meeting with the intention of making a trade or two with TWJ (that’s Tipped Worm Johnny for those that are new to the blog).

And, there have been some pretty big trades–or sales when a trade couldn’t be agreed upon.

Even between meetings, when I find something unusual or rare and brewery related, I drop him an email asking if this particular piece is Rainier-worthy.

Rainier worthy? you ask….

As it happens, TWJ has in his possession a 1914 Josephine M. Spielbauer patent corkscrew which is an advertising piece for Rainier Beer. It is a fantastic and rare American corkscrew, and one that I really want to add to the collection.

While I will continue the hunt for brewery advertising openers and corkscrews as tradebait, I have finally acquired something that is Rainier worthy!

Worthy, as it is the Josephine M. Spielbauer patent itself.


One of the corkscrews that came from Don Bull’s current sale, it surely will make the best 6 of the year.

Thanks for the deal Don.

And TWJ…whatcha got to trade other than the Rainier!