The. Best. Book Review. Ever.

When the Syroco Corkscrew book was published, I grabbed a couple of extra copies with the intention of gifting one to the Holstein family (the founders of Syroco) and another to the University of Syracuse.

It was also my intention, that the lovely bride and I would be making a road trip to Syracuse to drop these off in person.

Of course, life became life, and those plans had yet to come to fruition.  And, then with Covid-19, and travel being limited, those plans had to be scrapped.

So, after recently engaging with a bit of conversation with another member of the Holstein family, I wrapped up a copy of the book, and mailed it to Alex in Syracuse…

And, as it happens, he is nearing his 96th birthday, and it would come as a surprise; arriving early this week.

I could just picture he and Chuckie (Mrs. Holstein) opening up the box, finding a note that I had written, and then paging through 300+ pages of Syroco history, corkscrews, openers, etc.

And, just the other day, I got an email from Alex.

It brought the biggest smile to my face.  It is indeed, for me, The. Best. Book Review. Ever.

SYROCO_ Front Cover[1]

“A warm and hearty thank you for sending me the masterpiece book on SyrocoWood! You did a wonderful job in capturing the origin of the variety of corkscrews made by our company, many I did not remember until I saw the great photos in your book. You also accurately and beautifully told the family story about how it all began. Your inclusive dedication of this magnificent book to me is not only a surprise but greatly appreciated it, especially now as I approach my 96th birthday. You can’t imagine the pride and appreciation I feel…”

As much as I have been pleased by the fact that the collectors that have acquired this book have mentioned how much they enjoy it, this just made my day.

Thank you to Alex, and to the Holstein family, not only for your willingness to entertain an overzealous collector’s want to learn about your family, your company, and the history of these objects, but for making those objects in the first place, which clearly created that zeal.

And, thank you to Tommy and Ion, this wouldn’t have happened without you!


Showing & Telling

While both AGMs will be written up in The Bottle Scrue Times and the Quarterly Worme respectively, and surely there will be a myriad of pictures from both, the AGMs both had fabulous show and tell sessions.

This is one of my favorite parts of our get togethers.  Fascinating new discoveries are shared and passed around.

Yes, there are still new discoveries!!!

As for me, I got to show and talk about the 1867 Van Zandt patent…


as well as the new Syroco Corkscrews book.


Only a few copies of the book were available at the meeting, but should you want a copy you can email Ion Chirescu at his book email: .

SyrocoWood Corkscrews and Decorative Accessories, is 330 pages of all things Syroco, and has fabulous imagery of the corkscrews and openers that we covet.

With that said, I would like to steal a moment here, to congratulate Tommy Campnell for receiving the Bernard Watney Award for his work on this book.


Congrats Tommy!!!

Kinsey Knight III


On October 10, 2013, I blogged about a Syroco Golden Knight corkscrew, that had was sold on eBay (not to me) for a buy it now of $125.00, and this example came with a box signed Kinsey, and included a business card from Kinsey Distilling.


A few years later (May, 2016) I blogged about another Syroco Golden Knight corkscrew that turned up on eBay, this too included a box signed Kinsey, with no business card, and sold for a fair amount more than $125.00.

Two golden knights, two Kinsey boxes…  Hmmmmm…

Of course, and I blogged about this too, clearly there had to be some connection.  And, after a bit of research, I found a couple of advertisements for Kinsey Whiskey that featured a golden knight.  And, you might want to note the resemblance, down to the little K (Thanks Bob Gilbride) that appears both on the Kinsey advertisements and the Syroco Knight’s belt buckle.


Of course, what was equally interesting was that there was “GOLD” knight and a “SILVER” knight pictured in the advertisements.

Was Kinsey having these made by Syroco, and handing them out as promotional items to their favored dealers or retailers?

Is that the reason for the two boxes and business card that have turned up?

And, if they were having the gold knight produced, or purchasing it as a promo, could it be that somewhere out there…there is a Silver Syroco Knight?

Cue the suspenseful music…

Indeed, there is…


And, this is not a re-painted formerly Golden knight, it looks to be original, and as you can see also includes a copyright for Syroco.

I haven’t put the Gold knight and Silver knight next to each other, I will do that later today.  But the other difference, beyond color, is that Silver knight has a wire worm and bell that Syroco used on the Syroco Indian, rather than the bladed worm like the Golden knight.

I will continue the hunt for linkages between Kinsey and Syroco.

But, what do you all think?  Given the two Gold knights with Kinsey boxes and business card, the advertisements of the time that date in the late 40’s featuring the Gold and Silver knights, the fact that there has yet to be found a Syroco catalog reference for the knight, and now a Silver Syroco knight, are these Syroco/Kinsey knights?

The hunt continues!

Stay tuned!

Evil Clown

Just the other day, I was perusing our second favorite auction site, and a listing popped up for a “Evil Clown corkscrew figurine ceramic or possibly syraco dist. by King.”


The piece had a more colorful paint job than usual, but over the years several color variations have turned up.

And, the buy it now price wasn’t bad at all.  I decided to go for it.


I don’t know if the clown is truly evil.  And, it isn’t ceramic, but it is Syroco and it will make a nice addition to the collection.

Or Tommy’s collection…


Whatcha got to trade TC?

Looks like there is a space for him in front of the white clown with black hair next to the stained monk…

Kinsey Knight Part II

3 years ago, I blogged about a Syroco Knight corkscrew that had turned up on eBay with a steal of a buy it now at $125.00.

What was interesting about this particular corkscrew, besides the fact that it was the Syroco Knight, was that it came with what the seller described as the original box. And, it came with a business card for Kinsey as well.


You can read that blog entry here.

And, why are you revisiting this Josef?, you might be asking yourself.

Over the last day or so, another boxed Kinsey Knight corkscrew has turned up.  This one als0 on eBay, but sans the great buy it now price.

While we know that this is definitely a Syroco Golden Knight, it looks like the Kinsey Distilling Corporation of Linfield,  Pennsylvania makers of Linfield Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Maywood Brand Straight Rye Whiskey, and Kinsey Blended Whiskey (or perhaps Jim W. Frazier of Seattle Washington (as a representative for Kinsey Distilling Corporation) was giving these out as a presentation piece.


Of course, with another Kinsey knight turning up on eBay (here is the listing)


how could I not do a little more research?  With two boxed examples found, there has to be a connection between Kinsey and Syroco.

And, what would turn up…but an advertisement for Kinsey Silver Whiskey

And, more importantly, Kinsey Gold.


A pretty striking resemblance…