G.B. ADAMS

A decade or so ago, Mark Woodard had acquired, at auction, a celluloid button pinback with an advertisement for R.V. Pierce.  He submitted photos and information to Don Bull, who published said information and more on his Weekly Screw page.

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Not too long after, Jack Bandy had apparently responded with another celluloid button pinback.   This version being an advertisement for Mangels & Schmidt’s Bread, making reference to a trade that happened some time earlier between he and Don.  This too found its way into the Weekly Screw pages.

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And, shortly thereafter, I managed to find my own version of the pinback, this one having an image of an eye, with the words I have my “eye” on you.

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The pinback, on the reverse side, has three patent dates, all from the same patentee, G.B. Adams.  But the dates correspond with his patents for a Trousers Strap, Jewelry, and a Badge Pin or Button…

In reading the patent descriptions, there is no corkscrew mentioned.

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The 1896 patent for the Badge Pin or Button was assigned to the Whitehead and Hoag Company.  And, each of the known examples are marked as such.

On the Mangels & Schmidt’s, the 1896 patent date is also written on the edge of the button adjacent to the worm.

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When Don Bull put his American patents up for sale, Tommy acquired the Mangels & Schmidt’s from Don.  And, in a recent deal, I have now since acquired a second example of the Adams patent, this one being a duplicate to John Morris’ formerly Mark Woodard’s R.V. Pierce.

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So, we have R.V. Pierce (x 2), Mangels & Schmidt’s, and the “I have my “eye” on you” versions.

What others are out there?

Do you have a G.B. Adams 1896 Whitehead and Hoag celluloid pinback corkscrew?  Drop me a line with pictures!

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an eventful few days

The lovely personal personal trainer and I headed off to Chicago for a few days recently, to visit with Tommy; see his new condo, visit the old neighborhood, visit a few favorite restaurants, and of course to see his collection.

But, before our departure, I managed to win a few lots in an online auction.  These particular lots didn’t go too high, and there looks to be a few good t’s, a Murphy, a Bennit, a couple of Henshall buttons, and a couple of Adelaides (Ian) within the lots:

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These are on their way to the island as I type, and I will report back if there are any interesting markings on the pieces when they arrive.

The travel to Chicago was pretty seamless, and Tommy swooped in and scooped us up.  And, soon enough (he brought chilled wine and cheese with him) we were eat the condo we were renting for a few days.

Of course, TC also brought a few corkscrew with him, and there were some fantastic recent finds.

After the happy hour show and tell, we headed off to Bandera for dinner.  One of our favorite restaurants on Michigan Ave, and the meal (the Cliff Lede wines) didn’t disappoint.

The following day, lovely and I decided to walk to Navy Pier.  We don’t usually frequent that as a destination, but Nick Cave was giving a performance, and we knew we had to see it.

And, walk we did.  Meandering from Andersonville towards Wrigley field, stopping by our old condo in Boys Town, then heading towards Lincoln Park, the Zoo, and then heading on to the lakeshore to walk downtown, we made it to where the performance was being held with 15 minutes to spare; where there was cold wine available to bring into the auditorium!

The performance was fantastic!

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Following the performance, and having walked 9.1 miles to get there, we grabbed an uber back to the condo, picked up some wine and cheese, and had another happy hour with TC before heading to RL (Ralph Lauren’s restaurant) for dinner.

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Another fantastic meal!

After getting back to the condo, we shared goodbyes, and see ya tomorrows, as the next day we were going to hop on the train out to Elgin to see Tommy’s collection and condo.

Hopping on the El, we were soon at Union Station where hoped on the Metra to Elgin.  Tommy picked us up, and after a requisite stop to pick up some wine, we were soon pulling into Chez Campnell.

And, if you were wondering why he is referred to as the Syrocokid…

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He has a few Syroco corkscrews…

Having only recently moved in, there are boxes and boxes of corkscrews to go through, but there were plenty to see, examine, drool over, and there was almost a deal made for a couple; an unusual Murphy and an Atwood Combination Six.

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The deal wasn’t made, but you never know what trades might happen at a future date!

After lunch and corkscrew viewing, we headed off on another adventure; looking at potential corkscrew cases for our corkscrew room on Vinalhaven, and then hugs and goodbyes and see you in a month (when Tommy visits Maine) and then it was back to the train.

Knowing we had an early morning flight the next day, the lovely and I had an early dinner at Le Colonial (another one of our favorite places in Chicago) and then made our way back to the condo.

A great few days with the lovely and TC in a city that we love.  Thanks for a great visit TC!

didn’t you mention a trade???

In yesterday’s Brimfield recap, I did mention a trade.

Yes, a trade.

A few weeks back, Tommy picked up an Sterling and Ivory handled Gorham prong puller that resembles a Converse.  It shares many similarities with the Converse patent, with the biggest exception being that instead of the 1899 patent date, it reads STERLING 97, and SPAULDING-GORHAM–the sheath is also marked STERLING

Spaulding & Co., originally was S. Hoard & Co., but in 1920 was bought by Gorham Mfg., and changed the name to Spaulding-Gorham Inc.  The name remained until 1943, when it was changed to Spaulding & Co, in 1943.  So, we can at least but date range to the cork puller; somewhere between 1920, but before 1943.

In a 1941 Spaulding-Gorham Catalog, they feature a similar cork puller.  The lines are pretty similar, but it is described “Wine Cork Puller, sterling, and is illustrated with a Sterling handle, rather than one of Ivory and Sterling.

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Do any of you have the Spaulding-Gorham that is entirely Sterling?

After Tommy picked it up, we had discussed trade.  And, he threw out several options that would seal the deal.  That said, after I picked up the General Appliance wall mount with corkscrew, that was what he really wanted.  But, given that I had been trying to find that particular corkscrew for well-over a decade, I just didn’t want to part with it.

The conversation went back and forth over the course of the Brimfield adventure; scarcity, rarity, desirability, value, etc…  And, it continued with possible trade scenarios.

On Wednesday, Tommy presented another offer.  We had batted around a couple in the preceding days…  Folding Greeley patent and the half sized signed Clark, in exchange for the Spaulding-Gorham prongs.

I thought about it for a minute or two.  Tommy has a thing for the smaller (but not miniature) corkscrews, and I have thing for Converse and other prong pullers, so after grabbing a small Hall’s Red Devil Skull poison indicator corkscrew from his stash and placing it next to the prongs, I agreed.

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I also promised, that should I ever begin to trade and/or sell the General Appliance wall mount, that he would get the right of first refusal.

But, given that it will surely make my best six for 2017, I am guessing it will be sticking around.  I am thinking the Spaulding-Gorham prongs will also make the best 6!

Thanks for another epic trade TC.  There have been so any over the years, and I look forward to the next one!

So, what happened at Brimfield?

I know it has been a few days since I blogged, so perhaps I should catch up.  Yes, we went to Brimfield!

Of course, I might as well fill you in on all the other minutiae…

On Saturday, the lovely personal personal trainer, headed off island, while I stayed and completed further finishing touches on the wine shop.  And, as the appropriate hour, I hopped on the boat, and headed over myself.  The afternoon, and the following day, was spent mudding and painting our mainland digs, and also a little further prep for the Brimfield adventure.

On Monday, I headed down early, to check into the house we rented for the week, and also to pick up Tommy from the airport.  Along the way, I passed countless antique stores that were all closed given the early hour.

A bit after my departure, the lovely, who painted her way out of the kitchen, headed back to the boat to pick up our friend Alison would also be joining us for the Brimfield trip.  They plan was to pick up some additional groceries (I already had the wine) and meet up at the rental house.

Tommy’s plane arrived as scheduled, and it wasn’t long before we were back at the house.  He had brought a few corkscrews for show, tell, and possibly trade.  And, I had done the same.  He is rather desirous of the Western Appliance wall mount, and Tommy had recently acquired a Gorham Sterling prongs, that I really wanted as well.  He also brought along a couple of unusual pieces that he recently picked up, one that looks to be a patent from the back of O’Leary.  I have long felt that it is a good idea, when the opportunity presents itself, to be able to handle and examine new discoveries.  What are the functions?  What does it look like in person?

A little wine was consumed, and at that point no trades had been completed.

A little later, a message came in from the lovely, that they were about 20 minutes away.  And, upon their arrival, we popped some Champagne, and toasted our third Brimfield adventure together (third with the four of us, I have been going for for a decade or so).

The evening was spent with convivial conversations, but still an early night, as we would be waking up early, for Brimfield Day One!

Brimfield Day One:

Day one started early.  By 4:30 in the morning,  Tommy and I were on the road to the show.   Sue and Alison would catch up with us later.  After parking the truck, we wished each other luck, and headed off in different directions.

There were many corkscrews to be had, but largely of the Williamson, Clough, and Walker variety.  And, of those, pretty much of the common Williamson, Clough, and Walker variety.

Over the course of the morning, Tommy and I would cross paths, and eventually ran into Barry.  For the most part, the conversation went something like,

“Anything yet.”

“Not really.”

And, we would then part ways again.

In the final field of the day, however, there were a few better corkscrews available.  Tommy picked up a Murphy button, and Barry unearthed the find of the day; an Aaron Austin Toilet Necessity in really nice condition.  As it is a double for Barry, Tommy was hot for it.  I have no doubt a deal will be made between the two of them at some point.

I had a few nice little finds over the course of the day.  Early in the morning, I happened upon a simple t-pull with brewery advertising; Rochester Brewing…  At the hefty price of 8 dollars, I figured it was a good thing.  Later the morning, I happened on the identical corkscrew with different advertising.  This time for Genesee Brewing.  It was a bit more than the Rochester, but it makes for a good pair.

There were a couple of perfumes, which will go into the lovely’s collection, a couple of mechanicals, a Nylin patent, an interesting figural fish marked DENMARK, and a really nice Anri Bacchus stopper–missing the cork.  The cork will be replaced and will remain in the collection, although there is little reason for a wine stopper in our house…

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Not a bad day one.  Of course, there were lots of other things for sale!

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In between, the lovely and Alison arrived, and we met up for a picnic lunch; tail gating on the truck.  Following lunch, they girls headed off on their own adventure, and we would get messages when they ran across a corkscrew.

With all of the fields of the day having been visited, we called it a day.  According to our various devices, it showed that Tommy and I had traversed 14.6 and 13.5 miles over the course of the morning/afternoon respectively.

As has become tradition, the evening was spent with wine and stories of the day, and a Taco Tuesday dinner.

It was, again, an early evening as Wednesday would be an early start.

Brimfield Day Two:

On day two, I headed down to the kitchen and proceeded to consume several cups of coffee.  Tommy soon came downstairs, and we were once again headed to the show.  The first field opens at 6 am, and we rolled into the parking lot at 5:54.  Hightailing it to the gate, we were walking in with the awaiting crowds, just as the field opened.

In the first aisle, I found an interesting Anri Monkey nutcracker, but the price was pretty high.  I still toyed with picking it up.  In the end, I left it behind, but let a friend who collects Anri know where it was.  I did pick up a couple of things in the field; a flash was the first purchase of the day, this was followed by an Atlas Beer opener/pencil, and this was followed by a Murphy patent bell with the spike.  I have lots and lots of Murphys, and this indeed is a double (or quadruple, if you want to get technical).  Still, it is a good thing, at a very fair price.

After a bit more hunting, I ran into Tommy a booth where a particular dealer always has corkscrews.  There was a really handsome Henshall with an interesting button and bone handle.  I got to witness Tommy’s negotiating skills in action.  Still, the dealer was a little less inclined to drop much in price, so we walked away.

We meandered a bit through other fields for the next hour, and in anticipation of the 9:00 field opening, headed over and grabbed a seat.  A few minutes later, Barry joined us, and we discussed how the show was going so far and also gave us a chance to catch up on recent finds.

As the field opened, the lovely messaged to say that she and Alison had arrived, and would head over to the field.  I had picked up a few things in my wandering; a few more perfumes, a Sterling roundlet (in not great shape), and few other interesting bits.

The 9:00 field, was eventually followed by the 12:00 field.  Not much there, and Barry and I crossed paths multiple times.  We actually found ourselves in one booth at the very same time, reaching for the very same corkscrew.  But, 35 dollars for a Hercules seemed a little steep to both of us, and similarly both of us opted to leave it behind.

There were, however, other things to buy at the various fields…

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After exhausting the various fields, Sue and Alison decided to head off to Litchfield for a bit of an adventure, and TC and I decided to head off further afield, and do a little antiquing before meeting back at the house for the nightly show and tell and wine.  This was followed by grilling a few filets, and a trade.  Yes, a trade!

Between TC and I, it was quite the pile of corkscrew and openers accumulated thus far…

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Brimfield Day Three:

Day three started, a little less early, and I drove Tommy back to the airport–amongst other corkscrews, the aforementioned Henshall was in his suitcase, as he went back to the dealer and attempted negotiating the price again.  The dealer stood firm, and Tommy sprung for it.  It is a pretty cool corkscrew, after all.

After dropping TC off, and heading back to the house to help check out, I returned to Brimfield for Mays; which opens at 9 on Thursday.  Walking the line, I didn’t see Barry.  I wondered if he had decided to skip, and start the drive to New York and then back home to Florida.

I wandered the aisles, and at the fourth tent, picked up a nice Murphy with acorn handles; one of the earlier ones.  Two aisles over, I picked up a Bridgewater patent coffin guy.  The price was fair, and I had traded my last one to Leon on his visit to the island.  It was nice to find a suitable replacement.

Not much in the way of exciting corkscrews, but a few pieces.  And, I managed to find another perfume for the lovely.

After one more traversing of the fields, I headed off to say goodbye to a few dealer friends, and hit the road for Rockland, and the following day, hopped the boat back to the island.

For those wondering, there were a few other things to buy in Brimfield on day three…

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All in all, a pretty good Brimfield adventure.

“…clever advertising novelty (patented).”

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

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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.

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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?

 

Empire Automatic Cork Extractor

From an 1889 issue of The Iron Age

Empire Automatic Cork Extractor

This article, patented April 16, 1889, is manufactured by the Empire Knife Company, West Winsted, Conn.  Its form and

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general construction are show in the accompanying illustration.  A spring in the head detaches the handle from the corkscrew rod, so that the corkscrew does not turn in the cork while pulling out, and the corkscrew can be set to turn any distance into the cork, so that the cork need not be pierced through, thus saving it for use again.  The power of this corkscrew is referered to as such that the hardest corks can be pulled with ease.

Of course, the Empire Automatic Cork Extractor is the Seymour L. Alvord and Edward E. Brown patent of 1889 (number 401,672).  Not often turning up with a patent mark, when they do, they are marked “PAT. APR 16 ‘89.”

This one still eludes me, if you have an Alvord and Brown patent with which you would like to part, I have plenty of tradebait available!

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.

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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.

GRENPARK TOOL CO.

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

Name

Address

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!

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a leg up…

Sometime around Christmas, I ran across an online advertisement for a Detroit leg corkscrew.  And, the person was asking $122.00.  That of course seemed fair enough given the photo.   I responded in short order, asking about other pictures and the like.

In response, the person said, that they would like a bit less than their original asking price, and explained that they decided on 122, as they needed to put something out there, and given the corkscrew was patented in 1894, at it being–when the ad was placed–2016, the 122 year old corkscrew was given a 122 dollar price tag.

After then exchanging phone numbers, I accepted their reduced price, and promptly sent monies.

After payment was made, and accepted.  It was the last thing I heard from the seller.

They promised to send pictures and tracking, and…

And, then nothing.

Being a (somewhat) patient person, I just waited.

And, I waited.

And, I waited.

And, I waited.

No emails, no phone calls, no tracking numbers…and, more importantly, no Detroit leg.

After a couple of weeks, I sent an email, which garnered no response.  And, I picked up the phone a couple of times, only to reach voicemail, and no return phone call.

I waited a bit longer.

Last week, closing in on a month later, I sent another email.  This one was a little more…shall we say, blunt and to the point.

The next morning, I received an email with apologies and explanations, and a promise that the leg would be mailed of that day…and, this was followed up by an email with tracking information.

Yesterday, the leg indeed arrived.  And, my faith in humanity restored.  This leg is the plain variety, and there is some areas of finish loss, but it is nicely marked, and has a nice snap to the corkscrew.

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Thanks for the deal unnamed-detroit-plain-leg-corkscrew-sellers, and I hope that everything improves for you both.

This leg would be a double/duplicate for me, so feel free to offer up any trades you might have!  If you would like information on the Detroit Cork Screw Company, check out my Detroit Cork Screws page

If you are only going to buy one thing at the local flea…

It was a fabulous week.  The lovely personal personal trainer and I were in Florida for the past seven days, and arrived back home yesterday.

We visited with John and Martha for the first few days, enjoying their hospitality, the beach, the boat, a bit of fishing, and some fantastic food and wine.

From Marathon, we headed north to Palm Beach where we spent a night on our own, before heading towards Orlando and ultimately The Villages with a wonderful visit at Barry and Marty’s new digs.  We also visited the Morse Museum in Winter Park, which houses the largest collection of Tiffany stained glass and other Tiffany creations.  It was mind blowing.

Of course, there are a few corkscrews at Barry and Marty’s place, and I got to see some of the new additions that have been added since the last time we saw the collection.

Laughs, wine, food, corkscrews…it was a great time, and in between, Barry, the lovely, and I headed to a (relatively) local flea market that given MLK holiday was going to be bigger than usual.

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After our arrival, the lovely and I headed one direction, whilst Barry headed another, and we agreed to meet up at an appointed time.  There were a few things about, not a bunch of corkscrews, but a few.  And, largely they were the common variety–but fairly priced.

With still an hour before we were to meet up, I looked under a table where I found a small tin of buttonhooks.  At 6 dollars a piece, I was hopeful that there might be a folding bow with corkscrew with buttonhook.  Asking the dealer if I could dump out the tin to examine them closely, I flipped over the tin and rifled through.

No corkscrews and buttonhooks were present, however…

I know, the suspense is killing you.

There was indeed something worth buying within that tin–well what was previously within the tin and now was spread out over a small blanket.

And, it wasn’t a buttonhook.  But, it could easily be mistaken for one.

I do already own one of these, but to find one in the wild is rather exciting…

(Would you get to the point already?  What was it?)

While the lovely picked up a nice mechanical Anri stopper, what was amongst the buttonhooks was the only thing I purchased that day.  But, if you are only going to find one thing at the local flea, it is a nice thing to find.

Speaking of, while we were walking up to meet Barry, also at the flea was corkscrew collector (and carved alligator collector) Tom Staley.  It was nice to catch up, and perhaps we will finally make the trade we have been negotiating for 6 years.

He said he will bring the corkscrew I am after when he visits Brimfield (and then Maine) in May, and I will bring the corkscrew he is after.  We shall see if they finally change hands.

What was the purchase at the flea in Florida?

A folding Greeley patent, clearly marked with the patent date.  A great find, especially given the asking price!

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Given the Greeley is a double/duplicate…I am guessing the trade or outright purchase offers will be pouring in shortly!

A great week away, and now we are back home in Maine.  A bit of snow on the ground, and it is back to corkscrewing around!

And, a few more poison indicators…

Not that I have actually discovered any poison indicator corkscrews since we last spoke–not that I am speaking–but, I thought I would thumb through the back of O’Leary and check out the patent drawings (once again).

As mentioned the other day, the first mention in O’Leary of a corkscrew with a poison purpose, is the Bailey Safety Alarm of 1890.

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That said, I found another reference on pharmacy history that has an illustration of the both the 1883 Stites Bottle Stopper and the 1890 Bailey Safety Alarm with the words “Stites Cross Bones Stopper and Corkscrew.” In visiting the patent, no corkscrew is mentioned in the Stites patent description, but it would certainly be cool if it actually had one–or if we could find one for that matter.

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The Blake patent of 1914, mentioned the other day is the next poison related corkscrew illustrated in O’Leary.

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In looking at the dates, and while no patent has been found, we then go into 1915 with the Hall’s Red Devil Skull.  And, the newly identified as a patent, so not pictured in O’Leary, Hudson patent of 1915.

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In 1916, we see T.E. Higgins “Poison Alarm Device.”  Again, a piece that I have never seen in person, or pictured, and one that certainly should do its job, with a large skull hanging above a corkscrew inserted in a bottle.

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In 1917, there is the Ketler patent for a “poison bottle indicator.”  Similarly themed, it has a skull and crossbones in a circular frame.  Again, as far as I know, this has yet to be discovered within our respective collections.

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In 1921, we are introduced to the Teece patent “poison bottle top.”

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And, finally in 1924, there is another Skull and Crossbones styles corkscrew: the Fleisher patent, with folding corkscrew attached to the top of the skull, and a spike to insert into the cork:

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There are lots of other poison indicators without corkscrews.  Many patents, with largely the same theme, spikes and sharp edges.  Like the Hall’s Red Skull, where the horns are intended to serve as a warning in the middle of the night, and the sharp edges of the Blake (which we haven’t found) or the serrated disk, which is similar to, and could very well be the Bailey’s Safety Alarm, there are sharp edges, spikes, prongs, barbs, and the like which are intended to serve as a deterrent.

This is going to hurt you, so don’t drink this.

As far as I know, most of these patents haven’t been found in a real life form.  Do you have one of these poison related corkscrews?  Do you have a different poison related corkscrew?

Feel free to drop me a line.