The Clipper Cork Puller

From an 1903 issue of Iron Age:

The Clipper Cork Puller

The Arcade Mfg. Company, Freeport, Ill, New York office, 08 Park place, are putting on the market the cork puller shown in the accompanying cuts.  It is what is known as the skeleton type of puller, showing the working parts exposed to view.  

The Clipper Cork Puller

No. 90. No. 95.

It is made in two types: No. 90, to fasten to a table or bar with a screw clamp, and No. 95, designed to fasten to a partition, ice box, or wall with ordinary wall screws.  The puller is designed to meet the demand for a puller that can be sold at a low price, and is referred to as being well constructed and substantial.  The goods are finished in plain black Japan and packed for shipment one each in a box, half a dozen in a case

The Meriden…

From an 1894 issue of The Manufacturer and Builder:

The Meriden Cork-Puller

The cork-puller shown herewith is being manufactured and introduced by Manning, Bowman & Co., of Meriden, Conn., and 57 Beekman street, New York.  To operate the deice the handle of the puller is raised so that it will rest back over the counter ; the cork of the bottle is then pressed up firmly against the barrel of the puller, while the handle is brought forward and down to the position shown in the cut.  This operation, it is explained, passes the worm through the cork, while the reverse motion of turning the handle back until the cam is on the crank rests on the lever draws the cork.  After the bottle is removed, the handle is turned still further back, which, it is stated, presses the lever down and throws off the cork, leaving the machine in position for the next bottle.  A hole in the rack, or plunger, is provided for oiling the parts, and the top of the barrel is covered with a removable cap, so that the puller may be taken apart for replacing parts that may become broken.

The Meriden Cork-Puller

The manufacturers state that the instrument is well made, and simply strong for its intended purpose, and that it is not only easy to operate, but also durable in service.

Walter Wilkinson

On August 18, 1891, Walter Wilkinson of Providence, Rhode Island was awarded patent # 458,067 for his “Corkscrew.”

The patent was assigned to the Gorham Manufacturing Company, and an example has been on my wishlist for some time…

Yesterday, a deal was struck, and one will soon be arriving on the island.

Best 6 for 2021 candidate? It very well could be…

The Hampton

On Saturday and Sunday, the most recent round of the auction came to a close, and there was a series of bidding wars that took place on some pretty fantastic corkscrews.

And, yes, there were the usual suspects; collectors that are pretty consistent when it comes to the auction. Of course, there were some newcomers too, new bidders jumping into the fray, and coming away with some twisted treasures for their collections.

I did bid on a few, and was taken out fairly quickly.

Still, I did manage to win one, and it will be an interesting mystery to solve.

This particular corkscrew is a roundlet, but the piece is marked “THE HAMPTON.”

It will be interesting to try and figure out the history of it.

Where “THE HAMPTON” comes from, and who made it, should make for a good story, should I be able to figure it out. And, should I be able to solve the mystery, I will share any information I uncover.

Of course, there were some fantastic corkscrews in the auction that netted out a flurry of bids, with a rare Robert Jones corkscrew being the highest price achieved, but still not making the seller’s reserve.

And, a pair of folding two-fisted drinking arms in celluloid was the highest price piece that sold and will end up with new owner.

A fun couple of days of bidding, with plenty of corkscrew-pavlovian-juices flowing at the rare and fantastic offerings.

Haff again…

About a year and a half ago, there was a rare example of the Edward P. Haff patented corkscrew, that was coming to close on eBay. I placed a bid, and was lucky enough to win the auction, and while the brass band on the handle, as well as the frame and spring, had been painted black–with a little paint remover, that issue was remedied.

And, the Haff made my best 6 of 2019.

Over the past few days, I have been keeping my eye on an non-eBay auction that happened to have a similar Haff patent with frame within it.

Fortunately, it looks like it won’t need any paint remover…

Of course, I wasn’t merely keeping an eye on it.

I placed a fairly fair absentee bid and hoped for the best…

Last night the auction ended…

And, the Haff lot will soon be heading to the island.

Now, I am going to work under the assumption that this Haff is marked similar to the one that I already have–and, we will wait and see when it arrives.

But, I have a feeling this might end up being tradebait…

Who is in need of an 1885/1886 Haff patent corkscrew with frame?

Whatcha got?

1910 Japanese patent…

A couple of years ago, I was doing an appraisal of a corkscrew collection (for those that don’t know, both the lovely and I are certified appraisers), and in amongst the various pieces–the bulk of which were American, was an unusual corkscrew that was clearly broken, and also clearly of Japanese origins.

As was my practice, I took photos, and included it in the appraisal.

I was intrigued by the sillcock-like handle, and when I got back to Maine, I grabbed Don’s book on Japanese corkscrews, and thumbed through.

Surprisingly, there are a couple of corkscrews in the patent illustrations that have similar handles…

I settled on the piece being an 1910 patent, as illustrated in Bull’s book.

Of course, knowing that this broken example existed, I have been on the look out for a complete example.

And, keep in mind, with the exception of the illustration that is present in Don’s book, a complete 1910 patent has yet to turn up in any book on corkscrews.

As of last week however, after a bit of searching, a complete example is headed to the island.

When it arrives, I will provide better pictures and try to decipher all of the writing upon it.

Stay tuned.

And, if you have an antique Japanese corkscrew, drop me a line!


From the October 19, 1870 issue of American Artisan:


The cork-screw has, in the past years, been the subject of several modifications and improvements, none more ingenious than the one illustrated in Fig. 1 of the accompanying engravings, the essential principle of which, as indicated in Fig. 2, may also be employed in the construction of augers and boring tools.  It was patented through the “American Artisan Patent Agency,” on August 2 1870, by Mr. Walter Dickson, of Albany, N.Y.

The invention consists in the connection of the handle with the shank and screw of the cork-screw or other implement by means of two reverse rag-wheel clutches, whereby the rotation of the shank and its attached parts, when in use, may be obtained without removing the hand from the handle drying the entire operation of the device in any given case.  The screw, A, has its upper end or shank extended into the attached handle, B, in such manner that the handle may have a moment around the axis of the screw.  The shank of the screw is provided with a button, C, affixed thereto, and working within the recess, D, in the handle, the upperside of this button being formed with a series of rachet-teeth facing in one direction, while its lower side is furnished with a similar series facing in the opposite direction.  The handle at the lower side of the recess, D, has an annualar ratchet, a, capable of clutching with the lower ratchet of the button, and at its upper side with a similar ratchet, b, capable of clutching with the upper annular ratchet, the space D, affording such play to the handle that, by moving the same up or down upon the shank, one or the other of the annular ratchets may be clutched with button as may be desired.

To use the cork-screw the point of the screw is inserted into the cork, and the handle is pressed down to clutch the same upon the upper ratchet of the button on the shank.  The handle is then turned back and forth without removing the hand from it, and, the clutch operated only in one direction, the screw is of course screwed into the cork with an intermittent movement.  In order to reverse the motion with reference to the cork, after the withdrawal of the latter, it is only necessary to take the cork in one hand and the cork-screw in the other, so that, the ratchet of the button clutching with the handle, a reverse motion of the latter quickly operates the screw to withdraw the same.  It will thus be seen that the entire operation of Inserting the screw, withdrawing the cork, and removing the same from the screw may be done without once removing the hand from the handle, which in other cork-screws is a source of considerable delay and inconvenience.  The augur, represented in Fig. 2, is made on the same plan, the tool turned in one direction by the clutching of the handle with the upper side of the button, and in a reverse direction by the connection, in like manner of the handle with the underside of the button, and therefore requires no specific description to make the method of its operation understood.

The Dickson is a hard to come by American patent, and there are a couple of variations out there.

If you have an 1870 Dickson patent, ( usually marked PAT AUG. 2, 1870 ) drop me a line at .

John A. Smith patent…



THE object of this invention is to provide for the more handy and expeditious drawing of corks than has been the case with the instruments that have heretofore been employed.

The peculiarity of this cork screw is that it does not require the hand to be turned in using and does not require the hand to be removed from it in its operation, the whole of which is performed by a simple push to insert it in the cork, one pull to withdraw the cork from the bottle, and another to remove the screw from the cork.

The handle, A, is made in two parts, and is held together by screws inserted at each end.  An extension, a, is made at the central portion.  Received in this extensions and made to return freely therein is the journal, j, of the screw, C, being held in A by the nut, g.  A handle, B, is attached to the screw, and is made of a curved form to allow of the fingers being conveniently placed on opposite side of the shank, f.  The screw, C, is formed with a straight core, e, around which is a thin thread, e, of very rapid pitch, the lower end terminating in a cutting edge.  The point of the core, c, is sharpened to facilitate its entrance into the cork.

To insert the screw into the cork, the handle, A, is grasped in the hand, and the point of the screws is placed on the cork, and a push given to the handle with force sufficient to enable the screw to enter the cork, the shank in the meantime turning in the handle and the screw during in the cork.

To draw the cork, the fore and second fingers are placed in the part, B, of the handle, to keep the screw from turning; while the part, A, is grasped in the hand, and the cork may then be pulled out of the bottle as with an ordinary cork-screw.  After the cork is drawn, it is removed from the screw, by holding it with one hand and pulling the handle, A, with the other.

This improved cork-screw was patented through the “American Artisan Patent Agency,” on November 6, 1870 by John A. Smith of 105 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, N.Y., to whom reference is made for further information.

If you have an 1870 John A. Smith of 105 Flatbush Avenue corkscrew in your possession, I would love to see pictures of it.

That said, if you go to the patent drawing and description, the drawings are a little more clear:

And, Smith points out in his patent description that the handle should be brass or some other metal, and further explains:

“It is obvious that with my cork-screw a cork can be drawn and removed from the screw in less time and more handily than by an ordinary cork-screw.”

Of course, I would be happy to acquire Smith a patent, and put it into the collection.

Drop me a line!