John A. Smith patent…

From an 1871 issue of AMERICAN ARTISAN: A WEEKLY JOURNAL OF ARTS, MECHANICS, MANUFACTURES, ENGINEERING, CHEMISTRY, INVENTIONS, AND PATENTS

SMITH’S PATENT CORK-SCREW

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!

BUETER… BUETER…BUETER

5 years ago, I won at auction a fixed bell corkscrew on the collectorcorkscrews.com auction. And, it remained the collection for some time, but at some point it made its way elsewhere.

Petey has had a similar corkscrew for sale on eBay for a while, and his is stamped multiple times, J.H. BUETER… I gather this is not the maker, but rather the previous owner of said corkscrew, as the example that I did have, was unmarked.

And, recently I did acquire another example of this same corkscrew. And, it too is unmarked.

Do any of you out there have this corkscrew?

If you do, is it marked?

Is marked for J.H. BUETER?

Any information would be appreciated.

Clough Advertising Corkscrews for Clough Advertising Corkscrews

As mentioned he other day, I picked up a few corkscrews on my adventure down, and back up, the coast.

Two of the corkscrews acquired were wooden sheath Clough’s.

What is cool about them, is both carry different advertising for Clough, but they are also different sizes.

The smaller one reads:

CLOUGH
Corkscrew Company
ALTON, N. H. U. S. A.

SOLID STEEL ADVERTISING CORKSCREWS
PRINTED TO ORDER BY THE 1000
CLOUGH’S PATENTS 337,309 & 441,137

The larger one reads:

Rockwell-Clough Co.
ALTON, N.H. U.S.A.

THE CLOUGH CORKSCREW WAS THE FIRST WIRE CORKSCREW AND THE ORIGIN OF ALL THE PATENT MEDICINE CORKSCREWS NOW BY THE MILLION ALL OVER THE WORLD

And, it is clear that the smaller one is made for a smaller Clough wire corkscrew, as the thicker version wouldn’t fit. A pretty cool little pair of Cloughs.

Ladies Friend…

On Sep. 02, 1879, Benjamin N. Shelley of Anderson, Indiana was awarded patent number 219,313 for his Improved Combination Implement for Domestic and Other Uses.

lfdraw

When the Shelley turns up, it is usually found with a PATD APLD FOR marking (with the two D’s in superscript) as well as the mark “LADIES FRIEND.”

In Shelly’s patent drawing, he explains:

My invention consists of a combined implement for domestic and other purposes, which presents in a single device and compact form the functions of hammer, screw-driver, cork-screw, can-opener, ice-pick, glass cutter and breaker, stove-lifter, tack-drawer, saw-set, knife-sharpener, wrench, steak-tenderer, and putty-knife.

That is a lot of uses.

And, a lot of hyphens…

That said, when the “LADIES FRIEND” turns up, they almost always have damage to the corkscrew.  Odd turns, broken tips; it makes you wonder what material Shelley used for the corkscrew, or perhaps people in 1878 opted to use the corkscrew as the stove-lifter or steak-tenderer…

Still, it is fabulous combination multi-tool with corkscrew that I would love to add to the collection…

If you have a “LADIES FRIEND” laying around, feel free to drop me a line at Josef@vintagecorkscrews,com

Of course, feel free to email regarding any antique corkscrews with which you wish to part.

 

The Norvic Corkscrew Mystery

Just the other day, a patent pending corkscrew was ending on eBay, and while on my watch list, I forgot to place a bid.

I don’t have the Norvic rack and pinion, and would love to add one to the collection if you have one.

And, in some ways it was good that I didn’t throw out a bid, as the winning bidder was Bob G.

IMG_1604

After this win, we were exchanging messages about the piece, and we began to wonder who Norvic is / was.

That said, before we start heading down that path, Bob was messing around with the rack and pinion corkscrew, and noticed that the helix seemed a little loose.

He explained, “While inspecting the Norvic closely, I thought what?  A loose helix?  But, on further inspection, I discovered it was equipped with a replaceable helix.”

IMG_1605

Our exchange continued, and we set about trying to determine who Norvic might be.

Now, there is a Norvic Shipping, but they were established in the last 20 years, and we know this corkscrew has some relative age to it.

But, who (or what) is Norvic???

As you all know, I do get a little obsessive about this type of thing, and I started looking closely at the handle and the markings.

Is there information present that might help inform the search?

norvic mark

As you will notice, the NORVIC is not just a marking, but appears to be a very intentional font choice; a logo perhaps?

norvicfont

And, then there is the patent pending mark.

norvicmark2

What is that odd set of characters just after U.S.A?  Is this a clue?

norvicmark3

What is the purpose of this?

Decoration?

Ancient alien code?

Perhaps a clue as to the mystery of Oak Island?

That all said, Bob and I thought it would make for an interesting discussion.  And, so we put it out to all of you in blogland: Who (or what) is Norvic?

I did come up with a couple of options, but let the search commence.

norvic

Norvic Shoes?

norviclager

Norvic Lager?

Who is Norvic!!!!????????!!!!!!!!??????

Do you know who Norvic is?  And, whether you have ideas, or have the definitive answer, drop me a line at josef@vintagecorkscrews.com

And, if you have a Norvic corkscrew with which you would wish to part, feel free to email me as well.

Combined Corkscrew and Time Dial…

From an 1891 issue of Pharmaceutical Record:

 

THE CLOUGH CORKSCREW AND CAPSULE COMPANY, 132 Nassau street, New York, issue an illustrated price list of vial Corkscrews and Capsules.  The Wire Corkscrew Rings are made plain, and also with name in raised letters stamped on the ring with steel dies.  Folding Corkscrews are made with decorated metal handles, with name printed to order on the outside, or both outside and inside.  Combined Corkscrew and Time Dials are so arranged that the Corkscrews serves as a hand to designate the hour at which time medicine is to be taken.  Clough’s Capsule is metal cap designed to fit over the upper portion of the cork, to facilitate the removing of the cork from the bottle.  This company is prepared to quote prices on these goods in quantities up to 1000 gross.

 

For years, I have been on the hunt for the Combined Corkscrew and Time Dial; also known as Clough’s Medicine Dial.

 

 

On Don Bull’s site, Ron MacLean explains that in 1977 Bob Nugent found a number of them and gave them away as Christmas gifts to fellow members of the ICCA.

I was not a member of the ICCA in 1977 (I was still in grammar school), so I wasn’t one of the fortuitous recipients.

That said, yesterday a deal was struck, and a Combined Corkscrew and Time Dial is heading to the island.

 

 

Thanks for the trade RL!

 

 

“simple and powerful implement for extracting corks…”

From the September 4th, 1869 issue of Scientific American

Improved Cork Extractor.

Our engraving shows a simple and powerful implement for extracting corks from bottles, patented Jan. 14, 1868, by James Morton, of Philadelphia. It consists of three bars pivoted together, which, together with the corkscrew, constitute the entire apparatus. One of the bars has a socket or cap at its lower end, which is placed on and around the neck of the bottle. Near the upper end of this first post or bar is pivoted the end of the second bar, near the middle of which the third bar is pivoted. The second and third bars have handles at their outer ends, and at the inner end of their third bar is a hook.

mortonex

This hook engages with the corkscrew in the manner delineated in the engraving, and by forcing the handles together or pressing them downward, the cork can be easily extracted. The instrument is equally adapted to extracting corks on which rings or hooks are already formed so that no corkscrew is needed.

For further particulars address James Morton, 912 South Eighth street, Philadelphia, Pa

BALLET-CORKSEREWS

 

I will preface this by saying, if you are going to hire an engraver, you might want to be sure that they know how to spell.

Just sayin’

The Manufacture of Ballet-Corkscrews corkscrew arrived the other day, and while there are a couple of hairlines to the celluloid, the corkscrew is pretty fantastic.

Although, in looking closely (really closely) at the writing across the advertising plates it looks as if the piece is marked CORKSEREWS rather than CORKSCREWS.

Now, clearly they had a C nearby, as CORKSEREWS starts with a C, and MANUFACTURE also has a C.

And, as they got to the end of the plate, knowing that were trying to make CORKSCREW (or more aptly CORKSEREW) plural, but were running out of room, the S is a bit smaller, but they still made if fit.

LEGS2LEGS4LEGS1LEGS3

Even with the replacing the C with an E, the corkscrew is pretty darn awesome, and has the potential of making the best 6 of the year.

I have yet to clean the shank of the helix up yet, but it does look to have a maker’s mark. I will report back here once I figure that one out.

More corkscrew news as it happens.  Stay tuned!