In 1867, William H. Van Gieson, of Passiac, New Jersey was awarded patent number 61,485 for his Improved Cork-Screw.
For years, the Van Gieson has proven illusive. I have seen them come up for auction, and have tried trading really really hard with Robert for one he picked up a couple of years ago for a pittance, and as of yesterday morning, a deal was finally struck for one–not from Robert.
In reading through the patent description, Van Gieson explains:
“The object of my invention is to produce a cork-screw which shall be rapid and simple in its operation, as well as strong and durable, and not too bulky to be convenient in handling.
To accomplish this object, I attach to the middle of the handle a metallic tube, in the position usually occupied by the shank of the instrument, and extend the shank of the screw or spiral to about double its usual length, making the upper part in the form of a regularly twisted square, or other prism-shaped rod, having about one twist to the inch, and turned in the opposite direction from that of the screw or spiral itself, and make this twisted square portion to turn up into said tube through a plate at its lower extremity. This place has a hole through it, of the exact form of the twisted rod, acting on the rod in the matter of a screw-nut, so that as the rod passes up into the tub, it is caused to revolve on its axis, thus driving the screw or spiral into the cork against which it is pressed. When the twisted square rod is thus driven up into the tube, and the screw or spiral into the cork, a spring-catch, which is fastened to the lower end of the tube, catches under a shoulder at the lower end of the square rod, where it joins the shank for the spiral, and holds it securely while the cork is being withdrawn. The cork can be removed in the usual way, or the spring-catch may be disengaged, and the twisted part drawn out, ready for use again. In the last case the cork would be run off from the spiral at the same time.”
7 years ago, and a few days, I was in St. Louis going through the process of becoming a certified personal property appraiser, and I reached out to Tommy, who made the drive from Chicago, and we spent a few days antiquing around St. Louis.
Of course, one of those days included a visit to Art Santen, and you can read about that visit here.
During our visit, amongst a few other corkscrews, I acquired an interesting wallmount corkscrew made by Anchor Products… you can read about that one here…
That said, at some point, the Anchor Products Pat. Pend wallmount bottle opener went elsewhere. I honestly don’t remember to whom it was traded, or what I got in exchange…
And, since the two were acquired (Tommy got one too from Art), I have yet to see, or hear, of another one.
Clearly, Anchor Products didn’t only make two, but it is surprising that others haven’t shown up.
Last week, one did.
For a week, on eBay, a lot of three items entitled “Vintage Ice Pick, Sharpening Stone and Multi Can & Bottle Opener” was sitting unnoticed with no bids.
Except, I had noticed, and put it on my watch list.
Yesterday, with a few hours to go, I placed a bid.
And, I hoped, and patiently waited.
Interestingly, while the images showed the corkscrew, a corkscrew was not mentioned in the listing. And, I really don’t even know how I came upon it.
But, I did, and I bid…
And, I won.
And, now an Anchor Products Pat. Pending wallmount corkscrew will again be in the collection.
Better pictures when it arrives, and a welcome (re)addition to the collection.
On February 7, 1888, Johann B. von Fürstenwärther was awarded his patent (#377,483) for a Medicine Cup and stopper.
And, for those of you not familiar with Johann’s patent, it is quite different than the Zeilin patent, insofar as instead of having the corkscrew extend from the bottom of the dose cup, it is instead set at a right angle. This serves several purposes, but our man Fürstenwärther, explains it pretty clearly in his patent description, explaining:
“The cup A may be made capable of holding any desired quantity of liquid—for instance a tea-spoonful, two tea-spoonfuls, a table-spoonful, &c. –-and may be marked with appropriate inscriptions showing the capacity of the cup for use by druggists and physicians. It will obviously perform the two functions of assisting to extract the cork from the bottle and to measure the quantity of fluid or other material taken from the bottle. If provided with the corkscrew, it can be readily applied to any cork or stopper of any size, and the cork, if worn out or unfit for use, can be exchange for another. On the other hand, the cork or corkscrew, which is attached to the cup at right angles to its vertical axis, will serve as a convenient handle for the cup whenever the cup is used apart from the bottle. The cup may also be used as a cover for the bottle by being inverted and placed over the mouth thereof.
Unless the corkscrew is at right angles to the cup the latter, when filled, would have to be emptied at once. By my invention the dose can be laid aside on a table until the patient has been adjusted to receive it. The bottom of my cup serves as a base to rest it on, the corkscrew not being in the way.”
I would love to add an example of the Fürstenwärther to the collection, and they are out there.
Well, I know of at least one that is out there, but surely they didn’t make just one.
When found, it is marked with the patent date: “PAT. FEB. 7, 1888.”
If you have a medicine cup corkscrew, I would happily make a trade for it. Drop me a line.
There is always more or less difficulty in getting corks out of bottles. Many a knife has been broken and still the cork moved not. A patent cork puller has been brought out which overcomes all these troubles and saves the cork besides.
HAM’S PATENT CORK PULLER.
The accompanying illustration shows what it is. To work it insert the blades between the bottle and cork, rock it forward and back until a firm grip is secured, then turn and pull gently. It never fails to work, and saves both bottle and cork for future usefulness. The retail price is 10 cents, and the New York News Company will supply the trade.
As the article explains, this is, “Ham’s Patent Cork Puller.” That would be Herbert H. Hamm and his patent for a cork-extractor (#702,001) awarded June 10, 1902.
And, Triple H explains in his patent description:
“In a cork-extractor, the combination of a resilient bow or fork, a hollow handle embodying a plurality of open-ended hollow parts, the said open-ended hollow parts being adapted for engagement with each other, one of the said hollow parts being slotted to receive the arms of the bow or fork adapted to be alternately contained within the said handle and to be fitted therein to extend from the said handle, the middle portion of the bow being adapted to form a bearing against the interior of the hollow handle, substantially as described.”
While I have yet to find a Herbert H. Ham patent, and not for a lack of looking, there have been a couple found–and when found (see O’Leary page 117) they are marked “PAT APPL’D FOR.”
If you happen to have one, I would love to add it to the collection.
On May 17, 1892, William G. Browne and John L. Benton were awarded patent # 475,222 for their “Can Opener.”
And, when this can opener turns up, as shown in the patent drawings, it is marked with the patent date and also with NEVER SLIP.
For those of you thinking, that the date rings a bell, it should, as W. G. Browne was awarded a patent in 1895 for another can opener; patent # 541,034
And, when that can opener turns up (with the addition of a fold out corkscrew) it is marked with both patent dates; for 1892 and for 1895, and is also marked KING.
A later version, maintains the 1895 patent date, but then adds a 1908 patent date; which is Reynold’s patent (#896,577) for a combination tool; also marked the KING, with the patent was assigned to Browne and Dowd MFG. Co.
The other day, I picked up yet another version, that predates the 1895 patent, and references the 1892 patent.
A departure from the NEVER SLIP form with leanings toward the 1895 Browne, it is marked PAT. MAY 17-92 AND PAT PEND’D.
The other day, I ran across an interesting corkscrew, with its original box.
The label on the box, reads as follows:
THE CORK SCREW
UTILITY MODEL PATENT NO. 64,845
CORK SCREW MFC. T. S. & Co
It is u_______ cork Screw and
Opening of Crown Cork
as well the prettist
looking and most
Not sure if the corkscrew really is the prettist (sic), and I am also unsure of the word(s) that comes after “It is.”
Still, pretty cool to find the piece with its original packaging.
Also, it does have a utility model patent number. In looking at Bull’s book on Japanese patented corkscrews, you can find the patent drawing, which according to the image, is supposed to have a can opener hidden inside the handle.
I am guessing that attribute in the patent didn’t make it into production.
That said, I will certainly give the handle a twist when it arrives, just to be sure.
The combination tool with corkscrew mentioned the other day arrived. And, it is a very cool addition to the collection.
When I first saw this piece, I knew it was unusual, and when I saw that it was marked PAT. PEND, I knew that I had to acquire it.
Of course, the next question, is, “Was this ever awarded a patent?”
Sending images to a few fellow collectors, the responses have been; never seen it, cool, and unusual. And, of course the Toolman, followed up with a patent number where the drawing has some similarities. Thanks Bob!
Not sure if this is actually the Shaffer, but it certainly does have a similar look.