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.

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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.”

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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?

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And, then there is the patent pending mark.

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

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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.

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Norvic Shoes?

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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.

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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.

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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!

manufacture of ballet corkscrews

Yesterday afternoon, for a moment, I decided to hop on to eBay, and how fortuitous it was that I did.

A pair of ladies legs had been put up for sale with a pretty fair opening bid.

Still, it was a normal pair at first glance, so I simply put it on my watch list.

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And, then I went back to the listing to check for cracks, missing celluloid, size, markings etc.

It looks to have one crack at the knee.

The second photo that came up revealed that this was not your average ladies legs corkscrew.

On one side, it was normal black and white/cream stripes, on the reverse were advertising plates like the Old Elk Whiskey – Always Pure pair of legs that I picked up last year:

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On the plates on this particular pair, the advertising was not for Old Elk Whiskey, instead across the two plates it reads: “MANUFACTURE OF BALLET-CORKSCREWS”

How cool is that?

A legs corkscrew advertising legs corkscrews!

Did I mention it also had a fair Buy it Now price?

I clicked.

I paid.

And, the MANUFACTURE OF BALLET-CORKSCREWS legs are on their way to Vinalhaven.

A really cool piece, that could make the best 6 of the year.

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Better photos after they arrive!

Steinwender & Sellner

A couple of weeks ago, I found a non-ebay online auction lot, that I found pretty interesting.  And, over the following days, I would go back and see how the bidding was going.

After registering for the auction, I placed a bid, and went back to business at hand.

At the end of the first week, I was the high bidder, and actually the only bidder.  As we got closer to the auction close, a few more bids were placed, but I was still in the lead.

My initial bid was not particularly high, but obviously higher than others that had also seen the auction.

With about 8 hours until the auction close, and knowing that there were 8 other bids, I went back to the auction lot, and upped my bid quite a bit, hoping to ensure that the lot would indeed be heading to Vinalhaven.

Last night the auction ended, and this morning I got the confirmation email.  I had indeed won.  And, the additional higher bid wasn’t necessary, the lot ended at a whopping $27.50 and with a 10% auctioneer’s fee, just over 30 bucks.

The auction lot, was billed as “Metal cork screw, “Steinwerder & Sellner”, St. Louis”

And, the metal corkscrew?

It is a Brangs patent, and it carries advertising, not for Steinwerder & Sellner of St Louis, but for Steinwender & Sellner of St. Louis

And, who is Steinwender and Sellner?

That would be Gustav A. Steinwender and Christian Albert Sellner; wine, beer, and liquor importers and dealers in St. Louis

 

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Steinwender and Sellner, was established in 1863, and the ads above date to 1891 and appeared in the St. Louis Dispatch.

Of course, the Brangs is the Jules Brangs’ French Patent Number 122,704 of April 23, 1878, which is a hard to find piece.  But, with the additional advertising, it is pretty darn cool.

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I will add pictures, sans the Cory Craig, Auctioneer watermark, when it arrives in a few days.

A really neat little corkscrew that I have tried to acquire several times to no avail.

Best 6?  It certainly will be in contention!

 

 

Napier Hollweg arrives…

The 8 dollar buy it now lot arrived yesterday, and I was quite pleased that the Napier Hollweg had a nice sharp helix.  The images from the auction didn’t show the tip, and at such a smokin’ deal, I didn’t take the time to inquire about the condition of the piece.

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Marked PAT APPLIED FOR on the end hanging ring, and NAPIER STERLING on one of the hinges, it is pretty darn cool.

And, with a little silver polish, is suddenly got pretty shiny!

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A handsome corkscrew, that is a nice addition to the collection.

Wishlist for 2018

There are actually a lot of things that are on my wishlist for 2018: peace, understanding, love, good health, etc., but there are also a few corkscrews that I would like to add to the collection.

Over the last couple of years, I have published the corkscrew wishlist, with hopes that someone might say, “Hey, I have one of those.  Let’s make a deal.”

Here are the wish lists from a few previous years.  And, given that we publish our best sixes each year, I have limited it to six each year…

2014:

1. Trunk Patent
2. Folding Hicks & Reynolds
3. Frary with Can Opener handle
4. Jenner Patent
5. Philos Blake (how can we have a dog named Philos, and not have the corkscrew)
6. Sperry Patent

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I did end up acquiring both the Trunk and the folding Hicks and Reynolds in 2014, and so the wishlist was updated with a few others that I would love to add to the collection.

2015:

1. Frary Sullivan Bar Screw
2. A new discovery from the Back of O’Leary
3. Frary with Can Opener Handle
4. Jenner Patent
5. Philos Blake Patent
6. Sperry Patent

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But remained the same in 2016

2016:

1. Frary Sullivan Bar Screw
2. A new discovery from the Back of O’Leary
3. Frary with Can Opener Handle
4. Jenner Patent
5. Philos Blake Patent
6. Sperry Patent

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And, while there were new discoveries from the back of O’Leary, and few that didn’t appear in O’Leary, the Frary Sullivan, Frary with can opener, Jenner, Philos Blake, and the Sperry remain illusive.

So… they are still on the list.  Yes, the list from 2017, and now the wish list for 2018!

2018 Wishlist:

1. Frary Sullivan Bar Screw
2. A new discovery from the Back of O’Leary
3. Frary with Can Opener Handle
4. Jenner Patent
5. Philos Blake Patent
6. Sperry Patent

2015wishlist-copy

But, what corkscrews are on your wish list?  What corkscrews do you most hope to find this year?

Feel free to respond with what you really want to add to your collection this year (email me if you are so inclined)

And, I will gladly post them on the bloggy blog, and perhaps someone will respond to your list with: “Hey, I have one of those. Let’s make a deal.”

 

 

“having dose cups with each bottle”

From the February 3, 1889 issue of PHARMACEUTICAL RECORD

H. Zeilin & Co., Philadelphia, call attention in an announcement recently made to Professor Parrish’s preparations, and especially Parrish’s Compound Syrup of Phosphates. Chemists who have had experience in the manufacture of Compound of Phosphates are aware that it is almost impossible to make it perfect and prevent deposit, fermenting and change, but J. H. Zeilin & Co., having purchased the private formulas of Parrish’s specialties, take especial pains to make the preparations worthy of the name of the distinguished chemist.  The articles are referred to as put up in a very attractive style, having dose cups with each bottle, rendering them very desirable articles to handle.  The following at the prices of the different preparations, terms cash 30 days:

                                                                                    Per doz.

Compound Syrup of Phosphates………………………..    $7.50

Glycerole of Hypophosphites……………………………     7.50

Syrup of Phosphites…………….…………………………..     7.50

Compound Syrup of Hypophosphites, with Iron….. 7.50

Syrup of Phosphate of Iron……………….………………….7.50

Syrup of Lacto-Phosphate of Iron………………..……….7.50

Bitter Wine of Iron………………………………………………7.50

Propylamin Cordial……………………….…………………..11.25

Wine of Pepsin…………………………………………………….7.50

Solution of Meconate of Morphia…………………………5.63

Elixir of Calisays……………………………………..…………..7.50

Elixir of Valerianate of Ammonia…………….………….5.63

Cephalic Snuff…………….………………………………………1.87

Dragees of Santonine…………….………………………..….1.87

Liquid Rennet…………….………………………………………1.87

We have owned several versions of the Zeilin patent in Sterling — these come in various sizes; embossed or plain.  There are also versions that have a medicine dial.

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And, we have a glass and metal version.

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But, it is within the pages of Fred O’Leary that there is Zeilin Dosage cup carrying the patent date, and also serving as an advertisement for one of the Hypophosphites listed above

On page 63 of O’Leary amongst the others, this version of the Zeilin is picture and described as being marked, “ONE TEASPOONFULL PARRISHS HYPOPHOSPHITES, J.H. ZEILIN & CO. PHILA, PA”

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The 1889 article says “having dose cups with each bottle.”  Was it Zeilin’s patent that was included within each box with each bottle?  What do you think?  And, if there was, why haven’t more turned up?

Do any of you have an all metal (non Sterling) Zeilin Patent dosage cup with patent date and advertising?

I would happily trade for it if you do.  Drop me a line.

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!