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the lower end of the square rod, where it joins the shank for the spiral, and holds it securely while the cork is being withdrawn.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.
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?
From the October 19, 1870 issue of American Artisan:
DICKSON’S PATENT CORK-SCREW
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 email@example.com .