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.
The necessity of some form of cork extractors is experienced by all, and it may be interesting to review some of the well known implements shown in the accompanying illustration, all of the devices pictured being found among expired patents.
A selection of old cork extractors found among expired patents.
In A we find a device pierced at its lower end to penetrate the cork, and provided with a short pivoted cross bar for alining with the shank as the last is forced through the cork, but turning at a right angle to withdraw the cork.
The corkscrew B has a handled pivoted to the corkscrew part and a prop is also pivoted oo the handle and it may be rested against the bottle lip to form a fulcrum for the handle so the last can operated as a lever and pull the cork; while C illustrated a simple wire cage for withdrawing the corks that have been forced down into the bottle.
A double lever in scissors shape is presented in D, and this can be used in connection with any handled corkscrew. The sketch E shows a stand to rest upon a bottle, and having threaded a shaft carrying the screw and a separate nut operating on the threaded shank to pull the cork.
Simple extractors having blades to project down on opposite sides of the cork, are represented in F and G. Sketch H shows an extractor in which a stand mounted on the bottle neck has at its upper end a windlass connected by a chain with the corkscrew, so that it can exert force to pull the cork.
In I is shown an extractor adapted to be secured to a bench of counter and supplied with a hand lever, whose rack segment operated when moved in one direction to force the corkscrew into the cork, and when reversed, to pull the cork out of the bottle so as to free the cork from the screw.
J represents a novel form of corkscrew which can be folded as shown in the smaller engraving to conveniently carry in the pocket, and can then be opened as shown in the larger one, to operate first as a handled corkscrew in turning the screw into the cork and then as a lever in extracting the cork from the bottle: and K represents a bench or counter extractor in which as screws turns into the cork and a spring when compressed aids in the drawing the cork from the bottle.
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
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.
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.
It is early in the year, and there is much hunting and collecting to take place, but over the last couple of days a deal was struck for a cork puller that easily will make the best six of 2018.
If over the next 12 months, I manage to find 6 pieces that are rarer, and it doesn’t make the list, well…that would be a good problem to have.
As mentioned in the past, I spend lots of time looking at O’Leary’s tome on American patented corkscrews. And, while I haven’t memorized every patent drawing in the back of his book, there are some that I indeed have. Still, only going by a patent drawing isn’t really enough. From drawing to manufacture things can change. So, it really really really helps, when suddenly you are presented with a previously yet discovered cork puller that is clearly marked with a patent date.
The question of who?, what? when?, is that really what it was intended for?, is answered pretty quickly with a quick glance in the back of O’Leary. This, of course, is often followed by visit to google patents.
Now, this very well may exist within another collector’s collection, but given it isn’t in O’Leary (at least the front) and given that it has yet to appear in any of the patent updates, I will say “new discovery.” If it has been previously found, I will happily say, “it is a rare thing.”
“So, what did you find Josef?” You are asking yourself
Ladies and gentleman, I present to you, the 1867 James D. Van Zandt patent for an Improved Cork Pull.
Marked “PATENT JULY 30, 1867,” within short order, I found the patent drawing on page 181 of O’Leary.
And, after checking on Google Patents, found even more…
Van Zandt’s patent description explains:
“The operation is as follows: The cork-drawer being in the position indicated in Fig. I, it is forced down into the centre of the cork until the swing-bar has been pushed beyond the bottom of the cork, when, on drawing up the cork-drawer, the friction of the cork on the sliding prong d causes it to descend, b which the swing-bar is placed in a right-angled position to the prongs, and the cork follows the instrument as it is drawn out of the bottle. The cork being drawn, it is easily disengaged from the prongs by sliding back the prong d by means of the thumb-piee and drawing it off, when the cork-drawer is again ready for use.”
The Improved Cork Pull will arrive in a couple of days, and I will add better pictures when it does. Definitely a Best 6 candidate! And, a fantastic addition to the collection.
In the meantime, the lovely and I are heading to Vermont for a quick getaway tomorrow… could the best 2 or 3 of 6 of 2018 be found in our adventures?
From an 1903 DUNHAM, CARRIGAN, & HAYDEN CO. catalog:
The two corkscrews illustrated up top, are both Frary Corkscrews. Interestingly, what DUNHAM, CARRIGAN, & HAYDEN CO. are calling the No. 240, wasn’t illustrated within 1889 copy of The Iron Age: A Review of the Hardware, Iron and Metal Trades, which was where Kenneth Cope found the images that identified the corkscrews as made by Frary in his book Kitchen Collectibles; this same issue of Iron Age became the basis of my article Finding Frary, which you can link to here.
There are some collectors that have asked me, was the non-hammer-non-ice-pick Frary a production item, or was it that their hammer and spike had gone missing.
Well, this clearly answers the question! A production corkscrew, that cost 25% less than the Ice Pick and Breaker Version!
No. 240—5 inch, Self Drawing, Revolving Bell, Convex Twist, Cast Steel, Fancy Iron Handle, Full Nickel Plated .. Per Doz $6 00
241—5 inch, Same as above, with Ice Pick and Breaker …………………………. $8 00
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:
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
Wine of Pepsin…………………………………………………….7.50
Solution of Meconate of Morphia…………………………5.63
Elixir of Calisays……………………………………..…………..7.50
Elixir of Valerianate of Ammonia…………….………….5.63
Dragees of Santonine…………….………………………..….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.
And, we have a glass and metal version.
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”
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.
As mentioned yesterday, the Voigt Brewing Davis is a new discovery. But, given that I have quite a few Davis/Detroit and Puddefoot/Detroit corkscrews with advertising, brewery and otherwise, I decided to revisit the JFO handbook listings to what other advertising was out there.
And, it looks like there is some more hunting to do… (the ones in bold, I do already have…)
According to the Just for Openers Handbook, here are the variations of brewery advertising (this does not include non-brewery advertisements) that appear on the Davis Detroit Corkscrew, Davis Detroit Corkscrew with Knife, and Puddefoot Detroit Corkscrew:
Davis/Detroit Corkscrew (P-002, in JFO speak)
COMPLIMENTS OF GERKE BREWING CO. CINCINNATI
COMPLIMENTS OF THE GREENWAY BREWING CO.
COMPLIMENTS OF THE GREENWAY BREW’G CO. SYRACUSE, N. Y.
Of course, going through the handbook listings, gives one pause. There are two different versions of the Greenway Brewing Davis, two variations of the Minneapolis Gilt Edge Davis, and four variations of the Voigt Davis!
With the variations in advertising, you might want to check your Davis corkscrews to see if you have one that isn’t on the list.
Want to access the handbook, and other Just For Openers information? Click here!