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mrcorkscrew@corkscrewcollecting.com
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Very happy to buy your antique corkscrew or if you
have a few, your collection of antique or vintage cork
screws.

Top prices paid!

Send a picture or two to:
ed@corkscrewcollecting.com
Thomason...
Edward Thomason Patent drawing shows a 2 pillar design
which today is very uncommon. The vast majority of Thomason
corkscrews found are the barrel type.
was wrong? It is indeed a remarkable invention that works incredibly well & competes very favourably with the vast
majority of corkscrews that proceeded his patent.   

Edward Thomason's corkscrew invention was an incredible success! During the 14 years of the patent exclusivity
he manufactured in excess of 130,000 examples.
Thomason IX Compound
Patent V. Marked "For the
Patentee, Edward Thomason
Patent Ne Plus Ultra".
Thomason XV 3 1/2  
windows with domed top.
Thomason XV four windows
with domed top.
Thomason XV for windows with
cut-away top. Marked on the internal
button "Ne Plus Ultra, Thomason
Patent".
Thomason III variant. This example
manufactured by Dowler but can also be
found with a Thomason badge, Ne Plus
Ultra
A open frame variant Thomason
corkscrew
Thomason I Open frame. Marked on the
button "Thomason Patent Ne Plus Ultra".
Thomason IV Fluted barrel. Marked on
the button "Thomason Patent Ne Plus
Ultra".
Thomason V Serpent Variant.
Manufactured originally by Thomason,
laterley by Dowler, as this one.
Thomason III variant. This example
manufactured by Dowler
Thomason VIII Fruiting
Vines. Unmarked.
Sometimes found marked
Osbourne & Co, Patent
Thomason VI Gothic Wondows
Thomason VII Single Bunch of
Grapes. Badge marked
"Thomason Ne Plus Ultra".
Thomason XVI Steel 2 Pillar
open frame
A four pillar Thomason with domed
top
A steel 2 pillar Thomason corkscrew
TWO DIFFERENT SIZE BARRELS OF THE MOST EASILY
FOUND THOMASON CORKSCREW.
The larger barrel for regular sized bottles, the smaller is the
half bottle size & is harder to find.
became a centre of the canal system, which greatly
During the 19th century, Birmingham's population grew
rapidly and by the middle of that century Birmingham
had become the second-largest population centre in
Britain. Birmingham became known as the "City of a
thousand trades" because of the wide variety of goods
manufactured there.

At this time, the "City of a thousand trades", became
somewhat of a hotbed for corkscrew manufacturers  
including names that corkscrew collectors will be very
familiar with, such as Thomason, Hull, Wolverson,
Dowler & James Heeley & sons. This is the story of just
one of those manufacturers Edward Thomason.

Edward Thomason was the son of a successful buckle
manufacturer. His Father produced up to 1000 sets a
day, six days a week during busy times. This at Church
Street where Edward's father had secured a 120 year
lease. Following a successful career Edward's Father
retired in 1790 at the age of 62. Prior to his retirement
he sent Edward (aged 16) to Mathew Boulton to learn
the trade & he also retained the lease for Church Street
which he left unoccupied in 1790, in readiness for
Edward to take over.

In 1793 Edward Thomason took charge of the factory
with his head full of ideas from his time spent with
Mathew Boulton. He started off by making gilt buttons &
the finest gold jewellery, followed by striking gold, silver
& bronze medals & tokens, silver toys & watch chains. In
no time he extended the show space to an incredible 12
showrooms.

In 1799, following two unsuccessful inventions he
invented retractable carriage steps which found some
favour, with some one hundred sets sold to coach
makers.

His next invention would hit the jackpot!
  In, 1802 he patented one of the
corkscrews in history. His patent,
no 2,617 was for a mechanical
corkscrew with both male &
female threads. By simply In,
1802 he patented one of the
placing the corkscrew over the
placing the corkscrew over the
bottle neck & continually turning
the handle clockwise, the cork was removed in quick & easy fashion. Then, by turning the
handle anti-clockwise - the cork would fall off the worm.

Edward Thomason was totally confident that his invention was a winner, so much so that
each patent badge applied to the corkscrews his factory produced carried both "Thomason
Patent" & his new found motto "NE PLUS ULTRA" meaning "No more beyond". He was
clearly saying he had invented the ultimate corkscrew & 200 years later who is to say he
There are many different Thomason corkscrew designs known including some
very rare & desirable variations.

Here is a guide to some of the different examples you can find.
Production at the manufactory
continued at an amazing rate
producing corkscrews, silver
spoons, sugar tongs, wine
labels, etc. His success with
inventions continued too.
Extendable toast forks,
swordsticks, canes incorporating
a cigar cutter, safety catches for
guns to name but a few.
The following years of manufacturing goods saw Thomason's business go from strength to strength producing
large amounts of goods for the British market & also for export. He was appointed vice-council at Birmingham to no
less than eight Countries, France, Austria, Russia, Prussia, Brazil, Portugal, Spain, Sweden & Norway & was
personally awarded over thirty foreign orders of merit.  In 1818 he was made High Bailiff of Birmingham & in 1832
he was knighted by King William IV. Sir Edward Thomason died at home in Jury Street, Warwick on 29th May 1849
& is buried at the family vault in St Peter's Church, Birmingham.
 
SIR EDWARD
THOMASON

A Rap,
Garage tribute
to the great
man by BOZ,
aka Peter
Borrett
Other Manufacturers....
When the 14 year patent period expired a great number of other
corkscrew manufacturers were quick to see an opportunity to
produce Thomason corkscrews, notably Dowler who manufactured
various variations.

A diligent collector will find badges for companies such as Coney,
James Heeley, Dowler, Rodgers, Lee, Robert Jones, Cope &
Cutler, Mapplebeck & Lowe, W. Brookes & son + many others.

Nobody knows how many Thomason type corkscrews have been
produced since the patent in 1802. It's known that they were
manufactured well into the 20th century, so probably more than
1,000,000 have been produced during that time.

Even today, due to the practicality, Thomason corkscrews are
produced & I'm sure they will be for years to come.
Two Thomason Corkscrews.
The corkscrew to the left is an original Thomason. Note the difference
in barrel shape to the more common later example to the right.
A close up of the two badges (thumbnail)
corkscrews include
some good
collectible pieces in
their own right. The
Vulcan in particular
(shown). It was
manufactured as a
limited edition of 500
in 1978 & comes in a
very nice
presentation box.
Good Thomason type corkscrews bought at top prices.

If you have a Thomason type mechanical corkscrew for sale
send an email together with a picture to:

Ed@corkscrewcollecting.com
I hope you've found my
guide to Thomason
corkscrews of interest.

Do you have one shown,
one similar or maybe a
different variation?

I'd love to add a few more
Thomason corkscrews to
my collection.

Please drop me a line if
you do & I'll get back as
quick as a flash.

Thanks,
Ed

Ed@corkscrewcollecting.com
Jim Edgar, UK collector who
specialises in Thomason corkscrews
says...

"I love the Georgian ingenuity and
craftsmanship and that started me off
on Thomasons'. Now I'm driven to own
all 16 variants and every named
example known to man. I've currently
got some way to go to achieve that aim
despite the collection nearing the 50
mark !"
Thomason badges carry the Royal coat of
arms (shown in close up picture above)
with Lion & Unicorn & motto "Dieu et mon
droit", translated "God and my right", also
the motto of the order of the Garter "Honi
Soit qui Mal y Pense", translation "Let he
who thinks ill there be shamed".
"If you're
going to buy a
Thomason
corkscrew
make sure the
mechanism
works OK as
they can be
faulty".
It's all about Antique & Vintage Corkscrews