Corkscrew Collecting

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interesting pieces or
complete corkscrew
Probably the sexiest of all categories - the
magnificent mechanical corkscrews.

Most households have a corkscrew or two. Mine has
many more ;) It's quite likely that the open cutlery
drawer will unveil a corkscrew of mechanical form.
Literally hundreds if not thousands of patents &
registered designs have been awarded over 200

Countries such as Great Britain, France, Germany,
Italy & the United States of America have been
particularly prolific in the design & manufacture of
some amazing mechanical corkscrews with a variety
of ingenious mechanisms.

Here are some of the many mechanical corkscrews
you can find with some brief history of the origin.

In 1802 Edward
Thomason recorded the
first patent for a
mechanical corkscrew.
His ingenious
mechanism that allowed
the corkscrew to be
placed over the bottle
neck, engaging the cork
& then by continually
turning the handle
clockwise extracting the
cork. Reversing the
handle anti-clockwise
releasing the cork from
the worm.
Double Lever

First patented in 1880
& mass produced ever
since. The double
lever is a simple &
effective mechanism.
James Heeley & Sons, of Birmingham, England
patented 3 double lever corkscrews from 1880
onwards. In terms of antique mechanical
corkscrews  that surface in todays marketplace,
these  James Heeley double levers show up
frequently proving the success of the design.
Since James Heeley & Sons success of manufacture & sales of their double lever
design a multitude of double lever corkscrews have been made using the exact
same effective principle of two arms that lever up the cork from the bottle.

Notable examples include Gemelli, a comical Italian design. An American double
lever in the form of an Owl, known as a Hootch Owl & a rare British design by Murray
& Stalker.
Three double lever corkscrews. From left to right: An American Hootch Owl, an Italian Vogliotti & a an Italian
Eterno corkscrew
Single Lever Corkscrews

Single lever corkscrew similar to teh one
shown to the left were first patented by Lund &
Hipkins of England in 1855.

The corkscrew is inserted into the cork & then
by engaging the lever within the lever hole the
cork can be easily extracted. There are a
number of antique single lever corkscrews
that can be found. Some corkscrew
collectors specialise on collecting just single lever variants & there are many variations to find.
Concertina or Lazy Tong Corkscrews

Known as either compound levers, concertina or lazy tong corkscrews,
these interesting mechanical corkscrews were first patented in Great
Britain, in 1884 by Marshall Wier of South London. In fact he patented 5
variations all of which were manufactured in Birmingham, England by the
prolific corkscrew maker James Heeley & Sons. Today corkscrew
collectors are trying to add these interesting concertina corkscrews to
their collections. Maybe you could say they are the corkscrew equivalent
of the animal big 5.

Later, the French were prolific manufacturers of concertina corkscrews,
with Joseph Bart patenting a corkscrew called the "Zig Zag" in 1919.

Concertina corkscrews are still in production today.
Perpetual Corkscrews

Perpetual corkscrews allow continual turning of the handle
clockwise to move the shaft both up & down. Ingenious & very

Englishman Edwin Cotterill registered a design for a stunning
perpetual in 1842. Cotterill incorporated a clever clutch
mechanism to disengage the worm.

The Germans later manufactured many corkscrews with a
perpetual mechanism.
Rack & Pinion Corkscrews

The first rack & pinion
corkscrew was patent in
Great Britain in 1855 by Lund
& Hipkins. Previous
examples were no doubt
made albeit slightly different
form to the patented version.

Turning the handle engages
the helix into the cork, winding
the side handle removes it.
Many other mechanical mechanisms exist but the ones shown are probably the most successful of all. I hope
it has been of interest to you.