Posted 12 years ago
In 1876 Francis T. Witte was awarded patent # 171,752 for an interesting corkscrew. In his patent, he explained that, "The combinations of an efficient cork-screw adapted to be attached to a key ring, and thus carried on the person without danger of loss, has never before been known. My invention is intended to supply this want.”
Last year, I managed to find an example of how Francis supplied that want. Simple, and fashioned according to the patent drawings, this one is marked "JAN. 04, 76."
While corkscrews may not be your thing personally, the amount of patents, and patent applications, filed for simple changes, adaptations, or new mechanisms for the process of pulling a cork out of a bottle is amazing--or in Witte's case, the prevention of losing a corkscrew, as it is now attached to a key ring.
Do you have any antique patented corkscrews? If you have an unusual corkscrew with patent information, or even a corkscrew that lacks patent information, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will gladly share what I know about the corkscrew; origins, makers, age, valuation range... Just send a picture or two!