BEST 6 for 2015




1 – James D. Frary nickel-plated decorative handle corkscrew with bell assist and spike, but with no hammer.  This makes the 21st variation within my collection of Frarys (see L’Africain, 2010 and L'Africain, 2013 )


2 – Empire corkscrew, made by the Empire Portable Forge Company of Lansingburgh, NY.  Advertisements from the time, explain that Empire Forge was making Curley’s corkscrews, but clearly they adapted the design as well.  Note there is no movable bell or moveable screw.  Instead of utilizing that principle of Curley’s designs, the screw present on the Empire allows for the worm to be replaced.  The resemblance to the Curley with the patent date, however, is remarkable.  Embossed EMPIRE across the handle, with no other markings.


3 – 1933 William S. Elter’s patent (# 1,906,454) Culinary Tong; a combination tool with canning jar lift hooks, a serrated jar wrench, can opener, crown cap lifter and wire helix, marked “VISE-O-LIFT INC. PAT PEND DAYTON, OHIO U.S.A.” (See Morris, 2012 )


4 – 1882 J. Henry Zeilin patent (#254,760) Dose Cup Bottle Stopper.  In his patent description he explains, “The cup may be made of metal, glass, or any other suitable material…”  I think the glass cup on this one is quite suitable.  Unmarked, except for a line on the glass denoting how high to fill the cup (See O’Leary, 1996, p. 63).


5 – Oversized Walker Bell.  As mentioned in my 2010 Best Six, which included the oversized Williamson, at the 2010 ICCA AGM, Paul Luchsinger presented evidence that the oversized Walker and Williamson were designed to pull a cork from a demijohn of Welch’s juice—note that the bell and shaft on the Walker is one solid piece.


6 – 1914 Josephine M. Spielbauer patent (#1,116,509) Cap Remover. In doing research into Miss Josephine, little information has come to light.  What we do know, is her father owned a boarding house and saloon, and perhaps an improved cap remover (with corkscrew) could prove useful in her father’s bar.  Marked “Rainier BEER” and “PAT. PEND” (See O’Leary, 1996, p. 244 and Morris, 2012, )


best 6 ~ 2016
best 6 ~ 2015
best 6 ~ 2014
best 6 ~ 2013
best 6 ~ 2012
best 6 ~ 2011
best 6 ~ 2010
best 6 ~ 2009
best 6 ~ 2008
best 6 ~ 2007
best 6 ~ 2006
best 6 ~ 2005
best 6 ~ 2004
best 6 ~ 2003