After returning from Brimfield last year with about a dozen corkscrews, I emailed Don Bull and suggested a trade. He picked out the corkscrews he wanted, and I got the SOCONY-VACUUM advertising Codger in exchange. It is a fantastic piece, and interestingly has a little gold tone to the walnut stain. I have searched for a link between SYROCO and SOCONY, but have yet to find one. Clearly there is a link however, as after exchanging emails with Jack Bandy, he provided a photo of two more Socony-Vacuum Syrocos; a Codger and a Monk!

Who is SOCONY-VACUUM? In 1911 the US Supreme Court ordered the dissoloution of Standard Oil Trust breaking up Rockefeller's monopoly. This resulted in the generation of over 30 smaller companies, one of which was the Standard Oil Company of New York or SOCONY. In 1931, SOCONY merged with Vacuum Oil to be become SOCONY-VACUUM; only to change their name to Socony-Mobil Oil in 1955, and later (1966) becoming Mobil Oil Corp.

These corkscrews are somewhat of a mystery. Were they salesmen's trophies, proposed promotional/giveaways, or premiums of some sort?


If you have a Syroco Corkscrew with advertising on it, drop me a line. I would love to see it!


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