Prong Pullers

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Prong Pullers

The harpoon (prong puller 3)

What a strange category than the prong pullers … these corkscrews made of sharp tempered steel blades fixed on a handle.

It is now over with the “pig tail” or the “Archimedean worm” and the damages caused to the cork.

The first prong puller was patented in 1879, and its functioning principle is quite simple: The two blades (beginning with the longest one) have to be inserted between the cork and the bottleneck. A rotating movement has then to be applied to unstuck the cork from the bottleneck and then remove it. The whole operation is done smoothly in order not to spill the liquid. Another advantage of the prong puller is that the cork can be placed back into the bottleneck without any effort.

The model created in 1899 by Mashil Converse is the simplified model (see picture) of the Mumford model named “Magic Cork Extractor” which was patented in 1892. Another very rare and ingenious specimen was studied and manufactured by Benjamin Lew (Germany, March 1878). This corkscrew has the particularity to have adjustable steel blades in width so that the corkscrew could be adapted to any kind of bottlenecks. In addition of that, the blades could be folded into the handle that was acting as a protecting sleeve. Thirty years later, L. Maussion patented a very simple corkscrew based on the Lew’s model: A small wooden piece acting as a handle is inserted into the rings fixed on top of the two blades (9th December 1903).


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