first patent is Belgian! (15 January 1852).
The principle consists
in operating two levers that are fixed together with an axis, so that
it is functioning like pliers. One end has a ring which can be applied
on top of the bottleneck and ensure stability.
By joining both
levers together with one hand, you then draw the cork from the bottle.
This system was
showing an important disadvantage due to the fact that when the cork
was extracted, the levers were applying a slight circular movement to
the corkscrew. To solve the problem, the axis had to be modified and
replaced by a more sophisticated mechanical system that authorized the
upper lever (the one that extracts the cork) to be maintained in the
same position, avoiding at the same time the rotation effect. Thanks
to this modification, the corkscrew was remaining in vertical position
during the whole extraction process.
We can quote the
“Tangent Lever” (see picture) patented in August 1873 by
Edwin Wolverson, from Birmingham, the “Holborn Lever” and
the “Coney Patent” (not patented!). It was usual in these
times to add the term “Patent” even if the object was not
We should not forget
the “BB Lever Pat n° 13314”, patented in England by
Henry Seward Goodall’s.
back to the Belgian patent. It is in 1852 that Leveaux-Lemaître
from Namur took up the first patent, on which we can find the following
inscriptions: “Leveaux à Namur Brevet de 15 ans”.
The Englishmen quickly borrowed this principle and made their specialty
of it. It that way, in 1855, Lund (see picture) patented this type of
corkscrew, which was produced by a large quantity of manufactures.
Later, only the
worm was screwed, before being adapted to pliers.
of the “Tangent Lever”, Edwin Wolverson” had the idea
to create a three fingers corkscrew marked “The Lever Signet”
(see picture) that could be used with or without pliers. There were
other models of this type created.
quote a French patent for a side lever corkscrew marked “Batard
Bté SGDG Paris” on 3rd of February 1880.
All of these corkscrews
generally appeared with a bronze finish.