Plastic corkscrews :

 
   
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Plastics

Polycarbonate was discovered in 1898 and became commercially exploited in 1959.

The qualities of this product are exceptional, because this material can resist to high temperatures, is an excellent insulator, and is transparent. These specificities allowed its use in the field of aerospace, where helmets were created for astronauts.

The polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is the most known and used plastic material in the world.

Its commercial use was only exploited before the WWII, although patents were taken out earlier.

If you want to know more on plastics, I propose to discover the website “LES MATIERES PLASTIQUES” (plastic materials) by clicking the following links:

http://www.sandretto.it/museonew/france/fmstoria.htm
or
www.collegeahuntsic.qc.ca/Pagesdept/trans_mat_plast

The first mechanical corkscrew made of plastic is dated 1955 and is marked HERZOG. This corkscrew is German, and this is not very surprising when we think that the first use of plastic material was realised in Germany.

Some corkscrews of which the plastic is only an ornament were produced in the United-States in 1938, like the “WALTER RUBY” that is a pen having a corkscrew and a bottle opener on its end.
In 1953, pocket corkscrews made in different colours appeared with the marking “PAT.NO.170,999 TAP BOY VAUGHAN-CHICAGO, U.S.A.”.

LEIFHEID manufactured plastic corkscrews of which a very rare specimen was manufactured in 1979 (see picture).

We should not forget the revolutionary “SCREWPULL PATENTED PAT PEND”(see picture) imagined by a Texan engineer, HERBERT ALLEN, who innovated in several domains: The “pig tail” shaped worm was covered with TEFLON (polytetrafluoroethylene) which is a derivate product of plastic (see interior of most of the cooking pans and some kitchen utensils). By a serration system on the bottleneck, the corkscrew is interdependent with the bottle and there is no contact between the operator and the bottle during the whole opening and cork ejection processes.

Since the creation of the “SCREWPULL” in 1981, several copies were realised by different manufactures. Just be aware that some of these copies are very mediocre replicas.

Collecting plastic corkscrews allows collectors to find items without having to spend a lot of money…

 

 
   
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