British registred designs

Corkscrews as we traditionally recognizes corkscrews were first manufactured in England. The British were early to import bottled wine from overseas. Bottled wine needed methods to extract the cork. These methods, how strange it might sound today, were often patented. Some patents and designs were genius while others obviously were not. The most famous patent is probably the patent by sir Edward Thomason. To the right is a Thomas CS made by Brooks and Son of Sheffield. There are numerous Thomason badges. Some are extremely rare.

 

A majority of designs and patents were not functional and the corkscrews were to break as soon as they were used. Fully operational corkscrews relying on "ingenious" patents and designs are very valuable and often sought by collectors.

 

Corkscrew manufacturers have always been concentrated to specific regions in each country. European corkscrews have been manufactured in many countries not only in England, but also in Germany, France and Italy to mention the most prominent countries.

 

The corkscrews manufactured all have their specific characteristics. My belief is that British corkscrews generally are of higher quality and outstanding as compared to corkscrews manufactured in other countries. The reason for this is probably a long industrial tradition in England, and with inspiration of the industrial revolution, quality became excellent and outstanding.

 

The center for British corkscrew manufactures were Birmingham and Sheffield in the midlands. In these regions highly skilled production methods were developed and had been in place by the end of the eighteenth century. There were some manufacturers in London who manufactured lovely pieces of corkscrews e.g. Thomas Lund who manufacturing a fantastic sidewinder with bottle grips.

 

At the end of the day, Birmingham developed into the world's leading centre for corkscrew manufacturing, and most of the famous manufacturers came from here. This industry is obviously gone and burried since a decade ago.

 

Sweden is not known for manufacturers of mechanical Corkscrews. Usually the Scandinavian corkscrews were figural straight pulls. However, there are a few Swedish manufacturers who left for England and came back with a British design or patent. One example is C.V. Heljestrand from Eskilstuna in Sweden who manufactured corkscrews mostly for the Swedish marketplace.

 

Below are a three Thomasons as an example of English craftmanship.

A Thomason by Cope and Cutler.

A Thomason by Rodgers.

A Thomason by Dowler.