Cork retrievers

Occasionally you make a mistake and accidentally push the cork downwards into your bottle instead of lifting it upwards. A significant problem arises, since you have to get it up from floating before your dinner guests arrives. This problem is well known and solutions have been in place from 1860 and onwards.  However, all the antique retrievers I have tested are difficult to use.


 

One of the most famous retrievers were the Greely puller. Greely was granted a US patent in 1888 for a cork extractor. 

 

Another famous retriever was a device patented by Stephen Procter. He was granted a British patent 1863 for an instrument to extract corks from bottles. The sharp hook should cut the cork into pieces and the pieces should then be lifted out of the bottle by the hook and/or the small bowl at the end of the puller.

 

A further example of the retriever idea is a cork puller by Sims & Law. This device was patented in Britain 1868 and marked Sims and Law on the shank. Again, the puller has two teeth to reach and fixate the cork.  The bottom end of the hook has a cutting blade to split the cork.

 

Tormey was granted a US patent for an extractor 1890. The shaft is longer as compared to the others and the device has two sets of hooks. 


As a blunt summary: No No No - Utterly useless devices but truly nice pieces for the collection.

The general idea of a retriever is that the device should be inserted into the bottle and hook to the cork which then is lifted thrue the bottleneck.  A difficult and tedious task. Another purpose of the retriever was to be used to press down a stucked cork into the bottle so the cork could be extracted in a second step. This is a completely stupid useless idea and design. 


 

The hook of a Greely. The general idea was to create a hook so sharp so the corkscrew could cut the cork into pieces. Sorry - wrong idea.






 

The hook should be able to inject the cork. One nice feature is the bowl to remove cork crumbs. Sorry - Does not work ! 













 

The teeth of a Sims and Law. This piece is really nice. However, the idea with the teeth is unfortunately malfunctioning.









 

Hooks of a Tormey extractor. However, the two hooks did not improve the general idea.