ADELAIDE CORKSCREWS Nov 2011
I live in Sydney, so it is not surprising that these horn handled straight pulls with a wire breaking spike
figure heavily in my collection .Don Bull (p168) notes that they are most common in Australia and
New Zealand and this is also apparent from Ebay auctions. For reasons still unclear to me they were
marketed from about 1870 until 1915 as “Adelaide” corkscrews.
The first I knew of Adelaide corkscrews was in the late 1990's when I came across a reference to
Adelaides in Don Bull's online corkscrew museum (Ron McLean's Q&A section). This started me
looking for different names and other variations and added interest to my local corkscrew hunting.
In 2006 I attended my first CCCC meeting, which Nick Hunt organized in Sydney. There I met Derek
and Louise Binney I was pleased to learn they lived close to me in Sydney and that Derek was
fascinated by Adelaides. Derek had a personal project to catalogue all the known variations and I
undertook to help. He collated his collection on a spreadsheet with different maker's
names,worms,spikes, handles etc. I then added mine and we were on our way, before Derek's sudden
death in 2008.
I was still keen on the project and Louise was happy to let me review and photograph Derek's
collection. While most spiked horns are not particularly rare or valuable, Derek had picked up some of
the more interesting ones. I then found that Bill Jarema in Melbourne has a liking for Adelaides and
had collected , or had records of, some named Adelaides I hadn't seen.
This note is largely just a description and collation of our 3 collections. Other scattered sources I have
found useful are :
1) Don Bull's Ultimate book which at p168 shows 12 different named examples .
2)Frank and Barbara Ellis' book of British registrations which includes some great information
on four registered designs and some of the makers with extracts from some trade catalogues.
Their later book “Corkscrews” (“Ellis book 2”). has some additional information (p160-1)
3)Fletcher Wallis, British Corkscrew Patents from 1795 which has 2 Adelaides with patented
cap lifters (p273-4)
4) Screwbase which has 14 entries I have chosen to classify as Adelaides.(CBb010, CBl130
and 131, CBx 120,121,130,131,132,133,136,138 ,139, 216 and 231)
5) “Trademarks on Base Metal Tableware” by Eileen Woodhead which can be googled ( or
search “trademarks” at
the website of the Society for Historical Archeology
6)Corkscrews in Thurungian Trade Catalogues by Reinhold Berndt which has a surprising
number of German examples
7) A page from an old Catalogue of unknown origin. From Bill Jarema's Ebay records. (Figure 1