Improving the Perfectly-­‐Equipped Implement
As we have seen, there is a transition between Davis’ corkscrews and 1894 when Puddefoot’s
patent is being produced with ‘The Detroit” marking on the neckstand. And, during this period
we see the Davis with a wider Puddefoot-­‐type neck stand, with the marking of DAVIS IMPROVED
PAT’D JULY 14, 91 OTHER PATS PNDG.
In researching the Detroit Cork-­‐Screw Company, there is little literature out there that actually
dates to the 1891 patent date. However, there is much information as we enter 1893, around
which time Charles Puddefoot is mentioned as being associated with the company—in the 1893
text,
Detroit of to-­‐day, the city of the strait
, it explains, that the “…company was incorporated
under the state laws as the Detroit Cork Screw Company, with Mr. R. D. Taylor, president; D. W.
Davis, vice-­‐president and C. Puddefoot, secretary and treasurer. “
In a February 4,
,
1893 issue of
Metal Worker,
it is reported that the, “Detroit Corkscrew Company,
Detroit Mich, are manufacturing a line of corkscrews…” and, this same issue provides images of
the Davis corkscrew with knife blade, the Davis corkscrew as
being used to cut wires on a bottle, and an image of Puddefoot’s
earlier corkscrew patent.
On August 9, 1892, Puddefoot was awarded patent number
21,761 for his Design for a Corkscrew and on July 11, 1893
number 501,468 for a Corkscrew which was assigned to the
Detroit Corkscrew Company.
The
Metal Worker
article further explains that the, “Puddefoot corkscrew…is a folding pocket
device, with a wire fulcrum to turn down in drawing the cork. These goods are neatly and
substantially made, designed to fit any bottle, and may be operated by a woman or child. The
company have [
sic
] recently completed a machine for manufacturing the cut-­‐worm screw, and
now are in a position to compete with hand-­‐made imported corkscrews.”
How Puddefoot initially became involved with Davis is still unknown, however in 1889 there is a
reference that explains Charles Puddefoot was the Superintendent at the
Detroit Stamping
Company.
And, in 1895, it is reported in the Michigan Gazetteer that the building which housed
the
Detroit Stamping Company
located on the corner of Champlain and Beaubien Streets was
destroyed by fire. That March 9
th
article, lists among the other tenants at that building none
other than the Detroit Cork-­‐Screw Company.
Whether the Detroit Stamping Company were assisting in the manuafacture of the Davis,
whether Davis and Puddefoot met passing in the hallways, or whether they were drinking
buddies at Charles Staebler’s saloon—also located on Beaubien Street, we may never know.
What we do know, is there are many references to the Detroit Corkscrew Company and
Puddefoot from 1893 forward.
One in particular is of interest here, as it mentions the
corkscrews as being a means of advertising. In an 1893 issue of
Pharmaceutical Era
it explains,
One of the most useful novelties ever introduced among the drug trade is the Davis Corkscrew, made
by the Detroit Corkscrew Company, Brush and Champlain Streets, Detroit, Mich. As a decided