Finding Frary
Josef Andre L’Africain
In the 2010 winter issue of
The Bottle Scrue Times,
wrote an article on James D. Frary and the corkscrews
of his manufacture.
With as much information that I
could garner, I set about looking at the variations in
design, but still wondered about the fact that to this
point, the only source that had identified the non-bar
screw corkscrews as made by James D. Frary is the
2000 publication by Kenneth Cope entitled
Collectibles: An Identification Guide.
While I believe Cope’s book to be a great resource,
within the text there does exist a few issues with how
some other corkscrews had been identified.
generally accurate, in his listing for a Griswold, Charles
L., for example, there is an illustration of a Bennit
patent, but with the correct date for the Griswold patent
of July 22, 1884.
While there are just a few
discrepancies, and in some cases these may reflect
manufacturers/jobbers that did indeed produce the corkscrews, the lack of a bibliography within
Cope’s book led me to question where the images utilized in the book might have originated.
Where did this information come from, and how do we know that these particular corkscrews
were indeed made by James D. Frary?
Was there a Frary catalog out there somewhere? Did these images exist in an old periodical?
And, as Cope is no longer with us, getting this information has been somewhat difficult.
Now, as we know the Frary Fifth Avenue bar screw carries the Frary name. And, the Frary
Sullivan bar screw in the illustrations is also emblazoned with Frary, but the other corkscrews
illustrated and attributed to Frary in Cope’s book are not marked; no signatures whatsoever.
Ever since I had acquired my first two Frarys, and subsequently acquiring Kenneth Cope’s book,
I have been hunting for the source.
James D. Frary