Josef Andre L’Africain
In 2000, Kenneth Cope published a book entitled
Kitchen Collectibles: An Identification
His text, illustrated with catalog drawings and patent illustrations, feature two
pages, which focus on the corkscrews made by
James D. Frary. Interestingly, Cope explains that
Frary was only in business from 1888‐1890 at the
time of his death. In John Goin’s Encyclopedia of
Cutlery Markings, he gives the dates 1876‐1884.
Further, in another text,
New England Cutlery
Philip Pankiewicz, it is explained that Frary left
Landers, Frary, and Clark and started the Frary
Cutlery Company in 1876. However, it should be
noted that Landers, Frary, and Clark kept their
name despite Frary’s departure. There are other
references that support the 1876 date, one of
which is Frary’s October 10, 1876 patent
#183,151 for his Improvement in Table Cutlery,
which was assigned to the Frary Cutlery Company
of Bridgeport, CT.
Patents prior to that date,
Frary’s patent D7516 (June, 30, 1874) for
example was assigned to Landers, Frary, and
Given what these three authors have said—while
they don’t necessarily agree—and the patent information unearthed thus far, we know that
the Frary Cutlery Company was in business from at least 1876 until 1886—the date of
Frary’s final patent. What we don’t know, yet, is when corkscrew production began, and
how many corkscrews he made.
While this brief overview of the corkscrews made by Frary will eventually be fleshed out
with further research into Frary, Meriden Malleable, and Frary’s role in Landers, Frary, and
Clark, and companies prior to LF&C, what is remarkable is we have yet to find any
corkscrew patents for Frary.
As we know, his bar screws, the
are marked with “FRARY” and
“PATENT APD FOR.” Clearly the esteemed Mr. Frary was involved in the patent process, as
he was awarded 26 various patents.
46555 February 28, 1865 Improved Faucet for oil and other liquids
86524 February 2, 1869 Improvement in Buts
97624 December 7, 1869 Improvement in Knife‐Handles