James Terry Bottle Stoppers (2)

U.S. Patent Numbers: 320,191                       Patented: June 16, 1885

James Terry’s patent application was filed December 15, 1884 and specified:

I, James Terry...of Hartford…Connecticut, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Removable Bottle-Stoppers, of which…My invention relates to improvements in bottle-stoppers of the class which act upon the inside of the bottle and have a contractile valve-washer for the purpose of removing the stopper from the bottle when desired.

In the accompanying drawings, Figure 1 is a side elevation of my bottle-stopper.  Fig. 2 is a plan view of the same.  Fig. 3 is a sectional view of the same, partly in elevation, together with a side view of the instrument for contracting the valve-washer…

A designates the head of my bottle-stopper, the same having a cup-shaped recess in its upper side and a cone-shaped hub, a, at its lower end, as shown in Fig. 3.  This cup-shaped head is attached to a wire loop, b, which loop and head are united by casting the head upon one end of the wire, while the short free end of the wire loop extends downward by the side of its body to a point near the head, and serves as a stop, c, Fig. 1, to limit the upward movement of the solid disk d, which rests upon the upper side of the valve-washer f…this stopper may be inserted within the mouth of the bottle for use therein in the ordinary manner of bottle-stoppers which act upon the inside of the bottle.

In order to contract the valve-washer f into a smaller diameter for removing the stopper, I provide the instrument shown in Fig. 3.  This consists, essentially, of a slotted shaft, B, of a form which will extend down through the neck of the bottle…The slot in the shaft B is wide enough and long enough to receive the wire loop b, as shown.  Upon the body of the shaft B is a sliding tube, C, provided with a pair of hooks, g, for catching upon the bow of the loop b, as shown in Fig. 3.  This tube C is also capable of rotating slightly upon the shaft B for the purpose of bringing its hooks g into engagement with the loop b.  This tube is also provided with a handle, D, for sliding it longitudinally upon the shaft B.  I have also represented the upper end of the shaft B as provided with a handle, E, for convenience of operating the instrument…


This is the second of three closely-related patents filed by James Terry.  Terry’s specifications went on in mind-numbing detail to explain exactly how the instrument he designed for removing stoppers worked.  It’s no wonder bottlers (and customers) welcomed the advent of Painter’s Crown Closure.  It is unknown whether or not Terry achieved any success at marketing his stoppers and stopper removal instrument.