The German Club of Corkscrew Friends (Homepage: http://korkenzieherfreunde.de/)
The club was founded on October 12, 1996 in Steinbach-Hallenberg. This town represents the centre of Thuringian small iron industry and with that also the German corkscrew producing industry from the 18-th Century to this day. After the founding of the Corkscrew Club, members visited many regional museums and partly working workshops.
There were 19 founding members of the Club, 14 from Germany itself, 1 from Denmark, 1 from the Netherlands, 1 from Austria and 2 from Switzerland. Corkscrew in German is Korkenzieher and the language lends itself to a play on the word Zieher which means “Puller” or “Drawer” and the members are called Ziehers. The members of the newly formed Club then elected the first slate of officers as: Wolfgang Händel, President (Oberzieher which, using the play on words translate to the “First-Puller”), Klaus Pumpenmeier, Secretary (Schriftzieher means “Words-Puller”), Peter Skopp, Treasurer (Geldzieher means “Cash-Puller”). The Club’s purpose is information exchange on corkscrews, fellowship and camaraderie plus having fun with corkscrew friends and collectors. Wilhelm Usbeck, owner of the best known German corkscrew manufacturing company, MONOPOL (Usbeck & Sons in Marburg), was elected as honorary “Puller” member.
The membership was limited to 30 and this number was reached in 1998. Because of the increasing interest from many other corkscrew people, the membership limit was increased to 40 and then in November 2005 finally to 50.
Membership meetings are held once a year and so far the dates and places were:
1996 in Steinbach-Hallenberg (Grndungsversammlung)
1997 in Johannisberg im Rheingau
1998 in Kreuth am Tegernsee
1999 in Basel (Schweiz)
2000 in Dortmund
2001 in Utrecht (Niederlande)
2002 in Wetzlar-Naunheim
2003 in Neu Ansbach
2004 in St. Martin/Pfalz
2005 in Worb (Schweiz)
2006 in Steinbach-Hallenberg
In the mean time there were a number of group outings to the MONOPOL factory in Marburg (1997), then a visit with Jens and Lis Arnbjerg to a meeting of the Scandinavian Corkscrew Collectors’ Club in Copenhagen (1998),and then to Brescia to visit the Museum of Piero Giacomini (1999).
The newsletter, “Der Krätzer” was wonderfully edited and produced by Klaus Pumpenmeier, the club secretary for seven times until 1998. The newsletter contains interesting articles contributed by the membership. Since then Reinhold Berndt took over the editorship and Der Krätzer is now published twice a year in the tradition of the great quality the members expect.
Al-in-all this is a busy Corkscrew club with meetings between members, on-going communications via mail and e-mail and a substantial number of members participating at corkscrew auctions such as the one held twice yearly at Christie’s in London. Corkscrews change hands between members at buy & sell opportunities. The members love to meet at regional collectables shows/markets in Wiesbaden and Dortmund and many attend the annual meetings as well. It is a tradition to welcome non-members at the Annual Meetings to introduce them to the Club. The members also maintain a connection and friendship with corkscrew collectors from other countries – a long time tradition that continues to this day.
The working language of the Club is German.