Cork Sizer

16 12 2009

This Cork Sizer was made by the Enterprise Manufacturing Company of Philadelphia, PA.  An impression on the object lists the patent date of the piece as August 7, 1867, although the US Patent database lists no patents being issued on that date.

Corked bottles line the shelves of the Infirmary at the Oregon State Hospital in Salem. Oregon State Archives, Oregon State Hospital, OSH0015

“Cork sizers were integral to an apothecary’s work in that most of the liquid prescriptions and medications that they made and filled would have been sealed into glass jars using a cork,” explains Callie Stapp, Associate Curator of the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum in Alexandria Virginia.  “Corks came in a number of different sizes based on the size of the neck of the bottle that they would have been used in. A cork would have been soaked in water for a few minutes and then put into the sizer to reduce it to the necessary size and placed in its bottle to dry and expand, thus making a tight, waterproof seal.”

The orange flag on this piece marks it as Oregon State Historic Property, identified and inventoried by the Oregon Heritage Commission and State Parks and Recreation Department.

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