A while back I came across a tipping jigger marked “Industria Argentina”. I began to research and found that there were quite a number of this style jigger produced in South America. Then, I found a sterling silver jigger produced by Webster Co. See the following photo:
I began to wonder if there were any patents issued in the United States for a tipping jigger. I knew Napier produced the famous “Bottoms Up” jigger and Tiffany produced their own versions of a tipping jigger. But did anyone actually patent this design?
The earliest patent I could find for this type of jigger was Patent No. 115,831, dated July 25, 1939, granted to H. B. Kaempf. He called his design a “measuring container”.
Kaempf’s patent was not assigned to anyone and the patent had a 14 year term. The patent description really didn’t say much:
In the August 1946 Plastics Magazine, the following ad appeared. It seems that Kaempf is looking to sell his patent rights (due to expire in 1953), molds and his established business. Also interesting is that he is calling this jigger the “Akret Jigger”. Where this name came from, I have no idea.
Whether Kaempf actually sold his patent rights and business, I do not know. In 1939 Kaempf had been offering his jigger in two sizes, one ounce (which he called the “Hostess” jigger, offered in silverplate) and one and a half ounces (which he called the “Host” jigger, which he offered in both silverplate and sterling). This photo shows the “Host” jigger (the patent number is stamped underneath each handle):
The following ad comes from the July 1947 Popular Science Magazine. It is showing a plastic jigger, looking very much like the jigger shown above. It refers only to Akret Products with no mention of Kaempf. Perhaps he was successful in selling his business and patent rights.
Kaempf also offered a Master Host jigger, which was a 2 ounce jigger shown above.
A month after Kaempf’s patent expired, the following patent application was filed:
It wasn’t approved for many months and has a patent date of April 13, 1954.
Although the jigger image changed slightly, the description write up is pretty much the same as Kaempf’s. Note that this John T. Jackson patent was assigned to Old King Cole Displays, Inc. I can find no example of an Old King Cole jigger.
In 1959 Frederick W. Rettenmeyer obtained a patent for a “liquid measuring cup” and this patent was assigned to The Napier Company of Meriden, CT.
This Napier jigger was known as the “bottoms up jigger” and was sold for close to fifty years (a good run)! It is highly collectible even today.
The sterling silver “Tipsy” jigger shown in the above ad from a June 1963 “Spotlight” publication appears to be the Tiffany & Co. jigger shown below:
In 1960, Tiffany advertised the “Tipsy” jigger in sterling as “a practical bar accessory that fits over the glass and tips to empty”.
The photo above shows a form of tipping jigger, known as a ” trip jigger”. It is marked “Irvinware Inc. Patent No. 3527270, Made in West Germany 18/8 Stainless Steel”.
This Patent No. 3527270 for “Liquid Measure With Tipping Cup”, dated September 8, 1970, was obtained by Karl-Heinz Weil. The intent is that pouring liquid into the jigger would trip the mechanism so that it would tip over and pour the liquid into the cup below. There is no indication of how much liquid would trigger the cup to tip and there are no measuring marks on the cup. I tried pouring in one ounce and it tipped before I was finished pouring. Perhaps half an ounce? I really don’t think this jigger is an accurate measure but more of a novelty.
The above shown December 1978 Bailey Banks & Biddle ad shows yet another version of the tipping jigger.
The Kaempf, Webster, Irvinware and Tiffany jiggers are all available at my queenofsienna Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/queenofsienna