[Ads-l] "Velvet Corks", antedated

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Thu Nov 26 14:58:05 UTC 2015


I hadn't thought that a New Yorker would want corks for bottling wine he'd
bought in a keg.  So, certainly "velvet cork" is just a cork.

GAT



On Thu, Nov 26, 2015 at 9:40 AM, Joel Berson <berson at att.net> wrote:

> Sorry, George.  Something I submitted directly to the OED in 2005, but
> didn't copy to ADS-L:
>
>
> Superfine Velvet Corks, and other European Goods, to be Sold by Mr. Thomas
> Moffat, at his Warehouse on the Dock, in Corn-Market, Boston.
>
>
> Boston News-Letter, 1717 March 25, 2/2.
>
>
> I am skeptical that "velvet cork" was a type of wine.  Rather, I suspect
> they were good quality corks, that would better keep out air and allow wine
> to be kept longer.
>
>
> Wine was imported to America in large containers, sold "by the range",
> "pipe", hogshead" (and perhaps by other measures I don't remember), and at
> least by some bottled at home.
>
>
> The 1740 probate inventory of one Bostonian I am particularly interested
> in includes "1 case of bottles," valued at 2 pounds 10 shillings (perhaps a
> month's wages for an ordinary laborer?) and another set of bottles whose
> quantity I can't decipher valued at 2 pounds.  And he was just a baker ...
> although he had so many chairs I've wondered whether he ran a tavern on the
> side.
>
>
> (There are no corks listed in his inventory, however.)
>
> Joel
>
>
> ________________________________
>  From: George Thompson <george.thompson at NYU.EDU>
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Sent: Wednesday, November 25, 2015 9:59 PM
> Subject: [ADS-L] "Velvet Corks", antedated
>
>
>             WINES Wholesale and Retail, to be Sold by Richard Curson, on
> Potbakers-Hill, near the new Dutch Church; Also, Old Jamaica and Barbados
> Rum, Brandy, Geneva, and Velvet Corks.
>             N-Y Gazette & W Post-Boy, September 12, 1757, p. 3, col. 3 OED:
> velvet-cork  n. (see quot. and cf. 3b
> <
> http://ezproxy.library.nyu.edu:2331/view/Entry/222017?redirectedFrom=velvet+cork#eid15955588
> >
> ).
> 1883  P. L. Simmonds *Dict. Trade Products*  *Velvet cork*, the best kind
> of cork bark, which is of a reddish colour.
>
> It's likely that "velvet corks" here means a type of wine or an especially
> high quality wine.  I've seen "long cork" used in one of these senses (not
> sure which, though).  I don't see why Mr. Curson would be selling corks not
> already in bottles.
>
> You say, "who cares?"  I say, "the world has been waiting for this too
> long".
>
>   GAT
>
> --
> George A. Thompson
> The Guy Who Still Looks Stuff Up in Books.
> Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
> Univ. Pr., 1998..
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>



-- 
George A. Thompson
The Guy Who Still Looks Stuff Up in Books.
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
Univ. Pr., 1998..

------------------------------------------------------------
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


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