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Technical Question: Patches Vs. Corkscrews


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We know that some Akro patches were corkscrews which didn't cork. Made when the spinner cup wasn't spinning. For example, this popeye patch, pictured along with its sibling. (They were found in the same popeye box.)


So, here's my question. Was the corkscrew machine also a patch machine on purpose? And the spinner cup was just held still when the patches were being made? Or were the patches which came out of the corkscrew machine(s) more along the lines of accidents. And did Akro have specialized patch machines? For example, were moss agates made on special patch machines? Or on corkscrew machines with the spinner cup held still.

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A fair and interesting question. The conventional response has always been that "the spinner cup wasn't spinning". IMO (and I have no way to prove this concept) it would seem possible to me that the spinner cup failed to "catch" the glass streams and get them turning into the classic corkscrew pattern. Given that the spinner cup was made of graphite - it seems POSSIBLE that the spinner cup was turning and the glass entered the cup but rounded-up without turning the streams.

On my Akro spinner cups there are hand-carved vertical ridges within the cup. They are relatively roughly done and I guessed that these were done by the operator. The purpose of the ridges appears to be to "catch" the color streams and get them turning to make a corkscrew. If the ridges were worn than it would seem logical that the corkscrew pattern would be weak or absent.

In the last major dig at the Akro site a huge number of Popeye patches (blue) were found dumped. It is a matter of guesswork why such a large number would have been produced without noticing the problem/cause. They were all the same colors - thus probably off the same run/machine. They did not appear as nice as the photo in this thread.

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Here are two blue and yellow supposed Akro patches, the one on the right looks as if it started to spin but stopped (didnt quite make a complete revolution). And the one on the left appears to have not spun at all but is definitely Akro....whether this was done intentionally or by accident remains a mystery.....




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Obviously, since the cup was an extra part, it could easily be run with or without it. They also made clearies and games mibs, so, probably ran without a cup as often as not. The patches that people say "cup wasn't spinning" are the ones that look like they really wanted to cork, but, just didn't (up to maybe say an 1/8 of a turn). The seams don't usually have that 'straight, all the way across' look them like on planned patches. Like Chucks example. One wanted to spin, one had no plan to spin at all. "Lazy corks" would be the ones that made about a 1/4 to half turn - Chucks is more of a Lazy cork. .

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