Yet another way to to make adjustable razors

There is more than one way to skin a cat. In the same vein, there is more than one way to make adjustable razors. As I mentioned last week, you can change the distance between the top cap and bottom plate. You can change the blade curvature. Or you can more the guard back and forth. This last option seems to have been a minor obsession of the Warner Lambert Co. – because in addition to the patent by Peter Bowman and Ernest F Kiraly assigned to Warner Lambert, I found a slightly earlier patent by Mr Leopold K Kuhnl that is also assigned to Warner Lambert. And it is adjustable in the same manner, but differs in the details.

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Chuck Falzone’s “Wet Shaving is Easy”

Not all that long ago there was a small business called Shave HQ, run by Chuck Falzone, that focused on cleaning, restoring, and selling vintage razors. While I never bought from him1 myself, he paired many a vintage razor with new owners.

Last week he posted on Reddit that the little pamphlet on how to shave that he used to ship with his starter kits was now “set free” – in other words, everyone can now benefit from his knowledge and advice. Chuck made it available both as a pamphlet, and as a straight up document better suited for reading on a screen.

The opening paragraphs of Chuck Falzone’s guide to new wetshavers

Released under a creative commons license (CC BY-SA 4.0), the two versions of his explanatory text is free to download, share, and adapt as long as as you attribute and share alike.

You can find both of Chuck’s originals here. Download, enjoy, and share with other shavers – and tell them who made it.

  1. I have been lucky, getting my vintage razors either as PIFs or for little more than cost of shipping from friends online.

Another way to make an adjustable safety razor

There are a couple of common ways to make an adjustable safety razor. You can change the distance between the top cap and bottom plate, like the Gillette adjustable razors do. You can change the blade curvature, as done in the Rockwell and others. Or you can opt for the much less common idea of moving the guard back and forth, like J E Fuller’s 1890 patent hints at.

It was this less common way of doing things that features in Peter Bowman and Ernest F Kiraly’s patented adjustable safety razor. The application was filed in 1974, and granted the year after. The most novel thing is how adjustability was controlled.

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Staats-Oels’ two blade double edged slant

In 1926 Rudolph C G Staats-Oels filed a patent for an improvement in safety razors. I’m not sure how much of an improvement it was. It was certainly novel, by the standards of the day. For starters, it was a slant. Or as the patent put it, it had a head:

…wherein the transverse curvature of the blade will be gradually increased from one end toward the other thereof.

From US patent 1,633,139
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