A cartridge straight

The beauty of a straight is that it’s a precision instrument with a single cutting edge which lasts forever if taken well care off. Obviously this is such an old fashioned concept that we need to reinvent it… or at least, that seems to be part of the logic behind Mr Jamshid Ilanlou’s invention.

A straight razor has a handle portion and a disposable multi-blade assembly with at least two blades as the cutting edge on at least one of its sides. A molded guard portion at the bottom of the blade portion prevents the blades from cutting into the skin by keeping the cutting edge limited to the surface in common among the sharp edges of the blades and the bottom guard portion.

It could be that the rationale was to make straight shaving more accessible for new shavers, even if the existing shavettes do a nice job of that.

Shave of the day 25th November

Pre-shave: Dr Bronners Tea Tree Soap
Lather: Prairie Creations KISS cream w/ tea tree oil
Brush: Semogue “The Shave Nook 2012 Limited Edition” mixed boar-badger
Razor: GEM Micromatic Clug Pruf with a GEM SE
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and Myrsol After Shave Formula K
Beard care: Big Red Beard Oil and Big Red No7 Beard Comb

Gillette’s 1950’s magazine razor

Vendor lock-in must be a razor manufacturers wet dream; once you gotten inside their walled garden, it’s too much effort / cost to get out again. Gillette had this going for them with the traditional DE safety razor, until their patents expired – which basically turned DE’s into open source shaving. Ever since they have been trying to regain it, with they (and other multinationals) have managed more-or-less with the advent of the cartridges.

However, getting to the carts was a bit of hit and miss.. the Gillette TechMatic is often considered the worst razor ever, whereas Gillette’s 1944 attempt at a four-blade cart (3/4th down the page) had some obvious problems with slicing fingers.
Still they prevailed with odd ideas, patenting several of them. Today I found a magazine razor, patent filed in 1951.

…the magazine razor of our invention includes a head containing a chamber or compartment for a blade stack and having a front wall providing a blade seat at its upper edge. A friction plate overlies the blade seat and engages the blade thereon and a reciprocatory cap is mounted on the head and provided with feeding lugs projecting through apertures in the friction plate for advancing one blade after another from the stack to the blade seat. A complete reciprocation of this cap is all that is necessary in ejecting a used blage from the razor head and replacing it by a fresh As herein shown the razor is organized to handle thin fiat single edged blades in which both the sharpened and unsharpened edges of the blade are offset with respect to the ends of the blade so as to permit one blade to be located by engagement with a second blade lying in the same plane while providing clearance for its sharpened edge.

Appliance for vibrating a safety razor

You want one of the fancy vibrating razors, but can’t afford one?

Fear not, fellow shaver; Mr Harry F Partridge patented the solution back in ’46 – the aptly named “appliance for vibrating a safety razor”. Sleek and unobtrusive… uhm.. well, lumpy and rather obtrusive to be honest… anyhow… you simply clip the appliance onto your razor – or rather; you clip your razor into the appliance – and said appliance improves the shave in much the same way painting go-faster-stripes on an old POS car turns it into a sleek, modern race car. In other words, probably not at all.

In Mr Partridge’s own words:

My present invention relates to an improved razor and more particularly to a means for mounting and reciprocating the conventional safety razor wherein the razor including its blade is reciprocated in short swift strokes longitudinally of the blade and the blade head so that the razor will vibrate laterally as it is drawn over the face of the user.

I’m more or less at a loss for words here -but then I’m of the firm opinion that the only thing a vibrating razor is good for is reliving the user of more money compared to a non-vibrating razor.
Mr Partridge again:

This vibration of the razor head and its blade will increase the cutting effect of the razor blade and will result in a vastly improved shaving operation with a closer shave and a less painful shave.

I’m sorry to break it to you, but if your shaves are painful you’re quite simply doing it wrong. Try with better prep and a sharp blade – I can all but guarantee* you a smoother, closer and painless shave.
*) Not a legally binding guarantee, Offer void where prohibited by law. May be too intense for some viewers. If condition persists, consult your physician.