Multiple-edge safety-razor – old and bizarre patent

The human mind can be an overboiling pot of fantastical ideas, letting us come up with all sorts of brilliant and bizarre inventions. King Gillette’s double edged blade was arguable one of the former. Malcolm H Baker and Franklin S Frisbie’s hexagonal blade probably belongs in the later category…

The idea behind the invention was admirable;

It is the object of the present invention to roduce a razor of the safety type in which the blades by the use of a plurality of cutting edges shall have increased life-in other words, a’ razor in which the blades require resharpening or replacing at longer intervals than in devices at present in use.

Blades for the Gillette razors were not – comparatively speaking – nearly as cheap as they are today, and older style safety razors used wedge blades that required tools and skill to hone and sharpen. However… the leap of logic seems to have been that if two edges are good, then more edges must be better. Minor issues like practicality and useability seems to have taken a back seat to having many edges on the blade.

The result is less of a safety razor of the hoe-type and more of a shavette:

A further object is to provide a razor in which the cutting edge in use is in a parallel lane with the handle, and thus to provide or a drawing stroke in shaving, of the same the as is employed in the ordinary old style folding-blade razor.

And finally, they claimed that their new, improved razor also were:

…of few and simple parts, which may be easily taken apart or assembled and which is readily cleansed after use.

Nothing new under the sun – razors with rollers

There is – as the saying goes – nothing new under the sun… Apparently Feather have come up with a new innovation to reduce the friction when shaving; namely a roller:
Except… it’s not all that innovative. At all.
How about a 1903 Mandarin SE (manufactured until 1914 in Germany)?
Or a Roller Guard after-market baseplate for your Gillette, patented May 7 1929? Also, you could apperantly get after-market parts for your razors back in the day, dispelling the idea that razors were cheap.
You could also get the Roller Razor as a full up three piece razor.
Or how about a variant of the J. A. Henckels Rapide, circa 1920’s?
Or perhaps a lovely Wilkinson 7 day set from the 1940’s?
In fact the oldest patent I could find for rollers on a razor dates back to 16th March 1886! To quote:

My invention consists partly in application to a razor of a roller acting as a guard to prevent the wounding of the skin in the use of the razor, and partly in certain details of construction pointed out in the claims.

Unsurprisingly the razor isn’t a safety razor as we know it:

The oldest patent I found for a hoe-style – the blade 90º on the handle – safety razor with rollers I could find with a quick search is ten years younger, from 18th February 1896. Still fairly respectable, and it was even adjustable with a screw so the user could dial in how aggressive it should shave.
So while I can respect Feather for doing something unusual it is not innovative.

The Darwin DE reimagined

Phil, over at BullGoose Shaving Supples, have come up with a solution for those who wants a Darwin DE and have deep pockets: the stainless steel Asylum Evolution DE.

It looks really, really nice, and the reports from the ones who have used the prototypes are very encouraging. And while I haven’t rushed to place an order myself, the price isn’t bad for a new production stainless razor… and my birthday is coming up in a few months *ponder*