Black and white shaving in colour?

There is a lot of old black and white photos of people shaving out there, photos that give us some idea of what shaving was like back then but which could tell us so much more more if they were in colour.

Enter colourise.sg – a deep learning colouriser prototype for old photos. Old Singaporean photos specifically, which may explain some of the odd colour choices…

I don’t believe the american dough-boys of the Great War wore blue uniforms, but overall not a bad effort.

German uniforms during the Great War were – at least when issued – feldgrau; a light grey-green, though there were variations of the shade ranging from greys to browns. Even with the blue-tinted uniforms and green sandbags, the recoloured image have a lot more life to it.

In this image from the Vietnam War, there is still a blue tint to the flak vest, although the rest of the fatigues are much closer to real life. The sandbags are a natural brown, and the lather looks white and inviting.

Or how about a nice straight razor shave, taken from the book Shaving Made Easy? There isn’t much for the software to take clues from in this image, but it still do a pretty good job making the shave looks like a faded colour photo.

Now this is the way to have your daily shaves… the colouriser have made a good one of this one, probably due to all the available clues in the photo.

How about an old fashioned barbershop? A few artefacts from the software, but the shave looks so much more inviting in colours.

Wrapping up with a still frame from The Great Dictator, one of Charlie Chaplin’s bests films. The shave scene was filmed in one go, and is well worth finding and watching.

While not perfect, I enjoyed coming a little closer to what shaves looked like back then… check it out for yourself if you got a favourite image you want to see re-colourised.

Shave of the day 29th April

Razor: Phillips Philite
Blade: Perma-sharp Super Stainless
Brush: Semogue TSN LE 2012
Pre-Shave: The Lavish Gentleman Natural Strength Oil Cleanser
Lather: Pereira Sample
Aftershave: Barber No3 Marmara
Additional Care: Alum Block, BullDog Original Beard Oil, & Pereira Shavery Boomerang Beard Comb

Seven Samurais – a once in a lifetime brush

BullGoose and Paladin Shaving are collaborating on a series of brushes that honours both the tenth anniversary of BullGoose and the seventh anniversary of the Shave Nook forum. Ten each of seven different handles, topped with a specially selected gel tip knot. Read all about them in this thread on the Shave Nook.

Solid Shaves YouTube channel

I don’t watch a lot of shaving videos on YouTube – a disturbing amount of them are rambling, barely edited cell phone videos with no obvious script or direction.

I have however kept an eye on a newcomer to YouTube the last month or so; Solid Shaves. He showcases some interesting shave gear I haven’t seen elsewhere, such as razors and soaps he gotten in Poland.

His channel introduction is short and sweet too…

So far he haven’t a lot of videos up, so you can easily look through most of his backlog and make up your own mind.

Oh, and he’s a ‘wege like me. I’m sure that has nothing to do with why I started watching his videos in the first place…

Shave of the day 22nd April

Razor: Phillips Philite
Blade: Perma-sharp Super Stainless
Brush: Gustavo Romera Manchurian Badger, imitation horn
Pre-Shave: The Lavish Gentleman Natural Strength Oil Cleanser
Lather: Pereira sample
Aftershave: Nivea Cooling After Shave Balm
Additional Care: Alum Block, BullDog Original Beard Oil, & Pereira Shavery Boomerang Beard Comb

King of them all – things we can learn from old advertisement

King of them all! …well, possible ahead of the pack early last century at least.

An advertisement from 2 September 1905 that I stumbled over at Wikimedia that peeked my interest.

While I do doubt the claim of 20-40 shaves per blade, it could be that the thicker carbon-steel blades kept their edges longer than the thinner stainless steel blades we use in this day and age. Or might people have coaxed that many shaves out of them due to the cost of replacement, much like many people today pushes as many shaves as they can out of cartridges before shelling out for new ones?

Taking inflation into account, the set of a razor with a dozen blades would set you back 146$ today – a not insignificant investment. A replacement pack of twelve blades would cost just shy of 30$… which is definitely in the same league as replacement cartridges today. If I paid 2.50$ per blade, I would try to coax a month of shaves out of it too.

In a way it makes sense that Gillette would charge as much for blades back then as they do for carts today. The safety razor wasn’t about liberating men from the tyranny of the barbershop, or helping the working stiff save money… it was about creating a market with vendor lock in and a steady revenue stream. People invest in a razor, and will return year after year to buy blades… and as long as you control the patents, you have in effect a walled garden. Other manufacturers can’t step in to offer compatible blades cheaper without infringing on your patent, and the users can’t get out without giving up on the money they have invested so far (the sunk cost fallacy).

Shaving with an old fashioned safety razor might save you money compared to the alternatives today, but when the old fashioned was the cutting edge, you paid to be part of the first adopters.

Shave of the day 17th April

Razor: GEM 1912
Blade: GEM Single Edge Stainless
Brush: Vie-Long #14033
Pre-Shave: The Lavish Gentleman Natural Strength Oil Cleanser
Lather: Pereira Shavery Orange Blossom w/ activated charcoal
Aftershave: Myrsol Aqua De Limón
Additional Care: Alum Block, Scotch Porter Beard Balm, & Pereira Shavery Boomerang Beard Comb