Shave of the day 31st May

Razor: Gillette Single Ring
Blade: Shark Super Chrome
Brush: Artesania Romera Manchurian Badger, imitation horn
Pre-Shave: The Lavish Gentleman Natural Strength Oil Cleanser
Lather: Dr Selby Lavender
Aftershave: BullDog Original Aftershave Balm
Additional Care: Alum Block BullDog Original Beard Oil Pereira Shavery Boomerang Beard Comb

Self-feeding shaving-brush

Does loading your brush with shaving soap take too long? Is it too much work to load and lather? Or do you simply want to save a bit of space in your shave den?

If so, a possible solution was patented by H Forms Hansell Jr. and G D Lewis (citizens of the United States, residing at Philadelphia, county of Philadelphia, and State of Pennsylvania) all the way back in 1907: A self feeding shaving brush.

The basic concept is simple enough; a hollow brush handle with a squeezable rubber base, a rubber tube leading from the hollow handle into the bristles, and a capped hole so the handle could be filled with a liquid soap. To use one would wet the brush, give the handle a squeeze and make the lather directly on the face.

a is a tubular metallic casing and b a closed rubber cap secured to and forming an extension of the casing. The casing and cap together form the brush handle. To secure the rubber cap to the metal casing. the end of the casing adjacent to the rubber cap is provided with an inwardly extending annular the open end of the rubber cap is confined. The thickness of the rubber cap is preferable reduced at its open end so as to facilitate its (unreadable) in position by means of the ring d. The bristle portion a of the brush inserted into the contracted upper end of the metal casing. At f is a rubber tube of a length preferably somewhat greater than the length of the handle. the upper end of the rubber tube extending into the centre of the base of the bristle portion and approximately half way there through, the lower end of the rubber tube terminating preferably a. very short distance above the closed end of the rubber esp. SUI; rounding and secured to the rubber tube is a sleeve II, which is inserted into the base of the bristle portion, so as to relive the rubber tube at this point from the (unreadable) of the confined bristles. In the wet of the metal internal annular flange is formed on the body and threaded to receive a screw cap is.

I see no reason why this brush shouldn’t work as advertised, but I’m sceptical to how easy it would be to keep clean on the inside without the ability to pop the rubber cap off from time to time. Even so, I can find no indications online that this brush was ever manufactured.

Shave of the day 27th May

Razor: Gillette Single Ring
Blade: Shark Super Chrome
Brush: Vie-Long #14033
Pre-Shave: The Lavish Gentleman Natural Strength Oil Cleanser
Lather: Crabtree & Evelyn Sandalwood
Aftershave: BullDog Sensitive Aftershave Balm
Additional Care: Alum Block, BullDog Original Beard Oil, & Pereira Shavery Boomerang Beard Comb

Shave of the day 24st May

Razor: Yaqi Mini, red & black
Blade: Shark Super Chrome
Brush: Wilkinson Sword Badger
Pre-Shave: The Lavish Gentleman Natural Strength Oil Cleanser
Lather: Asylum Shave Works Frankincense & Myrrh
Aftershave: Asylum Shave Works Frankincense & Myrrh
Additional Care: Alum Block, & Pereira Shavery Boomerang Beard Comb

Professor Modevi’s beard generator – grooming quackery

In the second half of the 1800’s a beard was considered not only considered masculine, but actually considered good for your health.
This was the age of heroic exploration; and as rugged adventurers began to tackle the terra incognita of far-flung continents, they would immerse themselves in wild nature, letting their beards grow thick. The beard became a symbol of rugged manliness and men began to emulate their bewhiskered heroes.
At the same time doctors were beginning to encourage men to wear beards as a means of warding off illness. The Victorian obsession with air quality saw the beard as a sort of filter. A thick beard, it was reasoned, would capture the impurities before they could get inside the body. Others saw it as a means of relaxing the throat, especially for those whose work involved public speaking. Some doctors were even recommending that men grew beards to avoid sore throats – better to prevent than to cure later I guess.

Off course, this meant that if you couldn’t grow a proper beard, you looked for solutions both to improve your masculinity and your health. Enter from the left; the quacks!
Patent medicine was big in the late 1800’s… some harmless, some deadly, all useless for what they were supposed to cure.
The beard crazy died for good during the Great War; given a choice between a smooth shave and a horrendous death, it was no real choice.

A 1908 machine for sharpening razor-blades

Want to eek out a little more life from your double edged blade? Recoup a little bit more on the investment as it were? To us today that don’t make much sense, since we’re just paying pennies per blade, but back in the day blades were more costly; about equivalent to the cost of a razor cartridge today per blade!

Much like you today can find sharpeners for cartridge razor, there was a market for DE-sharpeners back in the day. One of the earliest that I found a patent for was granted in March 1911, and was submitted by Eleazer I Rains. As far as I can tell it is Mr Rains’ only shaving related patent.

The machine he patented is simple enough in principle, but the actual execution might leave a little something to desire… it’s not a handle little device you can keep in a drawer, it’s a fairly big lump of machinery you bolt to your bathroom counter.

The device consists of two geared sharpening rollers (which could be made adjustable) against which a blade could be pressed by a spring… and that is about it when you come down to it. This is a principle which several other sharpeners adopted later, in various forms.

In Mr Rains’ own words, the machine is

comprising a sharpening roll, `means to rotate the same, a spring pressed blade support adapted to press the blade yieldingly toward the roll, and movable “bodily toward and from the roll, and guides in which said support is loosely guided

I don’t know if this sharpener was ever built, manufactured or sold, but as far as I can tell from the drawings it should work as intended. The major failing I can see with the design of it is the sheer bulk and the need to bolt it to a countertop.

Shave of the day 20th May

Razor: Yaqi Mini, red & black
Blade: Shark Super Chrome
Brush: Omega #10048
Pre-Shave: The Lavish Gentleman Natural Strength Oil Cleanser
Lather: Dalane d’men Energenic
Aftershave: BullDog Original Aftershave Balm
Additional Care: Alum Block, BullDog Original Beard Oil, & Pereira Shavery Boomerang Beard Comb