Anestis Foltis’ folded safety razor

Disposable safety razors were patented from time to time in the past. Usually they were just a regular safety razor made from cheap or disposable materials. Sometimes they were a minor stroke of genius. Sometimes they were plain odd. Mr Foltis’ safety razor made from bent sheet metal is one of the later two.

An important object of the invention is to provide an inexpensive safety razor having an integral razor blade of small size whereby the entire razor must be disposed of after the blade becomes too dull for shaving purposes.

US patent 2,550,056

To me it is odd to make something to not last, but I guess that is where the profit margin is. At least Mr Foltis proposed a razor made out of sheet metal instead of plastic.

US patent 2,550,056

The razor is deceptively simple, once you work out how to fold the metal to make the razor. All you have to do is to stamp out the complicated shave, punch out various holes to form the guard, sharpen and hone an edge and fold it up.

Another object of the invention is the provision of a safety razor unit in which the razor blade and holder is constructed from a single blank of flexible metal.
An additional feature of the invention is the provision of a razor blade holder in which the handle thereof is constructed of a pair of elements included in the blank and bent into position when the razor is needed for use.

US patent 2,550,056

Figures 3, 4 & 5 and 6, 7 & 7A shows two other way to cut and fold the sheet metal to form the razor. I am uncertain what the benefits and drawbacks of the modified forms would be, or if the inventor was just covering his bases.

With careful shaping and folding, the patented razor should be fully usable. Might be less than perfect given the very short handles, and unless made from stainless steel water gathering in the fold would cause corrosion quickly.

As an interesting aside, Mr Foltis’ patent cites an earlier patent by our old friend Gronbech. It was likely the tiny ‘ears’ forming the handle that Mr Foltis copied from US patent 1,370,935.

The patent is available at Google Patents, for those wanting to read it. Mr Foltis had a more patents to his name, some of them variations on this razor.

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