Barber’s aseptic shaving cup

In 1913 Joseph Lupowitz and Benjiman Mackilbank1 jointly invented and patented an aseptic shaving cup, described in the patent introduction as:

…a novel form of barbers aseptic shaving cup insuring to the barbers customer, the use of an aseptic shaving cup, aseptic brush and aseptic soap.


Compared to the disposable shaving cup I discussed a couple of days ago, this goes one better by including a brush.

Well. The knot of a brush at least. And a small soap puck, instead of the soap powder. The shaving cup would be made from cheap thin fragile material, thus needing to be placed in an outer rigid and permanent holder for use. The inner cup was intended to collapse after a single use. This was likely meant to both prevent reuse, and to reduce the cost.

The patent

Patent drawing for US patent 1,084,865 - a barber's aseptic shaving cup, complete with soap and brush, intended for a single, hygienic and sanitary use.
Patent drawing for US patent 1,084,865

The knot that comes with each cup was meant to be used with a reusable handle. The knot would be, according to the text, made of a very cheap material. Sadly the material of choice isn’t specified, but other patents for disposable brushes have suggested fibrous materials2 or even paper.

Sufficient soap for a single use were to be added to each cup. Later patents for disposable brushes suggest impregnating the knot with soap. I assume something similar could be done here, which would simplify use. Each aseptic shaving cup would be sealed by a paper cap. For extra protection against dust and – I assume – germs, the cap could be coated with paraffin wax.

How to use

The actual use of the outfit is well described in the patent:

In the use of the above described shaving cup, the barber receives the cups 10, and their sealed contents and when occasion s0 demands, inserts a cup 10, within the holder 16, so that preferably the bottom of the cup 10, rests upon the bottom of the holder and the flanged portion 14, of the cup 10, rests upon the holder rim as shown in Fig. 3. This holder is permanently retained by the barber and is made from any preferred material of a rigid nature and is usually provided with a handle. The barber then removes the paper cap 15, fits to the shank 17, of the brush-body 11, a handle 18, which handle is also retained permanently by the barber.

For all practical purposes, the novel form of shaving outfit thus provided, is the same as an ordinary shaving outfit with the added feature that every customer is insured of a sanitary cup, brush and soap.

From US patent 1,084,865

In short: Place cup in holder, remove cover. Insert knot into handle, add a little water. Lather up and shave. Then, one assumes, remove handle from knot, and upend the whole thing in the trash.


While they wouldn’t stack as neatly as Mr Scott’s invention, this aseptic shaving cup does come with an aseptic brush. Again I see no technical reason why it wouldn’t work as described. A similar product could do okay today, perhaps as a courtesy item in hotels and hospitals. As a courtesy item it would require some form of handle on the brush though.

Again the full patent can be read at Google Patents, and again I have a page full of other old patents and shaving oddities.


  1. Both citizens of the United States, residing at Philadelphia, in the county of Philadelphia and State of Pennsylvania
  2. Such as cotton, linen, hemp, or other natural fibres

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