Continuing on the theme on disposable and aseptic shaving cups, I present today the most complete kit so far: A 1915 patent for a sanitary package for shavers use. The kit has a cup. It has aseptic soap. There is a brush – not just a knot. It has a disinfectant strip. It has a towel! The package even has a razor cleaning paper‽
No, I didn’t know what a razor cleaning paper was either before I found this patent. But I did google the term, and will let you know what I learned later on. The important thing right now is that the sanitary kit comes with some. And, as mentioned, a lot of other goodies. Everything you will need for a shave, except a razor. And a beard or other unseemly hair – it is hard to shave without something to shave.
Patented by William M Klein1, the sanitary package resembled a gobstopper or Russian nesting dolls. One item is wrapped inside another, with yet another inside there again. It is hard to know where to begin; From the outside in, or from the inside out?
The sanitary package unpacked
Let us mentally disassemble the sanitary package in the order a shaver would, from the outside.
The first thing we grab is the cup, which is not described in any great detail. Likely it would be made from paper or other inexpensive material, intended for a single use. The patent points out that the kit could be presented without the cup, and still be beneficial.
Pushed into the cup – or receptacle – is the actual package. Held in place with glued straps, the outer layer of the package is the razor cleaning paper. Inside the outer layer is a tightly rolled towel. Said towel is folded to be as tall as the cup, so it’s either on the small side or pretty thin.
Nesting inside the towel is an inner package. Wrapped up in a disinfectant strip2 is a small piece of aseptic soap and a aseptic shaving brush. Given that the patent says that the package should be forced into the cup, I expect that the brush will be in a sorry state when unwrapped.
Or, in the words of the patent text:
The cup or receptacle is denoted by 1 and is adapted to receive a sanitary package 2. This package comprises an aseptic brush 3, a disinfectant treated strip 4 for use, when moistened, in connection with the razor at the time of shaving and at the same time in connection with the operators fingers which are to be applied to the face, a towel 5 and aseptic soap 6 sufficient for a single use. A razor cleaning paper 7 serves as a wrapper for the contents of the package.
In practice, the package is put up for sale in the following manner: The towel 5 is folded so that the width of the towel will be approximately about the same as the depth of the receptacle 1. The brush 3, the aseptic soap 6, and the disinfectant treated strip 4 are then placed in the towel and the towel, with the aforementioned articles, rolled into a cylindrical form. The razor paper 7 is applied to completely envelop the cylindrical package to which may be added a means for securing the wrapper around the package such, for instance, as gummed pasters 8.
The sealed sanitary package is next placed within the receptacle 1 and held in position by straps 9 glued to the receptacle. The package is made into cylindrical form of greater diameter than the receptacle so that the wrapped package must be forced into the receptacle, thereby completely filling the interior of the same and protecting it from dust and dirt. Thus it will be seen that the person using the package is insured of a sanitary brush, soap, towel and cup or receptacle, together with the disinfectant treated strip as an added precaution against anger and disease from infection.From US patent 1,150,207
Some final thoughts
Like the disposable and aseptic cups I recently posted about, there is no technical reason I can see why the sanitary package wouldn’t work as intended. It could be a handy thing to have for travelling. Paired with a disposable razor, it could be a nice courtesy item in hotels and hospitals.
Oh, and the razor cleaning paper? It was3 a soft paper used for wiping excess lather and moisture of a straight edge razor. Nothing more mysterious than that, but it was common enough that at least one patent – US 706,997 – describes an invention meant to obviate the employment of paper in removing the lather from a razor when used in shaving.
- Klein was a subject of the Russian Empire. In 1915 he was a resident of the borough of Bronx, in the city and State of New York.
- Which would need to be moistened before use. Think of it as a dehydrated wet wipe.
- Or is, for those who still uses razor cleaning paper.