Soldiers shaving

So I was browsing Digitalmuseet again, and found an interesting photo. Interesting to me at least, both due to the subject, the context and current happenings.


The photo was titled “Brigadesoldater barberer seg”, which translates to “Soldiers of the Brigade shaving”. The brigade in question was the so called Tysklandsbrigaden – the German Brigade. And despite what you might think when hearing the name, it wasn’t a German brigade, but rather a Norwegian Brigade in Germany. Known formally as the “Independent Norwegian Brigade Group in Germany“, it was a Norwegian expeditionary force stationed in the British Zone of Occupation in Germany, from 1946 to 1953.

Sending an expeditionary force to take part in the Allied Occupation of Germany was costly, double so since we were busy trying to rebuild after the Nazi occupation and ravaging of Norway. But it was considered too important not to do. It was done in order to honour previous agreements, to gain valuable experience, and to help secure the hard won peace.

Some googling have not revealed what – if any – razors were standard issue for the men, but the unit was equipped with British materiel and supplied through the British Army. It stands to reason that the shave gear, unless brought from home, were British too.

All in all more than 50.000 Norwegians served in the Brigade Group. Which is a lot, when you consider than in 1946 – when the force was established – Norway had a mere 3.12 million inhabitants.

Adjustable shaving brush

Some like their shaving brushes to have a short loft. Some like a long loft. With James P Wright’s patented adjustable shaving brush you can have both!

Why your would want to do that though is an open question. Personally I would just get two brushes, but I’m living in the wetshaving renaissance. I can get brushes in a wide range of sizes, materials, and cost ranges from across the world. In 1910 it was a little bit more difficult and a lot more costly to get a brush from the other side of the world on a whim.

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How to make a shaving brush handle – 1910 style

There is more to revolutionising shaving than coming up with a innovative new razor. You’ll need to make machines for making blades. You need to find a way to pack the blades. You have to find way to present your wares. And you need a way to make an affordable shaving brush handle.

And the last bit is what Ernest Miltner filed a patent for in 1910. Filed on behalf of the Rubber & Celluloid Harness Trimming Co, the patent was granted in 1913. Even if it’s tangential to the act of shaving, I find it interesting enough to cover.

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