Last week I made some lighthearted fun out of a shave kit that looked like a fountain pen. Today I’ll show of another fountain pen lookalike; Pete Bowlin’s shaving kit. Pete filed his patent in ’47, and while he failed to include a shaving brush he did find room to make his invention a hoe style single edge safety razor.
Let me start of by pointing out that the OCR on the patent text is horrible. Atrocious, even. Bad to the point of being unintelligible. Let me give an example:
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Thankfully, the PDF of the scanned patent document is available. And the patent drawing is nice and clear, as patent drawings from this time often is.
One one hand, it is a complicated razor compared to a three piece double edge. On the other hand, for something that is the size and shape of a pen, it could have been a lot worse. There is a simple single edge razor head, and a spring to hold it against the tubular body. Said body doubles as a handle. When you want to pack up the razor, pull up the head, rotate 90°, and lower it into the handle. Unpacking it is the opposite motion.
Also interesting is what is marked as “11” on the drawing. It is, according to the patent text, a shave stick. So even if you got no brush in Pete Bowlin’s shaving kit, you had most of the things you’ll need for a shave.
To use the kit the shavee – whom in my imagination is a sharp dressed secret agent – would first slip into a handy bathroom. He would wet his face, then unscrew the pointed cap. In between sips of his dry martini, he would rub the shave stick over his manly cheeks and lather it up with his fingertips. Replacing the cap, he would uncap the other end of his pen. Carefully checking that his PPK is still in his shoulder holster, he would then extract and twist the razor’s head. Deft strokes would return his face to its clean shaven state, before he wipes down and packs up the razor. Slipping the “pen” back in his pocket, he would then exit the bathroom.
Most likely straight into the arms of the evil villain’s henchmen, since the sounds of running water attracts attention and a shave isn’t a disguise.
But at least our brave shavee would be clean shaven when he is dropped in the shark tank.
I don’t know if Pete Bowlin’s shaving kit ever got manufactured. It would be a shame if it wasn’t, since it would be a handy thing for travelling salesmen and others needing to freshen up their looks.
As usual you can see the whole patent on Google Patents.