Is your Gillette Khaki Kit just too big and bulky for your pocket? Fear not, because just over a hundred year ago Val F Franck1 applied for and was granted a patent. A patent for a pen style shavette – one you can use for shaving anywhere. Beyond the novelty factor, it would certainly make it easier to travel light.
Envisioned to be carried in the pocket in the same manner as a fountain pen, the folded up shavette should also look like a fountain pen. And it was supposed to contain soap and a brush too. Or as Mr Frank writes in the patent:
This invention relates to razors and has for its primary object the provision of a device of the character aforesaid which may be carried in the pocket in substantially the same manner as a fountain pen and pencil and which presents a like appearance, said razor embodying a brush and soap, all being inclosed in the same case.From US patent 1,392,753
Needless to say, there was not a lot of room to work with. A fountain pen isn’t nearly as big as Gillette Khaki Kit. To begin with, the diameter of one is much less than the width of a regular razor head. Therefore the head of the pen style shavette is on the narrow side of things.
In addition to the narrow, comb-style shavette, the fountain pen look-a-like also had a brush in the handle. A very, very slim little brush. A brush i would even go as far as calling a wee little brush. On top of that – or below, depending on what way you held it – the pen style shavette also had a little bit of shaving soap powder in the end cap.
And while it would be a small quantity of soap, that was okay. You would, after all, have an itsy-bitsy little brush2 to make lather with.
Thoughts on the pen style shavette
Does Val F Franck’s invention provide the shaver on the go a small, unobtrusive, and complete shave kit? Technically… yes, it does. From a practical point of view? Perhaps less so. But as a novelty or for emergency use, the pen style shavette did perhaps have a place. And Mr Frank was far from the only inventor trying to shoehorn a razor into a small form factor.
Besides, who wouldn’t want to carry around a fountain pen that morphed into a quick shave and moment of Zen?
As usual, the full patent can be read at Google Patents.
- Residing at Louisville, in the county of Jefferson and State of Kentucky, USofA.
- Could be worse – it could be an Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot, uhm, brush.