Several of the patents we’ve looked at lately took the form of pen-shaped – more or less – shaving and hygiene kits, some with additional functions. Most of them stored some form of shaving aid in the handle – a tiny brush, soap powder or pellets. But what if I told you there was a patent for doing just that? One that covered just having a shaving aid stored in the razor handle?
The patent in question was filed by Martin C Dellinger1 in early 1929. It was granted a little over two years later. It is, as many inventions, obvious in hindsight – but it must have been seen as novel and non-obvious at the time. In the inventor own words:
The objects of the invention are to provide in combination a handle and a styptic pencil carried in the handle so as to be immediately at hand and quickly and certainly removable from the handle in. case of need; to provide such a combination of said handle and the styptic pencil that the latter will normally be contained in said handle and protected against moisture; to provide in such combination a plug for closing the open end of the handle, said plug serving as a convenient mount and grip] for the styptic pencil, and to provide means preventing the rolling of the handle, all of said objects being, accomplished by the construction, combination and arrangement of parts all as hereinafter set forth, described and claimed.From US patent 1,819,742
As can be seen from the drawing, it is a fairly straight forward idea. The handle is fairly chunky and hollow. The styptic pencil would be held in by a short, hollowed, and springy socket. To quote again:
Said ferrule or socket 5 is preferably of resilient material, cylindrical in cross section and is slotted or split, as at 6, so as to allow the portions thereof to yield slightly as the end of the styptic pencil 7 is forced into position between them and serving to grip and hold between them said styptic pencil 7 after it has been thus forced into said socket.From US patent 1,819,742
The patent does point out that the actual design of the socket was less important, as long as it secured the shaving aid stored in the razor handle. The hex head of the socket, as shown on the drawing, would however be easy to unscrew, even with wet fingers. Additionally it would not be liable to roll away if put down.
Mr Dellinger pointed out the importance of making the handle and socket out of a material that don’t react to the styptic pencil. For whose unaware, a styptic pencil is made from alum,2 and alum don’t always play nice with metals. He suggests using rubber,3 bakelite, or a “suitable” metal or metal-alloy.
There is nothing, in principle at least, that would a shaving aid stored in the razor handle to being a styptic. One could for instance store a shaving stick, or a small shaving brush, in the handle.
Personally I think a shaving stick would be a more useful item to have than a styptic pen. At least if the idea is to have a portable shave kit.
I have found no trace of Mr Dellinger’s invention being manufactured. But there is perchance a small market for a chunky third party handles today – and if there is, a subset of that small market might want to have a shaving aid stored in the razor handle.
Me? I stay with a slimmer handle, thank you very much.
- A man with several patents to his name. Seemingly mostly related to valves and automobiles. Although he did invent and patented two food choppers, a suction cup clip for holding your hat while driving, and a automobile mounted clothes hanger support. Food choppers and a shaving aid stored in the razor handle seems to be the odd ones out.
- Alum is a term covering several chemical compounds. Potassium alum or aluminium alum are most commonly used for styptics.
- Rubber would also help create a waterproof seal.