A little while ago1 I mentioned Nicholas Testi’s dispensing tube patent. Turns out he wasn’t the first to patent a shaving cream spreader cap. Charles W Brynan beat Testi to the punch, and with a simpler idea too. No roller or other moving parts. Just a simple shaving cream spreader cap to put on your tube of shaving cream.
So what was it all about? Lets turn to the patent text:
The object of the present invention is to provide a simple, practical and efficient spreading device of strong, durable and comparatively inexpensive construction, adapted for spreading shaving cream and various other preparations contained in collapsible tubes, and capable of being readily applied to a collapsible tube and of closing communication with the same after use so as to prevent any liability of the material contained within the tube drying out or deteriorating from exposure.From US Patent 2,008,636
Constructed of two pieces secured together, the spreading device sought to widen and flatten the cream as it was squeezed from the tube. It could be made either from a hard material2 or a soft one.3 It was to be threaded at one end to mate with the collapsible tube. On the other end it had a number of openings, preferable oblong.
A cap4 was provided to keep the shaving cream from drying out. If the shaving cream spreader cap was made of hard material, the cap should be soft. If the spreader cap was made from soft material, the cap should be hard. According to the patent, this was to make sure the seal was airtight.
The patent is expired, so it is a free for all to recreate Mr Brynan’s invention. With modern injection moulding techniques and materials, it should be easy to simplify it too. There should be no real need for the two piece construction. I can actually see this having a utility when it comes to spreading brushless shaving cream across a face.
But then, I can also see this having an utility when it comes to spreading Scandinavian style caviar on my lunch, so…
As usual, the full patent can be read on Google Patents.
- Well, two and a half year isn’t that long.
- Likely Bakelite or other thermosetting polymer.
- Likely natural rubber, since mass production of synthetic rubbers were still in the future.
- Described as a “closure member”