Safety razor blade receptacle

Remember Nicolas Testi and his shaving cream dispensing tube? Turns out that was not his first rodeo patent. He also – on behalf of Gillette – patented a safety razor blade receptacle.1

The patent is classified by the US patent office as B65D83/10. Or, in layman’s terms, as pertaining2 to containers or packages with special means for dispensing contents for dispensing thin flat articles in succession for dispensing razor-blades

The point of the invention was straight forward. To quote:

The receptacle of my invention is designed to hold a convenient number of blades, horizontally disposed one above another in a stack, secure and without danger of misplacing the individual blades and at the same time to maintain the cutting edges of the blades out of contact with the walls of the receptacle while the blades are contained therein or while being withdrawn one by one therefrom for use.

From US patent 1,909,919

In short: hold the blades, protect the edges, and dispense the blades one at a time. Today we have little fiddly plastic boxes to do this. Back in 1932, Mr Testi suggest using thin sheet metal.

Patent drawing from US patent 1,909,919, showing Nicolas Testi's safety razor blade receptacle
Patent drawing from US patent 1,909,919

His safety razor blade receptacle also featured a central rib (14 in the drawing) meant to help secure and locate the blade. This worked, but precluded blades being wrapped. A small cut out on one end allowed the shaver to push blades out a slit on the other end. Conceptually not too different from the dispensers used by Gillette in the post war era.

While not revolutionary or a quantum leap of the state of art, Nicolas Testi’s safety razor blade receptacle is an interesting peek at the usually forgotten shaving accoutrements. After all, blades have an existence before we put them in the razor.

The full patent can, as usual, be read at Google Patents.


  1. Receptacle; (noun) a hollow object used to contain something. Well, that is one word I was unaware of until now.
  2. Pertaining, (gerund or present participle of the verb pertain) be appropriate, related, or applicable to. Another good word.

Leave a Reply