We have looked at shavettes before. We have looked at quite many adjustable razors before. But I can not recall showcasing an adjustable shavette before. And to make it even more exciting, it is an adjustable safety shavette patented as early as 1906.
Even, even more exciting is the way it is adjustable. Unlike most adjustable razors, which raises or lowers the top cap in relation to the bottom plate, this is more akin to the Tatara Muramasa. The open comb guards are moved in and out in relation to the cutting edge, by means of a simple nut and threaded rod. The Muramasa, as far as I can see, uses a cam track to achieve the same effect. Of the two, the later is the more elegant system – but it requires more modern machining tools to manufacture.
Another way the adjustable shavette differs from more modern offerings is the blade. Most adjustable razors uses standard double edged blades. The patent for the shavette on the other hand uses a double edged blade with a short tang. The tang has a hole, allowing the shaver to take the blade out for rinsing – and possible replacing.
As can be seen from the drawing, the top cap is secured with the same bolt and thumb nut as the blade. This would assure proper alignment between the two. The two halves of the blade guard1 are connected with a pair of links, so they move in unison and parallel. The mechanism is hidden in a hollow shaft, with just a knurled nut showing.
I can see how the basic idea of the adjustable shavette can be modified to take a standard double edged blade. The lower half of the shaft could have an extension with a raised bar,2 that would slot into the slot of a blade. The stud and thumb nut could then be moved to the middle of the blade, where the blade has a hole for already. This would simplify the design of the top cap slightly, since it would them look very much like the top cap of a standard three piece safety razor.
Anyone could modify it to take modern blades and manufacture an adjustable shavette based on this patent. The only question is is there is a marked for a double edged, adjustable shavette in this day and age. But if someone did make one, I would be interested in it.
The patent was filed in 1905 by John J Meehan,3 who have several other patents to his name. This includes other safety razors and strops, but also a few other things.
- The functional equivalent to the bottom plate on a regular razor.
- Coming up between the two halves of the guards.
- A citizen of the United States, residing in the city and county of Denver and State of Colorado