Or as we know this patent today; the genesis of the Schick Injector type D and onwards. And unlike a lot of the patents I riff on, this one not only made it into production, but is alive and well. And expired, so anyone can copy the razor and loading device therefor found in this patent. The patent relates to:
…a combined razor and magazine which are separable to enable the razor to be used for shaving apart from the magazine.From US patrent 1,969,945
Or, in simpler terms, an injector as we know and love them1 today. And in contrast to the older type A, B and C razors,2 which had the magazine in the handle.
Both the razor and the loading device is described in detail in the patent. And while there are some differences in the magazine from the ones I can buy today, the head of the razor is very close to my Schick E2 from 1941. The major difference is in the shape of the spring.
One of the points pointed out in the patent is that the razor is well suited for being assembled from pieces of sheet metal. In contrast to the cast and machined construction of earlier Schick Automatic Razors, this represented a saving in time and resources. In addition, it made it easier to load the razor To quote:
This construction of razor is well adapted for manufacture from sheet metal and the resiliency of the shaving head is such as to enable a separation of the walls 18 and 21 to release the blade from its front engagement with the stops 17. At the same time the parts are stiff enough to hold the blade firmly in place and to prevent chattering of the blade in the shaving operation. It will also be noted that two members of the shaving head are rectangular, one fitting within the other and hinged together at the bottom. When separated by spreading the two extension walls 18 and 21, not only are the stops 17 and the abutment 22 pushed farther apart but the blade platform 14 and the top plate 20 are also separated slightly to ease up the contact on the flat faces of the blade.From US patent 1,969,945
The loading device therefor
The magazine is, as mentioned, not identical to the one we use today. The magazine we use today can be traced to a 1946 patent, but the one described here differs in details by not function.
A tab or tongue stick out of the sidewall of the magazine. When inserted into the razor, it spread the bottom and top parts of the razor head, allowing the shaver to push a new blade into the razor. The new blade is used to push out the old one, which can be disposed in a wall or elsewhere. This design of the loading device did not feature a slot for old blades.
What it did feature, however, was an ability to be reloaded. This make sense in context, since the older styles of Schick Automatic Razors had a reloadable magazine in the handle.3 Blades must, in other words, have been available loose.
This reloadability was achieved by having a hinged lid on the bottom of the loading device. To quote once again:
A magazine is shown at 23. While the blades may be stacked in the magazine by hand they are usually arranged in a clip 24 and form a stack 25. The clip is arranged in the magazine easily and is readily removable for replacement. The form shown comprises a magazine having an open bottom covered by a floor plate 26 which is hinged to the body portion of the magazine at 27 and extends up part way on the side at 28 and has a suitable finger piece for its operation, as at 29. The floor plate is provided with a spring 30 which presses the stack of blades upwardly, as the clips are provided with openings 31 in the bottom which enables the spring to bear on the bottom of the stack 25. The clip 24 is readily insertable into the magazine from the back when the floor plate is lowered. The spring is out of the way as it is fast to the floor plate.From US patent 1,969,945
Or in layman’s words; Drop the floorplate, insert stack of blades. And Bob’s your Uncle.
Injector razors based on this patent are great shavers – as proven by the fact that they were manufactured since 1934 until the Type O went out of production.4 As for the magazine described in this patent… well, the disposable magazines we’re used to are handy, but part of me likes the idea of a reloadable loading device. Reduce, reuse, recycle and all that, y’know? While the savings in metal and transport of a single magazine wouldn’t be much, it all adds up.
- At least some of us love them – I know I enjoy my vintage injectors.
- Which, by the way, are three razors I would love to have in my rotation.
- As a side note, Razor Emporium have a page on how to reload the Schick A, B, and C.
- Shortly after the turn of the Millenium? I can’t find solid sources for when it happened.