Disposable safety rotary razor

For some reason people keep inventing disposable razors. Simple and complex apparatuses for hair removal. Hard to recycle, resource intensive consumer goods that is meant to be thrown away after a few uses. At least the disposable safety rotary razor patented by Rudolph A Gagnon had six blades that could be used before it was thrown away. And it was supposed to be colourful.

Or, as the patent text puts it:

This safety rotary razor is made inexpensively, is of one unit, and can be thrown away after a plurality of shaves by the user. It can be made of bright colored plastic. It employs a plurality of blades, for example, six blades. The blades are adhesed to an hexagon-shaped plastic inner spool.

From US patent 3,722,091

As can be seen from the drawing, the inner spool is surrounded by an outer shim (20 on the drawing). The patent suggests making this from a teflon sheet, and it would act as both the guard and as a blade wiper. The sheet wrapped around the inner spool also acts as a blade stop. The shape allows the user to turn the inner spool one way, but not the other. A new blade could be brought into line, but an old blade could not be brought back. At least not until the inner spool had made a full revolution.

Patent drawing for a 1970's disposable safety rotary razor
Patent drawing from US patent 3,722,091

Gagnon’s disposable safety rotary razor reminds me of many other revolver razors. Both because the blades are mounted on a rotating element, and because the idea seems silly. At least Gagnon’s variation have a half decent guard and a way to stop you turning the inner core the wrong way.

And a last blade indicator, which you could ignore as you tried to eke a little more life out of the cartridge. A red stripe on the knobs were meant to show the user which was the last blade, so the user could “…throw the entire unit out and obtain a replacement.”.

Hopefully obtain a more permanent razor – at least that would be my preference.

One improvement I would make on Gagnon’s disposable safety rotary razor is to make the inner core and teflon sheet replaceable. In other words, turn it from a disposable to a cartridge razor. Which would be marginally better… but only marginally.

You can read the full patent on Google Patent, or check out my other posts on shaving patents and other oddities.

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  1. Pingback: Disposable safety rotary razor - Razors n Blades the shave that saves

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