Razor with lubricant dispenser

We’ve talked about razors that stretches the skin before. But I can do you one better today… It is a razor that stretches the skin and has a lubricant dispenser built in. And as a bonus it still looks like you can shave with it with it – unlike some patented razors I could mention. So what did William Miller get a patent for almost fifty years ago?

The abstract put it rather succinctly. To quote:

A safety razor having a hollow, perforate and rotatable cylinder disposed on each side of its blade support and adapted to stretch the skin and simultaneously dispense the lubricant uniformly in advance of the blade while the razor is in use.

From US patent 3,768,161

At first glance, this isn’t conceptually too different from the modern carts that has a “lube strip” built in. Or other self lubricating razors for that matter. Actually… isn’t too different on the second or third glance either. Where it differs is that the razor seems to remain usable for a straight up shave – although a little bulky on one side.

Patent drawing showing William Miller's razor with lubricant dispenser.
Patent drawing from US patent 3,768,161

The invention is mechanically simple and easy to understand. The bottom plate is shaped to accept two cylinders. The cylinders would be able to rotate, due to friction against the skin. Inside each cylinder is a wick, sucking lubricant from a reservoir attached to one side of the razor. And the surface of each cylinder would be full of macroscopic holes. The holes would let the lubricant leak out and lubricate the skin right before the edge of the razor blade.

While the lubricant dispenser would not interfere with the shave, I am doubtful that it will add anything to it. Adding lubrication to the skin a mere instance before the blade edge slide over it is unlikely to do much good. It won’t soften the stubble, since it has no time to act. It won’t make the hair stand up. And while it may stretch the skin ever so slightly, most of us manages that just fine with a couple of fingers and some facial gymnastic.

All in all it is a not horrible idea, just kind of pointless.

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

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