One morning in late ’72, Ray L Stone woke up and realised what the world needed. Yet another disposable plastic razor. Which, honestly, is the last thing the world need – but the early seventies were a different time. So Ray went and patented his idea, so lets look at the result.
Most inventions have a purpose.
The purpose of Ray’s invention seems to have been to be a light, plastic safety razor where only the blade was made of metal. Oh, and to have a flexible head. Even if I find the idea of a pivoting head on a razor silly, it seems that a lot of people like it. Ray made the head pivot not by incorporating a hinge, but by making the handle flimsy.
Seriously. Lets qoute:
The safety razor of this invention is distinctive in that it possesses a plastic handle attached to the bottom surface of the guard plate which rectilinearly extends therefrom along a single plane aligned perpendicular to the bottom surface. The handle is fragmented into three sequentially interconnected sections, a first section which is non-flexible and rigid, a second section which is flexible and non-stretchable, and a third section which is non-flexible and rigid. The sequential order of each section of the handle extending from the bottom surface of the guard plate is the first, second possesses a non-stretchable and flexible component and third sections in that order.From US patent 3,823,471
So a handle that is rectangular in cross section, having a thick part, a thin part, and another thick part. The thin bit lets it bend back and forth – but not side to side. And that is about it.
The rest of the razor is pretty straight forward. Moulded of thermoplastic, the simple head and handle is in one piece. And honestly, the top cap and bottom plate looks downright flimsy to me.
The flexible plastic safety razor was not Ray’s first patent. Some years earlier he got a patent for a “novel safety razor“, which used the same head. That one had a rather odd L-shaped handle though… It might be better to consider it a novelty safety razor.
The full patent can be read at Google Patents.