Sometimes I see a patent, and can’t help but to wonder why the idea didn’t take of. And a little while ago razors.page shared a patent which – if there had been any justice – ought to have been a run-away hit. Hubert Chauncy Hart’s razor with a slide-on handle was the best thing before1 sliced bread. As it is, it ended up being one of the many razor patents that went no where. It is still worth a look though.
At a casual glance, there is not much to the patent. A simple hoe style razor. Per the drawing, it seem set up to use Christy-style blades. In that respect, it was in good company. That said, it should be a minor modification to adapt the razor to take GEM-style2 blades.
That isn’t the clever part.
The clever part is that the short, straight handle would easily detach from the razor head. The handle could then be slid over the razor’s edge to protect the blade from fingertips. Or protect fingertips from the blade – it all depends on your point of view.3 And with the slide-on handle slid on, the razor would make a neat and safe little package you could put in your dop-bag or waistcoat pocket.
While over the edge, the slide-on handle was held in place by the spring-action of the folded sheet metal. It mounted to the razor head with the help of a small pocket and a pair of small wings. The cut-out for the pocket also formed a slot that gave access to the back of the blade for pushing the blade out.
In short, it makes a handy and convenient single edge razor that packs up in a small package. In the words of Hubert Hart:
The invention is simple, and by utilizing the handle in a dual capacity, an economical and neat razor is provided. The free ends of the metal forming the handle are sufficiently resilient to tightly grip one side of the blade and holder to prevent its being accidentally displaced.From US patent 919,719
The invention is well adapted to be carried in the pocket, as will be obvious.
To my eye, it should be possible to adapt the razor and slide on handle to use a GEM-blade. Razors.click suggest that this razor would make for a good 3D-printing project. That may be true, although personally I would like to see a modern version of this done in sheet metal.
- Sliced bread was first offered for sale on 7th July 1928. Hubert’s razor was patented almost twenty years earlier.
- The new style, or the old and thicker type.
- Blood and other bodily liquids would be detrimental to the edge of a carbon steel blade, so protecting the blade against fingertips makes sense.