People get bright ideas now and then – and by that I mean people trying to put a light in or on their razors. The light attachment patented by Jacob N Garfunkle in 1927 is just one in a long line. Personally I like turning up the light in the bathroom, but a century ago that might not have been an option.
But first, let us see what Jacob was trying to achieve with his invention:
…a simple, convenient, efficient and economical attachment for razors, which is adapted to illuminate the surface of the face being shaved, thereby eliminating the usual strain upon the eyes.From US patent 1,676,183
So what makes this invent different from the other illuminating razors I’ve taken a look at?
Well, for starters it is an attachment that would fit on any razor – as long as it is a Gillette Old Type. Secondly, it has a curved mirror to help get the light to where it is needed. And thirdly it uses an absolutely diminutive lightbulb.
The invention is fairly simple. A sheet metal frame goes under the bottom plate. Said frame has holes for the stud and pins that aligns the blade. Mounted on the frame is a small lamp holder. And under the lamp there were a curved mirror, attached with an axle.
The lamp, Jacob suggests, should be connected to a “suitable” electric source. Given the smallness of the bulb, my guess would be a battery and not the outlet in the wall.
I can, as with all of these bright idea, see several problems with Jacob’s light attachment. First of, you’re trailing a wire. Secondly, you got a huge thing sticking up over the top plate – good luck getting the proper angle for shaving. Thirdly, you only get light on one side – in essence turning your double edge razor into a single edge one. And lastly, there likely won’t be much extra light to be had.
A problem with incandescent bulbs is that the smaller they are the brighter they ain’t, as a general rule. And since this looks way smaller than the 4.5V bulbs that were common in flashlights when I was a kid… let’s just say that you would be unlikely to blind yourself by looking at the naked bulb.
Despite me finding the idea worthless, I would not be surprised if Gillette comes out with a cartridge razor with multiple RGD LEDs in the future…
You can read the full patent at Google Patents.