Shaving soap holder

Have you ever gotten fed up with how the cake of soap sits at the bottom of the shaving cup, being wet and gross and all that stuff? Me neither, but in our defence most of the people treating traditional wetshaving as a hobby have more than one soap. And most of us don’t keep it in a single shaving mug. But way back then, when a single cake of soap kept in a mug was the order of the day? I can definitely see the appeal of John Richardson’s 1892 patent for a shaving soap holder.

And it is a nice, simple idea too. But before we look closer, let us see what John wanted to achieve:

My invention relates to soap savers and lifters; and it has for its object to provide a simple and inexpensive article that is adapted to be placed within an ordinary shaving-mug, the same holding the soap, and while it presents sufficient body of soap to readily work up the lather it also allows the soap to wear down without any undue loss thereof, the parts of the device being also particularly capable of being easily removed, cleansed, and replaced.

From US patent 467,436

In short, make the soap last longer. And be less icky at the same time. What is not to like?

In all fairness, John Richardson wasn’t the only John to address the problem of icky soap. But he was early, and his invention works with the gear you already own.

John’s shaving soap holder was – as he pointed out in the text – a simple device. And it should be reasonable cheap to make too. And while there is one little change I would make, there is nothing wrong with it.

Patent drawing for John Richardson's shaving soap holder, showing the two wire fabric discs, the lifter, and how it sits in a standard shaving mug.
Patent drawing from US patent 467,436

The shaving soap holder is, in essence, a wire shelf for your shaving mug. The soap sits at the top shelf. Water and lather run off collects under the soap. The end result is that the soap can dry out instead of sitting in a puddle.

Additionally the whole thing can easily be lifted out of the mug with the attached wire handle. So not only will it keep the soap in better shape, but it is easy to clean as well.

There is one or two things I would have changed myself. For starters, I would have included two more rods to help support the upper wire fabric disc. The current design only supports it at a single point, making it likely that it will bend over time. My second change would be to turn the lower plate into just a ring. It is there just to rest against the bottom of the mug, so there is no real need for it to be made from wire fabric.

Beyond that, it ought to work as intended. And as John states:

The advantages and construction of my improved soap saver and lifter are thought to be apparent without further description.

From US patent 467,436

You can read the full text of the patent for the shaving soap holder at Google Patents, as usual.

2 thoughts on “Shaving soap holder

  1. Pingback: Shaving soap holder - Razors n Blades the shave that saves

  2. Pingback: A less messy shaving cup - Wegian WetshavingWegian Wetshaving

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