Sheet metal shaving-brush holder

The problem of how to store our brushes have been with us a long time. Store it bristles up, and the handle gets wet. Store it bristles down, and the bristles may deform. Luckily Samuel T Varian have come up with a simple shaving-brush holder that can easily be clipped onto your shaving mug. Or anywhere else, for that matter.

Or, in his own words:

Shaving-brushes, especially those composed of bristles, very frequently become bent out of shape by being left standing in the shaving-mug after use, the weight of the handle bearing down and curving the bristles and the same becoming set. In this condition it is very difficult to satisfactorily use the shaving-brush; and the object of my invention is to provide a device to support the shaving-brush after the same has been used and washed out in such a manner that the bristles can dry and assume their natural position.

From US patent 568,121

As a side note; those composed of bristles? That would imply that there were brushes made of something non-bristles… unless Samuel used the word in the narrow sense of boar bristles. And yes, I do find that my horse hair brushes more easily regain their proper shape.

Patent drawing from US patent 568,121

Back to the shaving-brush holder. It was a fairly easily manufactured device. Some sheet metal cut to shape. Three slits. And some bending of the bits. To quote again:

…it consists of a holder of sheet metal formed from a shaped plate having parallel incisions dividing the same into integral spring tongues and arms. These spring tongues and arms are bent to the desired form to make the shaving-brush holder. The outer spring-tongues are bent to set over and, with the plate to grasp the upper edge of the shaving-cup, and the arms rise above the plate and are bent over and curved at their ends to form yielding supports to receive the shaving-brush and hold the same in a vertical position.

From US patent 568,121

All in all I like Samuel’s shaving brush holder. It is simple. It should be cheap. And it seems to be able to it’s job well. If we accept that perfection is reached when there is nothing left to take away, this shaving-brush holder is close to perfect.

But as we all know now, there is thousands of different shaving brush holders out there these days. And a brush do dry well even if the bristles are up. So there may not be a marked for Samuel’s perfect shaving-brush holder any longer.

You can, as usual, read the full patent at Google Patents.

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