We’ve looked a few travel brushes before. The retractable shaving brush invented by Peter Dynowsky is in a league of its own thought. It is retractable. It is self soaping. And it will ruin the knot in time.
But before we look at how Peter managed this Kinder Egg of a retractable shaving brush, let us see what he was trying to achieve.
The principal object of the invention is to provide a brush slidably contained within a holder, which acts as a handle therefor, the brush being automatically projected into position for use upon the removal of a cover. Another object is to provide a compartment in the brush for containing shaving soap in the form of a fine powder.From US patent 1,274,697
And a still further object is to provide means whereby the powder may be distributed among the bristles of the brush at any desired time and in a convenient and effective manner
Three things, all at once. A brush that slides in a handle. That projects automagically. And that has soap power that can be distributed among the bristles.
The first part any retractable shaving brush can do. The knot is mounted on a small cylinder, that rides up and down inside the hollow handle. So far, nothing particularly novel.
The second part was achieved by a spring. It would have to be fairly strong, to keep the knot from retracting while being used. This meant that while the knot would project automatically when the cap was unscrewed, the shaver would have to force it back in and somehow hold sit in place when replacing the cap. Preferable without the hairs getting caught in the thread.
The third part – the Kinder Surprise, if you like – of the brush was managed by a hollow cap. This had a double bottom with perforations – one fixed, one that could be twisted slightly. So by twisting the moveable part, the perforations would line up and the soap would – according to the patent – drizzle down into the retractable shaving brush.
Sounds good, right? I do however see a Kinder Egg of problems too.
For starters, and as mentioned, you would have to somehow stuff the knot back into the handle to get the cap on.
Secondly, the spring would squish the knot up against the cap. This would likely deform it in no time flat, if the spring was strong enough to hold the knot in the projected position.
And thirdly, there is no vents indicated neither in the drawing nor the text of the patent. So unless the shaver was prepared to let the brush dry completely – and thus negating the benefit of the retractable shaving brush – it would be wet inside the holder. Wet and pressed against the cap. And since there is no washers or seals in the cap… moisture would leak into the soap compartment too, most likely. And that would, in turn, turn the soap power into a solid cake.
Oh, and the damp, compressed brush would be a virtual petri dish for bacteria too. Perhaps not the thing you would want at a time when the anthrax-from-shaving-brushes scare was running rampart.
Peter Dynowsky’s self soaping retractable shaving brush tried to be a Kinder Egg of good ideas. Just a shame it ended up as a Kinder Egg of problems too.
You can, as usual, read the full patent over at Google Patents.