Rotary spreader for shaving cream

I imagine that ever since the invention of shaving cream in a tube, people have been wanting a way to get the cream from the tube and onto their face. Preferable without getting soapy fingers, or accidentally squeezing out too much. Luckily George E Carlson1 had a solution in the form of a rotary spreader.

Carlson wasn’t the only man with a solution, of course. The same year Carlson filed the application, C W Brynan patented a shaving cream spreader. And a few years later N Testi secured a patent for a dispensing tube.

The rotary spreader was intended to help, well, spread stuff. Pasty stuff, to be specific. In the verbose language of the patent;

This invention relates to receptacles for materials of a pasty consistency, such as shaving cream or cold cream, and it is particularly concerned with providing such receptacles with means for spreading the pasty material as it is discharged from the receptacle.

From US patent 2,029,056

The patent is quite well illustrated, which makes the patent text a lot easier to follow. In short, the rotary spreader had a rotating element that helped spread the shaving cream. Three different main forms is illustrated. The preferred embodiment was in the form of a cap that could be screwed on to a normal tube of shaving cream. A second form was part of the tube, and is shown in figure six. And the last form, shown in figure seven, differed from the two others in that the cream passed through the rotating element, instead of being picked up by grooves on the surface. This last variation also had the rotary element sticking straight out from the tube, as opposed to being across the opening.

The patent goes into a fair bit of detail when it comes to the things like the length and curvature of the roller. The general idea seems to be that the squatter and more bulging the rotating spreader was, the better suited it would be to get into all the nooks and crannies of the shavers face.

I am a little dubious that the grooves in the roller would neatly deposit shaving cream on the face. If the pasty material – sorry, shaving cream – would the sticky enough to get into the grooves, it would also be sticky enough not to let go again. Beyond that, I have no doubts that the rotary spreader should work as intended. After all, my roll-on deodorant works, and this invention is a roll-on when all is said and done.

You can read the full patent for the rotary spreader on Google Patents.

  1. Assignor to Carlson Research Corporation in Chicago, Illinois ↩︎

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