Shaving brush with exchangeable fiber pad

Disposable shaving brushes are something we’ve looked at before. As is brushes with replaceable – or exchangeable – knots. So in that respect the shaving brush with exchangeable fiber pad that Marguerite Faucon1 patented in 1921 isn’t earth shattering.

Marguerite ‘s brush with replaceable knot, or, as the original German patent calls it; Rasierpinsel mit auswechselbarem Faserbausch, is a pretty simple idea. But made delightfully complicated, if the drawing is anything to go by.2 There is claws, funnels, springs, and all sort of doodahs.

Patent drawing showing the shaving brush with exchangeable fiber pad.
Patent drawing from German patent 321,121

I’ll let the machine translated text3 explain how it works:

The handle shown in Figs. 4 to 6 is designed so that the Bags can be inserted and removed particularly easily; it contains four resilient claws 16, which tend to spring apart and through a screw spindle 17 is attached to a tube 18. Slides over this pipe a sleeve; this consists of an inner cylindrical spout 19, an outer one Grommet 2o and a union nut 21 which is screwed onto the grommet 2o. The rotation the sleeve is prevented by a pin 22 which slides in a groove 23 of the tube and is prevented from sliding off the sleeve by catches 24, 25. As soon as the Sleeve is pushed up on the tube (Fig. 5), it presses the claws 16 together and forces them to clamp the fiber ball i between them. – Simultaneously slides a detachable one fastened in the sleeve Knife 7 over the cord or paper-existing binding of the puff i and cut it up. If you have the Sleeve down, the claws jump apart and let go of the bag, so that the fibers can now fall apart. The union nut 21 is used at the same time to detachably attach the knife 7 and likewise the spring 3 detachable hold back. One end of this spring engages in a recess 27 and in threaded pieces 28 on the union nut. When you pull the sleeve down goes down the feather and lets go of the fiber ball i, the one with a thin sheath may or may not be surrounded; accordingly is the removal and insertion of the pads very easy and quick.

From German patent 321,121

Which all sounds like fun and games, but it comes down to the four claws holding the exchangeable knot securely until it was released. And when it was released the knot would fall apart, preventing reuse. In that respect this brush was very much like the one patented by Marguerite herself back in 1909.

That’s right. This patent is just an ‘improvement’ on an earlier patent. And by improvement I mean ‘more complicated’. Which goes counter to the principle that perfection is attained not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to remove.4

When I looked at Margureite’s earlier patent, I said that I saw no reason why it wouldn’t work as intended. From the vantage point of today, it was functional, but pointless. This ‘improved’ patent though? More moving parts, more fiddly bits, more stuff that can break. The only real improvement I can see is that the claws might hold the exchangeable knot more securely.

The rest of it? All I see is more complexity and less simplicity. Given a choice, I prefer the earlier idea.

You can read the machine translated patent text at Google Patents, and the German original at Espacenet.

  1. née Berger ↩︎
  2. Insert your own joke about Vorsprung durch Technik if you like. ↩︎
  3. Denn meine Deutschkenntnisse sind sehr eingerostet ↩︎
  4. Paragraphed from Antoine de Saint Exupéry ↩︎

2 thoughts on “Shaving brush with exchangeable fiber pad

  1. Pingback: Shaving brush with exchangeable fiber pad - Razors n Blades the shave that saves

  2. Pingback: A brush with a notch, with soap cup and lathering bowl - Wegian WetshavingWegian Wetshaving

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