A razor blade is – to no one’s surprise – razor sharp. But in some causes, like when you shave someone else, you want a blade less likely to cut. Cut skin, that is. A safety blade, if you like. There have been many such blades patented over the years, like R E Thompson’s 1924 toothed blade and A W Ferrara’s 1966 safety blade. And this one, Donald S Daniel, Jr.’s 1978 patent for a surgical razor blade.
Like before, the idea was to make the blade less likely to cut skin by giving it an integral guard. Donald did it by wrapping a thin, flexible wire around a rectangular blade. Or in the words of the patent:
A surgical razor blade with an integral guard for its cutting edge in the form of a plurality of spiral windings of thread being of flexible material capable of being pressed against the blade cutting edge under pressure in shaving contact with the normally unshaven areas of the skin without severance of the thread…
From US patent 4,094,066
In short, a blade protected by a wire the blade can’t cut. The patent do go into a bit of details on the thickness of the wire (0.2mm to 1.0mm) and the distance between the windings (1.0mm to 4.0mm). This would, according to the patent, allow the shaver to select the best blade for the hair and area to be shaved.
For extra safety, the corners of the blade were rounded so you couldn’t nick the shavee with a sharp point.
The razor shown in the patent, aptly described in the patent as a “suitable holder” is fairly conventional. A handle, a bottom plate with a guard, and a top plate. It would differ form a regular three piece though, since the blade did not have a slot. Instead the blade would have to index of two notches cut at each end of the blade. How the top plate would connect to the bottom plate isn’t explained in the patent. However, judging by the drawing, there seem to have been a bayonet locked pin operated by a tiny lever on either side. A little fiddly, but probably okay for surgical use.
I see no reason why Donald’s surgical razor blade shouldn’t work as intended. At least one conceptually similar blade is for sale today, in the form of the Feather Artist Club ProBlade. The major hurdle I can see with the blade is that it won’t work in a regular razor – unlike Thompson’s and Ferrara’s blades.
What is a razor safety rack, you may ask? Well.. a razor safety rack is basically a rack for your safety razors. Or as the patent abstract puts it:
A holder for a plurality of safety razors and other bathroom articles is detachably secured to a bathroom wall.
Catch mechanisms disposed in all of the recesses press against the heads of both double and single edge razors to hold same detachably in these recesses to prevent the razors from being accidentally dislodged therefrom.
From US patent 4,008,808
So a razor safety rack is a rack that safely holds your safety razors. It isn’t the firstwall mountedrazor kitor holder I’ve shown here. It is the first, as far as I recall, that has catch mechanisms though.
The local Body Shop had a sale, so I picked up a tub of their shaving cream. It was what I used after realising that canned goo sucked, but before I got into traditional safety razors. Not a horrible performer, even when compared to high quality shaving soaps.
Sometimes I see a patent, and can’t help but to wonder why the idea didn’t take of. And a little while ago razors.page shared a patent which – if there had been any justice – ought to have been a run-away hit. Hubert Chauncy Hart’s razor with a slide-on handle was the best thing before1 sliced bread. As it is, it ended up being one of the many razor patents that went no where. It is still worth a look though.
Still enjoying the Schick Magazine Repeating Razor. Getting more comfortable with the heavy handle, a remarkable lack of nicks and shave bumps for a razor that has a reputation of being a tad aggressive. It is – as with most razors – all in the angle.
A novel1 lathering device and razor assembly was patented in the late 70’s. Invented by a Mr Thomas G Roberts,2 the lathering device was intended to apply lather and moisture to a shaving surface in advance of the razor blade.
My very first shave with a Schick Repeater. While the age of the razor isn’t a novelty to me – I got several older razors in my rotation – this one was still very special. Almost emotional, since I have been wanting a Schick Repeater for years now. As for the shave itself… not bad for the first time with a new-to-me razor. Expect a full review/report when I’ve used up the blade.