Yet another way to to make adjustable razors

There is more than one way to skin a cat. In the same vein, there is more than one way to make adjustable razors. As I mentioned last week, you can change the distance between the top cap and bottom plate. You can change the blade curvature. Or you can more the guard back and forth. This last option seems to have been a minor obsession of the Warner Lambert Co. – because in addition to the patent by Peter Bowman and Ernest F Kiraly assigned to Warner Lambert, I found a slightly earlier patent by Mr Leopold K Kuhnl that is also assigned to Warner Lambert. And it is adjustable in the same manner, but differs in the details.

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Another way to make an adjustable safety razor

There are a couple of common ways to make an adjustable safety razor. You can change the distance between the top cap and bottom plate, like the Gillette adjustable razors do. You can change the blade curvature, as done in the Rockwell and others. Or you can opt for the much less common idea of moving the guard back and forth, like J E Fuller’s 1890 patent hints at.

It was this less common way of doing things that features in Peter Bowman and Ernest F Kiraly’s patented adjustable safety razor. The application was filed in 1974, and granted the year after. The most novel thing is how adjustability was controlled.

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Staats-Oels’ two blade double edged slant

In 1926 Rudolph C G Staats-Oels filed a patent for an improvement in safety razors. I’m not sure how much of an improvement it was. It was certainly novel, by the standards of the day. For starters, it was a slant. Or as the patent put it, it had a head:

…wherein the transverse curvature of the blade will be gradually increased from one end toward the other thereof.

From US patent 1,633,139
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Scimitar razor for wedge and non-wedge blades

The turn of the last century was an paradigm shift when it came to shaving technology. Wedge blades – which had been the cutting edge1 in the late 19th century – was replaced with the bleeding edge2 of easily manufactured and replaced thin steel blade. The Scimitar razor straddled the line, in that it could use both .

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Self Sharp Adjustable Safety Razor

So I was poking around over at Wikimedia Commons – a great source for free images – today, and once again I found a picture of a razor I’ve never seen or heard about before.

The razor is identified as the Self Sharp Adjustable DE Safety Razor, by the Self Sharp Razor Co., Turlock, California.

Mechanically, the razor is simple. Adjust the lever on the underside to expose more or less blade on one side of the razor – and at the same time less or more on the other. It looks to take standard Gillette style blades.

Waits’ compendium turns up a blank. Google Image Search is not particularly helpful. According to Wikimedia, patent was applied for… but a cursory search at Google Patents reveals nothing.

So if anyone know anything about the Self Sharp Adjustable razor from Turloc, California… drop me a line.

Adapter for a handle and a cartridge of different razor systems

Don’t you just hate how your preferred handle don’t fit your favourite razor blade?

No, me neither. After all, all double edge blades based on the Probak / Gillette patents fits virtually all double edge razors.1 In the same way, virtually all injector blades will work with virtually all injector razors. And all GEM blades work with all GEM and EverReady razors.

If, however, you’re not engaging in what I consider “traditional wetshaving”2 but are using cartridges instead… yeah, then you may be familiar with the problem this patent is trying to fix.

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Angelo’s other lathering device

The stationary – as in bolted down – shaving cup was not Angelo Piccione’s1 first foray into making an overly complex self cleaning lathering cup. Six years before the stationary cup he filed a patent for a, well, lathering device. The objective is more or less the same as his later lather cup. In the words of the patent text:

This invention relates to lathering devices for use by barbers to produce lather for shaving purposes, and has for its object the provision of a device of this character which permits of easily and conveniently cleaning the cup and brush after each shaving operation and thus render the same more sanitary as well as facilitating the work of the barber.

From US Patent 1,448,674
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Stationary shaving cup

Angelo Piccione filed a patent for a stationary shaving cup in 1928. Which brought up some odd mental imagery, since in my line of work the opposite to stationary is self-propelled or towed…

A number of inventions straddle the line between insanity and brilliance. And while it’s clear that Piccione took a large step towards one of the two sides, I’m not sure what way he went with this.

Not only does Piccione’s invention sounds like it was a piece of heavy machinery, but the patent drawing1 also looks the part too. We got multiple valves, springs, and linkages. We got pipes, sprayers, and tie-rods. I can easily imagine this device in shiny brass, chrome, and glass – and part of me really wants one.

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