Surgical razor blade with integral guard

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.

Patent drawing showing Donald's surgical razor blade.
Patent drawing from US patent 4,094,066

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.

You can read the full patent on Google patents. Is you like this sort of things, why not check out some of my other posts on the subject of old patents?

Razor safety rack

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 first wall mounted razor kit or holder I’ve shown here. It is the first, as far as I recall, that has catch mechanisms though.

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Razor with Slide-On Handle

Sometimes I see a patent, and can’t help but to wonder why the idea didn’t take of. And a little while ago 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.

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Double blade safety razor

In 1932 Mr Robert John filed a patent for a double blade safety razor. That is, he patented a razor that used two blades. Although, in hindsight, what he really patented was a unique blade design.

Doubling up the blade edges is a recurring idea. We looked at a few before, like Janos Oscar Plesch’s double double edged blade, Staats-Oels’ two blade double edged slant, a double double edged cartridge razor, and most recently Gillette’s disposable blade unit. So John wasn’t breaking new ground, although the way he wasn’t was novel.

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Disposable blade unit

Back in 1974 – when cartridges and disposables were starting to be a thing – Gillette patented a disposable blade unit for traditional razors.

In other words, they invented a new blade for a double edge razors. And by invented, I mean combined the inventions of Georg Friedrich Hofmann and Janos Oscar Plesch.

The main problem the patent was meant to solve? Most likely the problem that customers gave their money to people who wasn’t Gillette. But you can’t write that in a patent, so the abstract is a bit more verbose:

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Disposable preassembled plastic razor

What was it with the late sixties and early seventies that made people want to fill up the landfills with plastic? Earlier this week we looked at a plastic razor, and here we got another disposable preassembled plastic razor. Or, to you and me who dabble in traditional wetshaving;1 piece of plastic junk.

At a casual glance, the razor patented by Paul A Braginetz2 looks remarkable similar to the semi-disposable double edge razor3 I got in my drawer. Major differences in in the arrangement of the blade aligning studs, and that it came with both an open comb and a safety bar.

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Double edge injector

A few days ago we looked at a guard bar for safety razors. In that post, I mentioned wanting to take a look at a patent for a double edge injector. Guess what we’re doing today? That’s right – we’re looking at the double edge injector!

The patent was filed by Gerald Stahl and Charles A Johnson Jr in 1961, and granted four years later. And it is delightfully detailed and lavishly illustrated. Even the full title is quite a mouthful; “Injector razor having means for flexing a flexible double edge blade as it moves into position and arrangements for operating the same”.

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Double edged cartridge razor

Or, perhaps more correct, a double double edged cartridge razor. Which sounds both weird and pointless, but stay with me here.

Invented by Sergio Somonetti, and assigned to Warner Lambert Co LLC, the double edged cartridge razor strikes me as a typical transitional device. It looked like a traditional safety razor, yet used the recent idea of cartridges. And since Sergio suggested using two blades in each cartridge, it became a double double edged cartridge razor.1

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