All-flex pocket razor

While a razor that can fit in a pocket – a pocket razor, if you like – is all well and good, there have to be compromises made when you want to have a razor the size of a fountain pen. The pen style shavette, the pen with a razor, and Bowlin’s patent all shared one drawback; they used proprietary, narrow blades. The compact razor we looked at a little while back avoids that issue, by being chunkier. But what if you want to retain that pen like sleekness, yet still use a full sized razor blade? Then you end up with C J Garritson’s all-flex pocket razor.

Continue reading

An ad for the new slotted blade

The history of the shaving industry can be described – in part – as being a fight over control. As long as a company controls the patent, they control the manufacture – and thus the cash flow. A very good example of this is the blade. As long as Gillette’s patent for the three hole blade was in force, no one else could legally make three hole blades. Once the patent got close to expiration, Gillette started to innovate again. One constrain was that a new blade should fit old razors too – but new razors shouldn’t be able to use the old style blade. The result was a new slotted blade – but not quite the blade we know today.

Continue reading

Gotto’s hygiene implement

We can all agree that hygiene is important, even when we are not at home. And it was for those times that Raymond J. Gotto filed a patent for a hygiene implement in 1982. A vaguely pen-like implement that contained a tooth brush, and a razor, the device would been easy to bring along. Or buy from a vending machine, for that matter.

The form factor and overall compactness puts Mr Gotto’s invention in the same class as the pen style shavette from 1921, the compact razor from 1927, the combination writing instrument and shaver’s kit from 1936, and of course Bowlin’s shaving kit from 1947.

Continue reading

John Joice’s automatic razor

Laziness is the mother of inventions. At least, it seems to have been an important reason why John K Joice filed a patent for an automatic razor in 1906. It was made specifically so that people with no skill could shave. To qoute:

The object of my invention is to provide a razor which may be used without special skill on the part of the person who is shaving himself, in other words, a razor of the safety type.

From US patent 899,870

Perhaps I am a little hard with Mr Joice. Any safety razor can be described as letting people with no skill shave. And while novel when patented, being a safety razor is not the outstanding part of his invention.

Continue reading

Abraham Zilbersher and the safety razor for worn down blades

King Gillette originally considered his blades to be reusable. You could ship them back to his company and get a new blade for every two you sent in. Devices for reconditioning the edge at home also cropped up early, and kept popping up again and again.1 But with all that honing and sharpening, the blades would wear. The edge would creep slowly but surely closer to the middle of the blade. This would, naturally, change the geometry of the head – likely resulting in suboptimal shaves. Enter left; Abraham Zilbersher and his safety razor for worn down blades.

I can see nothing stopping a shaver from using Mr Zilbersher’s razor with new blades. It does look like a nice razor, and one that would give you the option to use either a comb guard or what is – in essence – a safety bar.

Continue reading

Compact razor

Compact is a funny word, when you think about it. It can mean something dense, or densely packed. It can mean exerting a force on something to make it more, well, compact. Or it can be used to describe something that is a small and conveniently shaped example of its kind, such as a compact camera. I have seen it used to describe make up kits that fit in a purse. Or, in the case of Victor R Payton’s 1926 patent filing, a compact razor that fits in a pocket.

Continue reading

Combination writing instrument and shaver’s kit

A little while ago I posted about two shaving kits disguised as pens. One was a pen style shavette patented in 1921, the other a single edge hoe razor from 1947. But what if you reached into your breast pocket for a pen, perhaps to sign some important document? What a bummer it would be if all you found was several razors, and no pen. What you would need is some form of combined writing instrument and shaver’s kit…which is just what Harry I Schwartz and Joseph H Rothstein filed a patent for in 1934.

Continue reading

Your Mileage WILL vary

A little while ago I posted a quick thing about a Schick Auto-Band Razor advertisement. In that post I mentioned that the Gillette Techmatic have been called… well… let’s just say that some online sources are less than impressed. And within hours of me putting out a twitter post about it, a fellow Norwegian wetshaver, twitterer, and blogger proved for me one of the core tenants of traditional wetshaving: Your Mileage Will Vary. And it Will Vary considerable too.

Continue reading