Gillette’s Army-Navy “E” Award

History time!

During the Second World War, aka “The War” for us Norwegian, the US Army and US Navy created the E-award. E stands for – according to my sources – Excellence in Production of war equipment. In other words, a company had to not only produce for the war effort, but do so while: Overcoming obstacles, maintaining quality and quantity, avoiding stoppages, training additional laborers without lowering labor standards. On top of that they had to demonstrate good record keeping on the subject of health and safety. About one in twenty companies – government and private – which delivered war materials got the E-award.

And yes… Gillette got one of the E-awards, in 1943.

Gillette advertisement bragging of their E-award.

The high accomplishment of you men and women of the Gillette Safety Razor Company is inspiring. Your record will be difficult to surpass, yet the Army and Navy have every confidence that it was made only to be broken.

From the official citation

Upcoming 17-4 razor from BullGoose

SAE Type 630 stainless steel, commonly known as 17-4 PH, or simply 17-4. For the technically inclined, it’s a martensitic precipitation hardened stainless steel containing about 15–17.5% chromium and 3–5% nickel, as well as 3–5% copper. Machinability is comparable to 304 steel, but 17-4 is magnetic and combines high levels of strength, hardness and corrosion resistance. For the less technically inclined, all one really need to know is that it’s a good material for making stainless steel razors.

Which is probably a small part of the reason why Phil of BullGoose has picked it as the material for the new stainless steel razor he hopes to have out in time for the holidays. More on the backstory and the other reasons for picking 17-4 in this thread1 over on my favourite2 shaving forum, which is also where Phil shared a photo of the plastic prototype. I rather like the clean, classic lines of this upcoming razor.

Photo by Phil

1) Phil also posted about it on BullGoose, if you prefer reading it there.
2) Disclosure; I’m on the moderator team, so off course it’s my favorite.

ShaveFan.com

ShaveFan is a a shaving-focused link aggregation and discussion web site. In other words a place where interesting links from all over the shaving world ends up, so you don’t have to visit several blogs, forums and sosial media daily. In a way it’s like fark.com,1 but with more focus and less snark. ShaveFan uses tags to allow for easy filtering and searching.

It’s possible to use it just as a visitor, but to gain the full benefit you ought to sign up. As a full member you can submit and vote on links. You also need to be a member if you want to comment on any links listed. For the time being at least you have to have an invite, more on that later.

I’ve been a member on ShaveFan for a while now, and I find it useful both for finding out what is going on in the world of shavers, as well as – being honest here – promoting some of the more interesting things I write about on my blog. With more members I can see ShaveFan becoming an even more useful addition to the shave world.

Interested in joining ShaveFan? Ask either ShaveFan himself (he’s also active on Twitter) or me about an invite. Reach me through my contact form, on twitter, or via PM on my favourite shave forum.

  1. Fark.com is a news aggregator and an edited social networking news site – a decent place if you want to know what is going on without having to visit several dozen news sites.

New arrival – The Lavish Gentleman Charcoal Mask

So I ordered some more of the facial cleanings oil from The Lavish Gentleman I reviewed in the end of January.

Graciously they not only gave me free shipping to Norway, on top of the 15% off, but they also put in a free gift; a jar of their Detoxifying Charcoal Mask. My beloved wife have been at me from time to time about using masks to clear up my skin (working in a dusty environment can cause a lot of clogged pores), so she’s having a chuckle over me actually trying this.

Packaging was top notch, survived the trip over here in good condition. I’ll let y’all know how the mask works out for me in a couple of weeks.

“Bessegg blade” – a piece of Norwegian history

If you’re Norwegian you know what Besseggen is; a mountain ridge in Vågå kommune in Oppland county that stands between the lakes of Gjende and Bessvatnet. Often described as “sharp as a scythe”, it’s very narrow – so narow two people can’t walk side by side along the edge in places – with long and steep drops on both sides. Made famous from a passage in Henrik Ibsen’s play Peer Gynt, it’s a Norwegian national icon.

Nigh on four miles long it stretches
sharp before you like a scythe.
Down o’er glaciers, landslips, scaurs,
down the toppling grey moraines,
you can see, both right and left,
straight into the tarns that slumber,
black and sluggish, more than seven
hundred fathoms deep below you.
So it was perhaps not surprising that when a factory in Sarpsborg (which isn’t even close to Vågå, but is close to where I live) was started up in 1927 with the intention of making razor blades, they took on the name Bessegg. From the start until the factory closed in 1961, the Bessegg Blade was the most used razor blade in Norway.
As an aside, I do like the design of the packaging; it’s simple, clean and recognisable. And made in several colours too, apparently… which, as we’ll see later, was also printed on the blade.
This packaging on the other hand states that the blade is stainless – or rust free, as the literal translation would be.
The back of the sleeve have the factory name, and a banner across saying “The new quality” – to me it looks like they modified an existing design to add that banner, rather than designing a new sleeve.
On this one the banner states: “Thin blade with slit” – I’m assuming that would indicate that other blades was made with the three holes of the original Gillette blades.
The blades were, as mentioned above, also stamped / printed with the colour of the packaging. This one is “RØD” (red), and according to the websites I’ve been trawling to compile this information “BLAA” (blue) was also printed on some.. unsure if the yellow were marked too, but one must assume they were.
I’ve not seen any of these first hand myself, all of what I know – including the photos – I have found scattered around on several Norwegian websites.

Female armpit shaving – or “the art of body shaming the ladies”

Ever wonder why society as a whole expect the ladies to shave their pits?

It’s all down to body shaming – even if the term wasn’t invented back in 1915 when an advert appered in Harper’s Bazaar:

I found a short story over at the Metro about it, linking me to a short YouTube video… fairly informative if short.

So remember; guys started shaving because of wide spread military service during the Great War (and the requirement to use respirators), women started because society body shamed them into it….