Fathers Day Gift

Sometimes, selecting just the right Father’s Day gift can be quite a problem.

But fear not, for Gillette has – or rather had, before they turned to the dark side and started offering plastic cartridge razors – a new and unique answer.

A complete compact vacation travel kit, with travel sizes of Gillette good grooming products. Also have space for a toothbrush and toothpaste.

Cheap too. Or at least, the 1955 price appears cheap to us, almost seventy years later.

The Simens Razor Sharpener Patent

A couple of days ago I shared a video I found on the restoration of a Simens razor sharpener. And guess what? I’ve now found the patent for it. Filed by Ferdinand Souczeck in 1933, the patent was applied for in – as far as I can tell – Czechoslovakia, Austria, and USA.

I’m not sure if Ferdinand worked for Simens, of if they simply bought the rights of him. What I do know is that Simens must have manufactured the device in several places. The one I own is clearly marked as made in Sweden, while other examples I found online is marked with Austria, Japan, USA, USSR, and elsewhere.

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Griffbefestigung an Rasierapparaten – handle attachment to shaving apparatus

It is easy to forget, as one is looking at old patents online, that not every inventor spoke English. I’ve looked at several interesting non-english patents in the past, and stumbled over an interesting looking one today too. It is for how to do attach a handle to your shaving apparatus. Or to put it in a different way; a handle attachment to your razor.

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Aloe’s Folding Razor

A razor can take up space in a gentleman’s vest-pocket… a problem several inventors searched for a solution to, including Mr Albert S Aloe. He came up with a folding razor all the way back in 1886.

Described, unsurprisingly, as a new and useful improvement in safety razors, Albert didn’t have the benefit of the thin replaceable blade. Like most razors of this era he had to work with a wedge blade. A wedge blade is chunkier than a modern razor blade, but also has the benefit that it can be stropped and honed.

In hindsight his razor is simple enough. A couple of pieces of sheet metal, shaped to hold and clamp a razor blade. The blade holder and guard were made to fold flat when not in use. In some ways you could see it as a folding version of John Monks’ razor.

Patent drawing showing Mr Aloe's foldign razor
Patent drawing for US patent 375,592

It is worth noting that the first claim in the patent isn’t the razor per se. Rather it is for the spiral guard, which was meant to ‘carry the lather endwise’ when the razor was used. Or in simpler words; keep the lather out of the way.

The blade was held in place by a spring loaded catch. This also made sure the distance between the edge and the guard stayed constant, even as the edge was gently worn away by stropping and honing. You could say the blade was self adjusting to keep it working as intended.

I see no reason why Aloe’s folding razor shouldn’t work as intended, nor any reason why a version couldn’t be made for a GEM blade. At the same time I see no reason why anyone would want one today, as it is unergonomic and looks like a kludge.

You can read the full patent for Aloe’s folding razor at Google Patents.

Christy blade comparison – aka “where can I get a Christy blade today?”

I little while ago I bought a Christy razor. It’s a fun and interesting razor, fairly unique compared to modern razor. And, as I mentioned, you can’t get blades any more, as the Christy blade (which existed in a couple of variations) went out of production sometime in the late 30’s.

Some of you wondered if I couldn’t get another blade to fit.. and the answer; no, not really. And this is why:

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The other new arrival: a Christy razor

We know how it goes. Peacefully puttering around on the internet, and boom: You accidentally bought two vintage razors. Earlier this week we looked at one of them, and today we’ll have a peek at the other. The other being a Christy razor.

Christy, like the CURBO, Diamond Edge, and others, were aiming for the low end of the shaving marked. Whereas Gillette and others were offering affordable razors, Christy’s razors were cheap or even free.

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New arrival: Valet Autostrop VC2

We’ve all been there. You are peacefully puttering around on the internet, and suddenly you’ve accidentally bought a razor. Or two, as I happened to do a couple of weeks ago. So let’s have a look at one of my latest accidental buys; a Valet Autostrop VC1. At least it was listed as a VC1 – right now I’m less certain, as the blade holder is a much closer match to the description of a Valet VC2.

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Adapter for safety razors

Have a Double Edged razor you enjoy? Want to use your favourite GEM or other Single Edged blade? Fear not, Walter Althof1 patented the solution in 1923; An adapter that let you use a single edged blade in a double edged razor.

Well, more on than in. But even so, you could use your favourite single edged blade in on with your favourite double edged razor.

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