Shave of the day 23rd November

A nice way to start the new week. Goldex shaving cream, courtesy of Camilo from Pereira Shavery, is a cream I have not have the pleasure of trying before, but after one shave I’m happy for the tub being large. The vintage Gem is a gift from fellow shaver.

Razor: GEM Heavy Flat Top
Blade: GEM Single Edge Stainless
Brush: Artesania Romera Manchurian Badger, imitation horn
Lather: Goldex Nova Fórmula
Aftershave: Barber No3 Marmara
Additional Care: Alum Block

Arthur McKee Rankin’s terrific electrical razor

A lot of ingenuity have gone into inventing razors that makes shaving easier, simpler, better… but not many inventers seems to have gone out of the way to create razors that are terrific.

Let me expand on that by quoting the late Sir Terry Pratchett:

Elves are wonderful. They provoke wonder.
Elves are marvellous. They cause marvels.
Elves are fantastic. They create fantasies.
Elves are glamorous. They project glamour.
Elves are enchanting. They weave enchantment.
Elves are terrific. They beget terror.
The thing about words is that meanings can twist just like a snake, and if you want to find snakes look for them behind words that have changed their meaning.
No one ever said elves are nice.
Elves are bad.

Terry Pratchett, Lords and Ladies

In the same way, Arthur McKee Rankin’s electrical razor is quite terrific, because what I would have felt if I was forced to use it would be sheer, unadulterated terror.

From front to back it consists of:

What looks like an antique lawn mover, with six razor blades spinning around. A belt – with the associated risk of dragging hair through the pulley – driving the whirling contraption. An open set of friction wheels turning the belt, and the wheels in turn being driven by what looks like a heavy and massive electrical motor. The whole shebang is tentatively manoeuvred by a handle that looks downright wobbly and unstable in the drawing.

So there it is, a patent for a terrific electrical razor filed in 1908. Suitable both for inspiring terror in the bathroom and planing wood. As usual, the full patent can be read at Google Patents.

Clyde H Seitz’s tilting head razor

A little while ago we looked at the Young Any-Angle Razor, a razor that trued to help shavers achieve more with less skill. And today we have a patent for a razor with a very similar goal of making the head tilt-able, but doing it in a radically different way.

Where the Young razor relied on a setscrew and a bit of operator dexterity, Mr Seitz’s idea used a spring and a push button to achieve what the patent describe as:

The object of this invention is the provision of a safety razor, which is provided with an adjustable blade carrying head so that the blade may be adjusted to position its cutting edge at various angles with relation to its handle, to which it is pivotally connected.

US patent 1,247,581

Pushing down on the button frees the ratcheted wheel from the spring, and the spring pushes the button back up when released.

The head of Mr Seitz’s razor is – when looking at the drawing – reminds me of the various CURBO razors, but honestly any style head1 would work with the basic idea of the ratcheted tilting head.

The full patent can as usual be read at Google Patents.

1) Either single or double head.

Mr Blodgett’s simple single edge razor

Simple is often the best, and the patent filed by Frederick E Blodgett in 1911 is the spiritual ancestor to the Blackland Sabre you can buy today.

Described – as most patents – as a new and useful improvement on the state of the art, it was described as a:

…combination of a flat, single-edged, apertured blade, a fiat holder plate, a flat guard plate, means for positioning said blade with respect to said plates, a threaded locking handle for locking the three, and a guard or comb on said guard plate; said positioning means comprising a pair of lugs engaging the blade back edge and a threaded lug engaging the blade aperture, said threaded lug adapted to be engaged by said locking handle.

US patent 1,017,199
Drawing from US patent 1,017,199

As shown by the Blackland Sabre, this method of construction works – with a couple of minor and obvious modifications – just as well today as it did almost one hundred and ten years ago.

Full patent available on Google Patents, as usual.