A couple of years ago, I wrote up a short piece on a vintage European Vending Machine Razor. As a quick recap, it is a razor with stamped sheet metal head and a handle that some shavers like a lot. It was verifiable sold in Germany, and perhaps elsewhere.Continue reading
Solid Shaves is one of the very few shaving related YouTube channels I follow. In his latest video he’s using a Stahly Live Blade vibrating razor. I’ve been intrigued by the Stahly Live Blade for years now, and it’s neat to watch it in use.
One of these days I need to find the patent for the Stahly Live Blade. I suspect the gear train is going to be interesting, even if it might not be much to snark about.
As some of you might have noticed, I like patents for old razors and related accoutrements. Like enough to have many, many posts about them. Enough to self publish a book about them. And more than enough to appreciate the work behind a site like razors.click.
Razors.click is a site mostly about razor patents. It have some added bonuses like a handful of inventor biographies, a few articles on razor related subjects, and short how-to’s on how to make your own wedge blade and taking 360° images. The main focus is on patents though, and where I will show of a patent and either snark on some of the odd details or ramble about the things I like, razors.click lays out the patent in a clear, readable format with interactive drawings.
Razors.click is a good resource for anyone who likes old razors and engineering. Personally I would enjoy seeing more shaving related accoutrements – brushes and bowls – but it is a great resource both for research and relaxation. Go check it out.
Williams Mug Soap is in many ways like the Arko shave stick… I’ll touch upon several of the ways during this review, but lets start with the big one: If you try it, you can not not have an opinion on it. And my opinion on Williams Mug Soap seems to run counter to what many fellow shavers think.Continue reading
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.
- 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.
…well… not a whole book per see, but an annotated and commented version of the classic “Shaving Made Easy – What the Man Who Shaves Ought to Know”.
I’ve mentioned Solid Shaves’ YouTube channel before, as one of the few shaving channels I keep an eye on… in part – I must admit – due to the channel owner being a Norwegian like myself.
He travelled to Indonesia this summer, and have shared some of the shaving related finds he spotted on his trip. It is interesting to compare and contrast what you can find in the shops in the Far East as compared to the selection in the Cold North… so enjoy!
You might want to browse his other uploaded videos too. A lot of them are “just” shaving videos, but his style and presentation is different enough from some of the so called big names on YouTube to make them worth watching, at least to me – a little less slick and a lot more genuine.
…and again, and again.
Heated razors is an age old quest. Gillette just dropped one, which seems to have impressed Mark over on the Sharpologist, and in their typical over the top marketing Gillette seems to be pushing this since the best shave ever… A hint for P&G: if you need to advertise the fact that your razor is waterproof, you’ve likely made an overly complicated razor.
Electrically heated razors isn’t a new idea by far, even if the latest itteration seems both more complicated* and far safer to use than some of the older ideas**.
While I can’t be completly sure, I’m reasonable satisfied that the current offering is based on a patent I found that was filed in in 2008 and assigned to the Gillette company – the patents describe a great many of the same features as the ads do.
…safety razor comprises a handle 14, a cartridge 15 with a safety device 18, a plate 24 and blades 30 between them. Inside the cartridge there is a heat-dispersive strip 40 and a heating element 45 with a resistive element 46 and an insulating element 50. The safety device comprises an electrical circuit providing power supply to the resistive element that provides heat to the heat-dispersive strip so that it imposes warmth to skin of the user during shaving.
The patent also lists twenty seven (27!) citations that predates it… and I found quite a few patents for heated razors that isn’t listed in the application.
Barra Charles filed a version all the way back in 1923. If you think the plug looks kind of odd it’s because you’re meant to screw it into a light bulb socket… so no chance of grounding it.
…electrically heat safety razors in such a manner that they may be conveniently used while being heated and that the heat may be maintained during the shaving operation at any desired temperature, whereby I am enabled to obtain the advantageous results of smoothness and comfort during shaving and to avoid infections of the skin which frequently occur from the use of unsterilised razors.
Charles Barra also filed a heated straight razor in 1923, or rather an attachment that turned your straight into a heated razor:
A razor blade heated to such a temperature will make shaving of a persons face more comfortable and the resulting shave will be more satisfactory than where the face is shaved with a cold razor.
…using an electric heater disposed at a suitable distance from the cutting edge of the blade, and in thermal relation thereto, which heater may be supplied with current from an ordinary electric service outlet, whereby the blade may be heated to and maintained at a sterilisation temperature both while not in use and while in the act of shaving.
(As a side note, sterilisation temperature is about 80°C (175°F) for almost all bacteria, yeast, and fungi… 80°C is enough to cause second and third degree burns in less than one second.)
In 1933 Pirwitz Emil filed for a safer variation, which required plugging and unplugging the razor:
…the invention employs a heating bolt disposed in the handle of the razor and made of material that is a good heat conductor, such as metal, the bolt iilling the entire handle from one end to the other and being adapted after one heating to keep the razor heated during an entire shaving operation without a new supply of heat.
…a bolt of this type permits the use of the razor without the dangers resulting from keeping the razor under current during the shaving operation.
Mr Pirwitz also showed an interesting variation in the same patent:
Look at figures 3 and 4; it’s a regular safety razor inserted into the heating device… which I presume you could either use while inserted in the bulky heater or take out and burn your fingers badly while shaving.
Thomas J Henderson and Leon Henderson aimed for cool hands in their 1935 patent:
The primary object of our invention is to provide in a safety razor a handle thereof which in use will apply heat only to the desired portion of the razor, that is, the head and blade, but will maintain a cool handle or grip.
A further object of our invention is to provide an electrically heated safety razor handle which is readily adapted for use on any suitable razor head.
Or how about this one from 1942, patented by Moses M Gravin?
…a safety razor with an electrically heated heating element therein which transmits an even heat to the razor blade and keeps it warm or hot during the shaving operation.
One of the objects of my invention is to heat the razor blade by conduction through a metallic element. I Another object of my invention is to provide ventilation between the heating element and the handle so that the handle will be cooled by the circulation of air.
In 1948 James Russel Hunt filed for a heated razor that allowed the shaver to adjust the current going into the razor by means of a rheostat:
..an electro-thermic shaver of the safety razor type which is adapted to directly heat the razor blade by heat conduction through a metallic element having a high coefficient of thermal conductivity such as copper.
…a heat control unit to permit the heat to be regulated by the user to produce various heat temperatures.
So as can be seen, the desire to make a heated razor is almost as old as Gillettes original safety razor… there is nothing new under the sun, nor in the shave den – except this time the offering isn’t that much bulkier than a regular razor, nor does it offer the exciting chance of electrocuting yourself while shaving.
*) It has overheat protection, two levels of heating, onboard battery with wireless charging, microcontroller, wobbly blades… I suspect the lats bit is unintentional
**) Hook your ungrounded razor up to the light fixture in your bathroom.. what can go wrong?
A number of my fellow wetshavers are extremely knowledgeable and enjoys sharing their labours of love. One of them is Glenn Conti, who knows more about Gillette adjustable razors than most shavers and collectors.
Glenn have put together a website detailing not only the details of how an adjustable razor work, not just pretty pictures of adjustable razors, not just how the Gillette adjustables evolved, but all that and much more. For example; I was clueless to the fact that including all variations there is about 150 distinct Gillette Adjustables out there, but Glenn have given more than enough detail to identify each one.
Glenn’s website is an invaluable resource for shavers and collectors alike, and I found it hard to close the window and go back to doing other things – the miscellaneous section in particular held my interest. The whole site is not only well written, but also well illustrated. A couple of examples:
Variations on parts used in the Fatboy razor. Some of the changes seems to have to do with function, some of them seems to be made for easier manufacture.
If you ever wondered how the gap changes on an adjustable, wonder no more. Glenn also details what the gap should be on each and every major variation of the Gillette Adjustables (apperantly my Slim is slightly milder than average).
So if you have a Gillette Adjustable, plan to get one, or just enjoys reading about razors in great detail, you owe yourself a visit to Glenns’s site.
One of the things that attract me to wetshaving as a hobby – and not just a daily moment of Zen, and a wonderful way to get the stubble of my face – is the deep passion and mountains of knowledge on the subject you find among fellow wetshavers and the willingness and enjoyment they have to share.
That is the main reason I’m active on the Shave Nook, write five blog posts per week, read several other blogs, pay attention to my twitter feed, browse YouTube, bury myself in old patents, and in general have a great time thinking about shaving when not actively lathering up.
So, case in point: there is a new, free* online magazine that covers wetshaving now… it has reviews, interviews, editorials, and articles – everything you’ll expect from a print magazine except the price tag.
I would suggest you check it out, and if you like what you read you can even join their mailing list.
*) Free as beer, that is.