Sharpex patent

Over the years I’ve showcased quite a few razor blade sharpeners.1 One I have not showed yet is the Sharpex patent from 1930. I do actually own a surviving example, but it is in rough shape.

As for the why of sharpeners, I have touched upon it before. It boils down to the carbon steel blades of yesteryear not staying sharp as long as modern blades, and blades were relatively costly to replace. Keeping your blade sharp for longer meant saving money as well as getting a better shave.

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Razor and loading device therefor

Or as we know this patent today; the genesis of the Schick Injector type D and onwards. And unlike a lot of the patents I riff on, this one not only made it into production, but is alive and well. And expired, so anyone can copy the razor and loading device therefor found in this patent. The patent relates to:

…a combined razor and magazine which are separable to enable the razor to be used for shaving apart from the magazine.

From US patrent 1,969,945

Or, in simpler terms, an injector as we know and love them1 today. And in contrast to the older type A, B and C razors,2 which had the magazine in the handle.

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Tut’ankhamūn’s razor-box

Humans have shaved since – I strongly suspect – we were able to make a sharp edge. Some years back I posted about bronze age razors. Quite a few more years before back Egyptologist Howard Carter discovered the tomb of Tut’ankhamūn, an Egyptian pharaoh from the late bronze age. More importantly for us, Carter discovered Tut’ankhamūn’s razor-box as well as a few razors among the contents of the tomb.

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Eugene G Mergenthaler and his band razors

Eugene G Mergenthaler was the son of an inventor,1 and it was perhaps naturally that he tried his hand on inventing himself. While Eugene died young,2 he never the less had three patents to his name. One patented in 1910, when he was just 25 years old, and two more in patented in 1919.

Common to all three patents is the fact that they are band razors. This is a kind of razor that was dreamt up early and then refused to die. Well, at least until cartridges made their debut. The last band razors I’m aware of were the Schick Auto-Band Razor and the Gillette TechMatic.4

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Another year has rolled by

It don’t feel like it’s a year since last New Years Eve, but I don’t think my calendar is lying to me…
One year.
Twelve months.
Three hundred and sixty five days.
Two hundred and seventy one blog posts, including this one.
Spring has sprung, summer has come and gone, and winter is upon us again – at least for those of us on the northern hemisphere. For my friends and readers down below, reverse the order of seasons.
Shaving is still enjoyable, my favourite shaving forum still is full of good friends, and I’ve meet a lot of nice people on Twitter too.

As the traditional – ancient even – greeting goes in my corner of the world:
Til árs ok friðar!