Thursday, 30 January 2014

Some old razor patents

The repeating magazine safety razor from the 20's is like the bolt action rifle of the bathroom - but I'm not sure how carbon steel blades would have fared in the enclosed magazine once you get some water and lather in it.

It seems like the idea of a multi-blade razor goes back a long time - this one from 1933 looks rather unwieldy to me.

An early - 1944 - patent for what we would call a cartridge razor today... showing that Gillette started thinking about renewing their vendor lock-in fairly early on. Disposing a cartridge with four razor sharp edges sounds... interesting.


This patent for a disposable razor from the 50's would at least have made a neat little travel razor - you could almost fit something this small in a wallet if you wanted to.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Shave of the day 29th January

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Liquid Orange
Lather: Mike's Natural Orange & Black Pepper Soap
Brush: Vie Long 13051M pure horse
Razors: Merkur 39C Slant and Merkur 25C Open Comb, both with a Permasharp blade
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum and Krampert's Finest Bay Rum

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

My quintet of 'other' razors

YUMA - Wilkinson Sword Classic - Parker 22R - Lord Racer - Gillette '58 TV Special

Monday, 27 January 2014

Shave of the day 27th January

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Liquid Peppermint
Lather: Proraso Eucalyptus & Menthol Soap
Brush: BodyShop Synthetic
Razors: Merkur 39C Slant and Merkur 25C Open Comb, both with a Permasharp blade
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum and Proraso Liquid Aftershave Balm

Friday, 24 January 2014

Shave of the day 24th January

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Liquid Eucalyptus
Lather: RazoRock XXX
Brush: Semogue TSN 2012 LE
Razors: Merkur 39C Slant and Merkur 25C Open Comb, both with a Permasharp
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum and Krampert's Finest Bay Rum

Thursday, 23 January 2014

My quintet of Merkur razors

Bakelite slant* - 39C Slant - 985CL Open Comb travel razor - 25C Open Comb - 45C Bakelite

*) Based on style and markings, most likely a Merkur product

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Shave of the day 22nd January

Pre-shave: Warm water
Lather: Lea Shave Stick
Brush: Omega #50014 pure boar travel brush
Razors: Merkur 985C Open Comb Travel Razor, with a fresh Lord
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum and Krampert's Finest Bay Rum

Monday, 20 January 2014

Shave of the day 20th January

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Liquid Peppermint
Lather: Mike's natural Peppermint & Rosemary Soap
Brush: Vie Long 13051M pure horse
Razors: Merkur 39C Slant and Merkur 25C Open Comb, both with a fresh Permasharp
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum and Krampert's Finest Bay Rum

Friday, 17 January 2014

Shave of the day 17th January

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Liquid Teatree
Lather: Col Conk's Bay Rum
Brush: Semogue TSN 2012 LE
Razors: Cadet TTO-11 Open Comb and Cadet TTO-13, both with a Feather blade
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum and Krampert's Finest Bay Rum

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Shave of the day 15th January

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Liquid Eucalyptus
Lather: Mike's Natural Pine&Cedarwood Soap
Brush: Turkish No6
Razors: Cadet TTO-11 Open Comb and Cadet TTO-13, both with a Feather blade
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum and Krampert's Finest Bay Rum

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Short review of GEM Micromatic Clog Pruf

Manufactured by the American Safety Razor Company between the 1920's to 1940's, the GEM Micromatic is a all metal twist-to-open single edge (SE) razor. The model I have - thanks to a generous PIF from a fellow shaver - is a Micromatic Clog Pruf that was introduced ca. 1934.

The Micromatic takes standard GEM single edge blades, and like all TTO's changing blades is a breeze - just drop them in and close the hatch

It is perhaps the best performer of my small selection of SE-razor, but like the GEM 1912 and the Ever-Ready 1914 extra care has to be taken with the angle of the razor. As with the other SE-razors I got the best results when the top of the head was flat or almost flat against my skin.
The Micromatic is made out of plated brass, as far as I can tell. While mine is assuredly 'user grade', the plating still allows for a smooth slide over the skin, meaning it'll work well with pretty much any lather I have.

Can I recommend a Micromatic? Oh yes - I think it'll makes for a very nice introduction to the world of single edge shaving, as long as you remember to watch the angle.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Shave of the day 13th January

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Liquid Orange
Lather: Martin de Candre (sample)
Brush: Vie Long 13051M pure horse
Razors: Cadet TTO-11 Open Comb and Cadet TTO-13, both with a fresh Feather blade
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum and Body Shop "Maca root energetic face protector" (sample)

Friday, 10 January 2014

Shave of the day 10th January

Pre-shave: Shanghai Yaozoa Camphor soap
Lather: Martin de Candre, sample
Brush: Vie Long 14033 mixed horse/badger
Razors: Merkur 39C and Gillette '58 TV Special, both with a Ladas Stainless blade
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum and Thayers Original Witch Hazel

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Revisit of the Ever-Ready 1914

Made by the same company - American Safety Razor Company - as the GEMs, the Ever-Ready 1914 was called the 1914 due to the patent date. It is also sometimes referred to as the "little lather catcher".The razor hinges at the rear of the head and closes with a metal leaf spring to hold the blade down. It has "lift here" imprinted on each side of the cap.

The 1914 uses standard GEM single-edge blades, but due to the fact that it was originally designed for blades without the cut-outs on the sides they don't sit very secure until the lid is snapped shut.

The first time I tried my 1914, she bit me pretty badly, but the next time she behaved. I'm not sure if itwas a dud blade, or my improved technique, but for those who - like me - are more used to DE-razors extra care has to be taken with the angle of the razor. This time I got the best results when the top of the head was flat or almost flat against my skin.
Construction is plated brass, and since mine is in close to mint condition it slides smoothly over my skin. The sheer amount of exposed blade means a little care has to be taken in selecting the lather though; I've yet to make this beauty work with anything but tallow.

Can I recommend the Ever-Ready 1914? Well... maybe. She did bite, and bite hard the first times I tried her, but now she gives a good shave... so not as your first SE.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Shave of the day 8th January

Pre-shave: Dr Peppers Liquid Peppermint
Lather: Orange Essential Oil shave soap
Brush: Vie Long 13051M pure horse
Razors: Merkur 39C and Gillette '58 TV Special, both with a Ladas Stainless blade
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum and Krampert's Finest Bay Rum

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Short review of the GEM 1912

The GEM 1912 - which came to me as part of a generous two razor PIF - is an early single-edge razor design offered by The American Safety Razor Company. According to my sources it was available from, presumably, 1912 until the 1920's, when it was replaced as GEM's premier razor by the Micromatic series of razors.

The head flips up via a notch on the back of the head, allowing for easy insertion or removal blades - although not as easy as the GEM Micromatic - but slightly easier than my Ever-Ready 1914.

It is a pretty solid performer, but for those who - like me - are more used to DE-razors extra care has to be taken with the angle of the razor. I got the best results when the top of the head was flat or almost flat against my skin.
The surface of the 1912 is pure brass with no plating - this makes it slide across the skin less easily than a plated razor, but picking the right lather negates that minor issue.
Can I recommend the GEM 1912? Yes; it's a fun shave, but keep in mind that it's - in my opinion - a little trickier to use than a 'normal' DE razor.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Shave of the day 6th January

Pre-shave: Dr Peppers Liquid Teatree
Lather: Proraso Green Cream and Arko shave stick
Brush: Omega #10048 boar
Razors: Merkur 39C and Gillette '58 TV Special, both with a fresh Ladas Stainless blade
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum and Krampert's Finest Bay Rum

Friday, 3 January 2014

Shave of the day 3rd January

Pre-shave: Dr Peppers Liquid Eucalyptus
Lather: RazoRock XXX
Brush: Vie Long 13051M pure horse
Razor: Ever-Ready 1914 with a GEM blade
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum and Krampert's 80 Below

Thursday, 2 January 2014

More camphor soaps

A bit over a year ago I mentioned "Fan medicated soap" here on my blog... and while the scent of it grew less over the months, so did the bars I had. So I had to get more camphor soap, since it actually works well on my legs and keeps my feet reasonable happy while wearing combat boots all day long.

Shopping around, my Better Half found us a good deal on Shanghai Yaozao soap - an antibacterial soap with camphor... so now I have a dozen bars in stock, which should last... oh... six years or so?




In use the Yaozao is very much like the Fan - so much so I suspect it's the same soap (it is from the same factory) in a different box.
If your feet is unhappy, and you can deal with the camphor smell, I suggest getting some - although you might want to try one bar before buying a dozen.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Shave of the day 1st January

Pre-shave: Dr Peppers Liquid Peppermint
Lather: Mama Bear's Awakening, with a touch of Arco Cool Mint
Brush: Vie Long 14033
Razor: Ever-Ready 1914 with a GEM blade
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum and Krampert's Finest Bay Rum