Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Shaving thoughts

From the free (as in both beer and speech) ebook "The Perfect Gentleman" by Ralph Bergengren, downloaded from Project Gutenberg (which still is an awesome site for free books);
The world of shavers is divided into three classes: the ordinary shaver, the safety shaver, and the extraordinary-safety shaver, who buys each safety razor as soon as it is invented and is never so happy as when about to try a new one. To a shaver of this class, cost is immaterial. A safety-razor for a cent, with twenty gold-monogramed blades and a guaranty of expert surgical attendance if he cuts himself, would stir his active interest neither more nor less than a safety-razor for a hundred dollars, with one Cannotbedull blade and an iron-clad agreement to pay the makers an indemnity if he found it unsatisfactory. He buys them secretly, lest his wife justly accuse him of extravagance, and practises cunning in getting rid of them afterward; for to a conscientious gentleman throwing away a razor is a responsible matter. It is hard to think of any place where a razor-blade, indestructible and horribly sharp as it is,—for all purposes except shaving,—can be thrown away without some worry over possible consequences. A baby may find and swallow it; the ashman sever an artery; dropping it overboard at sea is impracticable, to say nothing of the danger to some innocent fish. Mailing it anonymously to the makers, although it is expensive, is a solution, or at least shifts the responsibility. Perhaps the safest course is to put the blades with the odds and ends you have been going to throw away to-morrow ever since you can remember; for there, while you live, nobody will ever disturb them. Once, indeed, I—but this is getting too personal: I was simply about to say that it is possible to purchase a twenty-five cent safety-razor, returnable if unsatisfactory, and find the place of sale vanished before you can get back to it. But between inventions in safety-razors, the extraordinary-safety shaver is likely to revert to first principles and the naked steel of his ancestors.
 I'm not saying he was right - but 95 years later we still have many people who will jump on the latest razor bandwagon... just to return to their old razors, disappointed. May I suggest they pick up a DE razor and some good soap instead?

1 comment:

  1. Contrast this to an earlier age of gentlemanship where no precision instruments were available.

    "[..]The face, if without a growing beard or moustache, should be kept
    clean. This can best be done by a light shave. Do not shave too close ;
    to be sure it appears more free of hair for the time being, but then, as
    the hair grows out, eruptions cover the face, especially the neck ; thus
    for a few hours' clean appearance you undergo several days' discomfort."

    Simplex Munditiis, Gentlemen, 1891

    Personal Appearance, p.127

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