Shave Yourself!

three pictures of a shaving razor

This past weekend Valerie and I finally stopped by 1601 Overbrook Road at what seems to be a clearing house for estate sales. What you see above is what I bought; a (likely) late-40’s Gillette Super Speed razor. I haggled the price down to $3 and we went on our merry way.

Behold the nickel-plated glory.

I purchased a pack of razor blades (also pictured above) and decided to see whether the old-school man tool was barbaric compared to modern shaving implements. After some house work and a good hot shower my face was ready for a clean, smooth, and fresh feeling, so I lathered up my jaw and put blade to skin (don’t worry, I sterilized the entire shaver razor by steaming for 5 minutes). I guessed at the proper angle for holding the razor and dragged the head down my left cheek. Other than the light pressure against my face I barely felt anything, so I did a double-take in the mirror wondering whether I’d merely succeeded in wiping shaving cream from my face and little else. Closer inspection, however, revealed a close and even shave where I’d traced, so I finished up.

Shaving my entire face took no longer than a Gillette Fusion or Shick Tracer or what-have-you, and it was certainly more comfortable – and I have very sensitive skin (that is, I can’t shave every day without shredding my face, usually). I’m convinced at this point that Gillette switched to cartridge-based systems to increase profit margins.

The whole device is a glorious piece of design, too. You twist the slightly-thicker base of the handle to open the head which opens with a sort of butterfly motion, and lock the blade inside by twisting in the opposite direction. The weight and balance are just right, and the smooth polished surface glides pleasantly across the face. I think my next step is to procure a good shaving brush and some old school shaving cream 🙂

Oh, and how could I not share the sweet little artifact that is the instruction manual? The directions are clear, short, and helpful, all in a two inch wide strip of two-color printing (I scanned both sides – there was only one piece of paper):

shaving razor instructions

4 thoughts on “Shave Yourself!

  1. How do you dispose of the blades? I know in some older houses (like mine), there’s a hole in the wall behind the medicine cabinet that you’re supposed to just slide your used blades into. Then someone decades from now will have to deal with the rusty nastiness as they demolish the house or something. Seems really wrong to me.

  2. Well the instructions indicate a razor pack with a slot on the back for disposing of old blades.While my house has a slot in one of the tiles on the wall for blades, the case I purchased from CVS also has a slot on the bottom for used blades.Either way, I’d rather deal with decomposing steel than not-quite-decomposing modern cartridge refills 🙂

  3. What you need with that is a real soap brush to create lather. I recently came across my grandfathers shaving brush in a stored box. Thing is actually made of ivory and boar bristles. I’ve had the thing for nearly 30 years and am not really sure what I should do with it now. I used it for a couple of years in college and if memory serves it made a soapy foam better than any can you could buy today.

  4. Hi there … I’m a former Christian, but still leftist eccentric … you can figure that out. :)Anyway, you are on the right track grasshopper, and what BOOKSTORE PIET wrote is correct: You need a brush and REAL shaving cream. The “goo in a can” is bad stuff, except for perhaps Nivea Sensitive. (Given you have sensitive skin, the Nivea should help.)I use Cremo as a “base”, but the main lather is European Palmolive (from a tube!) … Since it is hard to get in the Excited States, you might go to Bath and Body Works and get some C.O. Bigelow shave cream, which is really Italian Proraso. (Note: Be prepared for a frigid blas if you finish up with a splash of cold water!)Whip up your lather using a brush and a bowl … you will have to experiment with the amount of water to get the right consistency. Watch the videos from Mantic59 on YouTube to get yourself on the straight path of shaving nirvana.

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