A Close Shave

Like vintage typewriters, this 1946-47 Gillette Super Speed is a well-built machine. This opens with a twist to receive a fresh blade.

That’s my Edwin Jagger badger brush and apothecary mug. Take good care of these things, and they’ll last a lifetime. 
I use either English-made, Edwin Jagger shaving cakes (which feel nicer and rinse really well) or American-made, Colonel Conk cakes, which are about half the price and lather up really well, but tend to dry quicker and have a more sticky feel. But the Edwin Jagger cakes are harder, so they last longer (which may account for the fact that they don’t lather up quite as much as the Colonel Conk brand).

10 thoughts on “A Close Shave

  1. Mr Bulllet, it was inevitable that sooner or later, one of us would arrive at the topic of shaving and the proper utensils required. I’ve been using my Dad’s Gillette from 1961 for years now, and yes, it doesn’t have five blades. All you need is one. His razor is also the twist-open variety. I forget what they’re called, but there is a name for them. I’ve been thinking of getting a Merkur off eBay as well, but I just never get around to it. I ain’t got the badger brush to go with it because I usually don’t have the time in the morning to spend on a nice leisurely shave. And somewhere in this house, I have a German-made cut-throat razor that I got when I was twenty-one, but have never used. Ain’t got the nerve to try using it. Besides, I was told that these razors require a little more equipment and upkeep to keep them sharp.
    Nice post.

    • Your safety razor, like mine, is usually referred to as a TTO (twist to open). They’re also sometimes called butterfly razors.
      For some reason, when I first got into wet shaving, it never occurred to me to ask my pop for his old razor. I know he used one, but now he uses cheap disposable razors.
      I’d stick with your Gillette. I had a Merkur, and it was a very nice razor, but taking anything apart to insert a new blade becomes a hassle. Besides, using a vintage razor is like using a vintage typewriter. There’s that sense of nostalgia. Moreover, the Gillette works just as nice as anything new, so stick with what you have.
      Yeah, I won’t mess with straight edge switch-blades, either. You’d have to really pay attention if you used one of those. As if wet shaving doesn’t already make the process longer, using a straight edge will definitely force one to slow down.

  2. As a longtime electric user, I didn’t realize they still made the refills for those I may just have to go shopping, as I use a disposable on occasion for an extra-close shave and I’m out. In some old house remodels you see tons of blades in the bathroom walls, often put there through a slit in the medicine cabinet. How do you dispose of them? It seems I recall the package had a place for old blades to go?

    • Yup, people did drop old blades into the wall through the bathroom cabinets. My home isn’t old enough to have that, but I do remember houses which did.

      I dispose of old blades by dropping them into a cocoa container with a slit cut at the top. In a bazillion years, after it’s full, I’ll recycle it.

      • man it took me forever to find this post again! It inspired me to look at what is out there, and when I looked up the Schick Injector I was stunned to find out how old and unchanged the technology was! Anyway I found two butterfly Gillettes at one store for $25 & $45 but across the street he had the E3 injector I coveted for only $15, as you may have seen on my blog. Can’t wait for the blades to arrive to try it out. Meanwhile I’m cleaning/sanitizing it.

      • Although I like these old razors, I only have one. Like we do with typewriters, there are those who collect razors and brushes. But I can’t see having more than one razor or brush. I just don’t see the need. Then again, I never thought I’d want or own more than one typewriter.
        That’s a real nice razor you have, from your photo. Do you already have a brush and mug as well?

      • I picked up a plastic-handled brush years ago with a cake of shaving soap. I use a coffee mug I got for donating platelets at the blood bank. so no high-end stuff but something that keeps between uses and no aerosols.

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