05-09-2012, 09:17 AM
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After reading Phil's thread on the Gibb's Tour, I thought I'd bring here an old post from foroafeitado.com

Gibbs Réglable Nº15 y Nº17

[Image: ad_gibbs_rasoirreglable.jpg]

I always thought of GIBBS as something very french, but originally it has a lot to do with Great Britain

[Image: DWGibbsadd.jpg]

The company D&W Gibbs was born in England in 1712, dedicated to the manufacture of soaps at a time where using soap was considered something snobish ... something frivolous suited for the aristocrats. The time when the goverment of Queen Anne set taxes on soaps ... soap was a luxury.

Gibbs soaps became popular with the ladies of Queen Anne's court, and while in England the gents already used hard soap to shave, the french gentilhomme where stiil shaving with powder soap. That's until 1906, when Lucien Allègre and Pierre Thibaud, french brush manufacturers obtained the contract for the import of british Gibbs sopas for France and its colonies.

The eslogan: "Avec le savon Gibbs , se raser devient un plaisir" (With Gibbs soap shaving becomes a pleasure)

[Image: 1919addgibbs.jpg]

"General dealers of D&W Gibbs, inventors of shaving soap and toothpaste"

So Pierre Thibaud & Co made panting brushes, shaving brushed, and tooth brushes under the name of Gibbs and also distributed Gibbs soaps. Curiously, the firstfrench Gibbs soaps where manufactured in Holland with special packaging for the french market.

[Image: Gibbsfactory.jpg]

Gibbs building (in Noailles)as it stands today. The company name can still be read on the facade.

[Image: Gibbsdental.jpg]

Interior of the Gibbs factory

Between 1914 and 1918 the Lever brothers (Unilever in the future) acquired several soap companies. Two of them are familiar to us: Gibbs and Erasmic.

Gibbs manufactured many razors, even for the french army, but I was not able to find much information on them. The best known Gibbs razors are the adjustables.

[Image: 1937kit.jpg]

To my knowledge there are three models of Gibbs Réglable known, the Nº11, Nº15, and Nº17. Thsoe presented here are Nº15 and Nº17:

[Image: DSCF6076.jpg]

Both share the same design, simple and effective turret type adjustables. The only differences are in the materials used. They can be fully disassembled to the lasts of its seven pieces, which permits a thourough cleaning.

Nº15 is very light ... around 38 grams (1.34 oz) thanks to its anoodized aluminum head.

[Image: DSCF6059.jpg]

[Image: DSCF6062.jpg]

Nº17 is another story, it has a substantioal weigth with around 80 grams (2.8 oz)

[Image: DSCF6065.jpg]


... continues ...

[Image: DSCF6078.jpg]

Tolerances and fitting is quite good on both models, and with the exception of the plastic handle tube (which tends to crack if overtightened) both are quite sturdy.

Adjustability range is graduated from 1 to 6 but, unlke Gillettes, it is continuous ... without stops. This range is ample enough to cater for all bears and preferences as it can go from a minimal gap to a uncomfortably large one.

[Image: DSCF6064.jpg]

There is also a Modèle Normal Gibbs, which can be found with metal or platic handles, with a fixed head that provides different agrresiveness on each side:

[Image: razor-10.jpg]

These Gibbs razors use only propietary blades, but adapting our blades is quite simple.

[Image: hojagibbs.jpg]

[Image: DSCF6055.jpg]

The easiest way I've found is to just set a normal blade on the base plate (make sure that it is perfectly aligned) and press the cap until the indentations snap off. It takes some practice initially, but it works quite well.

[Image: DSCF6056.jpg]

Adapted blade

These little adjustables are one of the few options we have to shave with an adjustable razor if we want to move away from the usual Gillette & Mekur.

If we like the design and the shave these Gibbs offer, but do not want to bother with blade adapting, we must look for the much rarer Persona Micromatic. Essentially a Gibbs Nº 17 (the heavy one) but accepting standard blades.

[Image: Personna_Adjustable_02.jpg]

... much rarer that the Persona, you may find a spanish Palmera. Again, same razor for standard blades.

[align=center][Image: p4253903.jpg]

[Image: p4253909.jpg]
Gracias Sponsor

This s about all I know about the adjustable razors from the soap people in France.

Best to all,


Sorry about splitting this into two posts (10 image limitation per post).
Credit of the Persona Micromatic razor images to whom it belongs. Originally did not register the author Sad

0 68
 05-09-2012, 09:31 AM
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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Very interesting post Tony! I had no idea. Thank you for sharing

52 20,409
 05-09-2012, 09:32 AM
  • Harvey
  • Senior Member
  • North Hills CA
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They are fine razors...for those that want one there is a Plus/Minus on sale on E-Bay..look under Gibbs razors (has a metal head and bakelite handle). I also have an Apollo razor that uses similar notched blades.Your pictures are very interesting..thanks for posting.

6 2,117
 05-09-2012, 09:36 AM
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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They are indeed. I bought my three Gibbs razors from Harvey (2 take proprietary blades and 1 takes regular DE blades). They are built like a tank and are very nice shavers.

I really need to see your entire collection one of these days Harvey. Biggrin

52 20,409
 05-09-2012, 09:39 AM
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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Tony, thanks for the post. That is a lot of information about a razor I never heard of until Phil made his post.

182 25,387
 05-09-2012, 09:44 AM
  • Harvey
  • Senior Member
  • North Hills CA
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(05-09-2012, 09:36 AM)bullgoose Wrote: They are indeed. I bought my three Gibbs razors from Harvey (2 take proprietary blades and 1 takes regular DE blades). They are built like a tank and are very nice shavers.

I really need to see your entire collection one of these days Harvey. Biggrin

I,m available...just call me !!!!

6 2,117
 05-09-2012, 09:53 AM
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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(05-09-2012, 09:44 AM)Harvey Wrote: I,m available...just call me !!!!

Will do. Biggrin

52 20,409
 05-09-2012, 10:06 AM
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Tony, wow, that was great info! Thanks!

89 21,239
 05-09-2012, 11:09 AM
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Thanks for this very informative post, I have come across 2 of these in my travels but never thought much about them, I never even asked to look at them. Now I want one and am trying to remember where I ran across them so I can see if they could still be available.

0 59
 05-09-2012, 12:09 PM
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An incredible story well documented. Thank you so much for sharing.

145 14,008
 05-09-2012, 02:00 PM
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Very interesting! Thanks!


32 6,560
 05-09-2012, 02:10 PM
  • Howler
  • A calamophile and vintage razor lover
  • Fort Smith AR
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A great article and post. I always find posts about different products and their history very interesting thank you.

1 3,507
 05-09-2012, 02:43 PM
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
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I was one of the lucky ones who did read this article in spanish months ago.Now reading it in english,I just wanna get a Gibss...oh boy,I thought that the desire was gone !
Thanks Tony,you are a master!

93 7,351
 05-09-2012, 04:05 PM
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Tony's articles are always very interesting. That man is a shaving encyclopaedia!!

2 5,567
 05-09-2012, 10:44 PM
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Very cool article. I can't say that I want a Gibbs, but the history is interesting.

10 451
 05-10-2012, 07:21 AM
  • Tonality
  • Attempted Soap Sabbatical
  • Worcester
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Yes, those razors are quite appealing, but does anyone else want one of those brushes? I'm drooling over them, especially the red or black!

38 1,868
 05-13-2012, 04:08 AM
  • ben74
  • Senior Member
  • Perth, Australia
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Very interesting and informative read. Thank-you for your efforts!

101 18,026
 05-13-2012, 07:32 AM
  • GregK
  • Active Member
  • NYC
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Fantastic well researched post , well done !

7 253
 04-10-2014, 01:02 AM
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Very informative ! Thanks for the review !

3 267
 05-03-2014, 12:35 PM
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Excellent article Tony! Thanks for sharing it with us!

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