04-29-2014, 06:18 AM
  • mantic59
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[ADMIN/MODS: If you think this post doesn't belong here feel free to delete.]

I just wrote an article for Sharpologist about shaving mugs and scuttles and I figured a "tl;dr" primer/summary might be useful here:

Vintage occupational shaving mugs are probably what most people think of when they see the term “shaving mug.” Here are the romanticized notions of the turn-of-the-century (OK, turn-of-the-20th-Century) barber shop, a place for men to meet and discuss all things while getting their hair cut and shave. There are actually two time frames involved with occupational shaving mugs.
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Roughly the years between 1880 and 1920 are considered the original time period for the occupational shaving mug. Mugs purchased for home use typically were purchased through local stores (or maybe the Sears catalog), had more variety in style but usually went unpersonalized, without a name. Mugs purchased and held at barbershops were customized with the client’s name and often displayed to encourage the customer to return to the barbershop regularly. Genuine examples of these types of vintage mugs command the highest prices on internet auction sites.

There was a secondary time period from the 1950's to the 1970's where “occupational” shaving mugs enjoyed a modest resurgence. However by the end of this period they were more often just used for decorative purposes and not really used. Prices for these more recent vintage mugs are much lower compared to the previous time frame.
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Many shaving soap manufacturers gave free (or inexpensive) mugs to customers as sales promotions. Probably the most famous example is the Old Spice “sailing ship” mug (which has many variations depending on production run and date). Fraternal organizations had mug designs that made membership unique. Souvenir shaving mugs represent many vacation locations and also used to commemorate events like the completion of a church, school, or town hall.

Apothecary-style shaving mugs are really just a mug with a ball-type handle. They are meant to give the feel of an old-time pharmacy but they are actually a fairly recent development. They tend to be plainly decorated and promotional in design. Some people find they are able to hold this type of mug better than other types for the purpose of shaving.

New soap scuttles are functional but somewhat promotional (in that they usually simply designed and decorated, and show the logo of a shaving brand like Trumper’s, Col. Conk, or Carter and Bond).

Modern “regular” shaving mugs are generally mass-produced (some are really just repurposed coffee mugs). The better ones will be relatively tall (but not too tall!) and wide on the bottom to promote easy loading on the brush.

A good “do-it-yourself” solution is a large latte’ or soup cup. These 16 oz. (or more) bowls with a handle can often be found at discount shops for a very reasonable price.
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The past few years have seen the rise of the shaving cream scuttle. Sometimes called a “Moss scuttle” after it’s “inventor,” Dr. Chris Moss, a shaving cream scuttle was originally designed to keep a shaving brush and lather warm throughout the shave.

 04-29-2014, 07:44 AM
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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Thanks Mark.

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 04-29-2014, 01:28 PM
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Excellent presentation Mark. I must admit when I first started shaving I used the dreaded foam from a can. Now I know better.

149 14,386
 04-30-2014, 11:37 PM
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A good read - both the summary and the full article. Thank you Smile

3 7,426
 05-01-2014, 04:15 AM
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Excellent article, Mark, and very well presented too,!
Thank you for sharing

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 05-01-2014, 05:24 AM
  • Elendil
  • Raggedy man, good night
  • The snow's back.
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Nice summary and article, Mark!

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 05-06-2014, 02:02 PM
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Very interesting and informative. Thank you.

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 07-03-2014, 03:01 PM
  • SRNewb
  • Senior Member
  • No. Va, USA
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Good overview. Thanks.
I am steady looking for one of those OS mugs. I have an affinity for OS, and I will find one some day.

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