07-30-2014, 09:54 PM
#1
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I would like to learn about the history of Wilkinson double edge razor blade production, including the years and sites of production of the Light Brigades, London Bridges, Sword Masters, Falcons, etc. I have written to the Wilkinson company but haven't heard back from them. If anyone here has any of that kind of information, or knows of a source for it, please let me know.

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 07-31-2014, 11:06 AM
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  • Mouser
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 07-31-2014, 11:30 AM
#3
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Thanks, Ken. I'm not a Time subscriber, so I can't see the articles, and at this point I'm not sure I want to pay to see them.

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 07-31-2014, 05:26 PM
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(07-31-2014, 11:30 AM)churchilllafemme Wrote: Thanks, Ken. I'm not a Time subscriber, so I can't see the articles, and at this point I'm not sure I want to pay to see them.

I think I will. It's been burning a hole in my pocket. I will share what I find.

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 07-31-2014, 05:48 PM
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(07-31-2014, 05:26 PM)Mouser Wrote:
(07-31-2014, 11:30 AM)churchilllafemme Wrote: Thanks, Ken. I'm not a Time subscriber, so I can't see the articles, and at this point I'm not sure I want to pay to see them.

I think I will. It's been burning a hole in my pocket. I will share what I find.

Hey, great. You're taking one for the team, and it is appreciated.

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 08-02-2014, 02:19 PM
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Well, it wasn't worth the money. Each article was only about a paragraph more than what was shown initially. But here's something I found..."In 1965, Wilkinson Sword introduced stainless steel razor blades and soon the company's blades made rapid gains in shares of the market, because one blade, though somewhat more expensive, could be used for a week. The earlier carbon steel razor blades rusted quickly enough that many people used a new blade each day. So, although Wilkinson gained a larger percentage of the market, the demand for razor blades declined to approximately fourteen percent of its previous level. This introduction gave Wilkinson a substantive market share and previous market leaders quickly responded by introducing their own stainless blades. The technology had been available for some time, but the market leaders like Gillette, which held a patent on stainless blades, presumably knew that any gain for them in market share would be overwhelmed by the dramatic reduction in the size of the market." ...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilkinson_S...zor_blades

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 08-02-2014, 02:26 PM
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(08-02-2014, 02:19 PM)Mouser Wrote: The technology had been available for some time....

Yes. It makes me wonder for how many years they had the ability to make stainless blades but just didn't do it because they knew that the improvement would undercut their own blade market.
But thanks for checking on those articles. Perhaps someone can find more information about the history of their blades.

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 08-02-2014, 04:42 PM
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(08-02-2014, 02:26 PM)churchilllafemme Wrote:
(08-02-2014, 02:19 PM)Mouser Wrote: The technology had been available for some time....

Yes. It makes me wonder for how many years they had the ability to make stainless blades but just didn't do it because they knew that the improvement would undercut their own blade market.
But thanks for checking on those articles. Perhaps someone can find more information about the history of their blades.
I believe one of the articles mentioned that Gillette acquired the patent for stainless blades in 59 and Wilkinson first brought them to market in 65.

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 08-17-2014, 07:31 AM
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(08-02-2014, 04:42 PM)Mouser Wrote:
(08-02-2014, 02:26 PM)churchilllafemme Wrote:
(08-02-2014, 02:19 PM)Mouser Wrote: The technology had been available for some time....

Yes. It makes me wonder for how many years they had the ability to make stainless blades but just didn't do it because they knew that the improvement would undercut their own blade market.
But thanks for checking on those articles. Perhaps someone can find more information about the history of their blades.
I believe one of the articles mentioned that Gillette acquired the patent for stainless blades in 59 and Wilkinson first brought them to market in 65.

The date of the first Time article linked above is Nov. 1962, so I imagine that is about when the Super Sword Edge was first introduced.
The Wilkinson Light Brigade is my personal favorite among vintage blades. I strongly suspect the Wilkinson Sword Master is the exact same blade with updated packaging.

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 08-17-2014, 09:03 AM
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(08-17-2014, 07:31 AM)DrAwkward Wrote: The Wilkinson Light Brigade is my personal favorite among vintage blades. I strongly suspect the Wilkinson Sword Master is the exact same blade with updated packaging.

One of the reasons I would like to find a good historical source is that I would like to write a brief article about the blades and pair it with a review of them. In my own experience, the Sword Master definitely is not the same as the Light Brigade; it is one step lower in quality. The London Bridge blade, on the other hand, does seem to me to be exactly the same.

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 08-19-2014, 10:56 AM
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interesting, another reason why it took as long as it did for stainless to hit the market....."Super Swords shave so smoothly because Wilkinson turned a trick that most cutlery makers thought impossible: it managed to put a really keen, lasting edge on stainless steel."
http://content.time.com/time/subscriber/...15,00.html

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 11-28-2014, 09:00 AM
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I have heard recently that the Light Brigade New Chromium edge is a tiny bit better than the Light Brigade Chromium edge.
I plan to test this for myself in the next day or two. Anyone else have any thoughts?
Of course, the "New Chromium" edge is the original and the "Chromium" edge came a few years later. I always assumed the only difference was packaging. In fact, I have seen blades on the 'Bay where the outside package had "New" but the blade wrappers did not. Admittedly, that bit of evidence proves nothing ...

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 11-29-2014, 02:10 PM
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FWIW, I did a blind test between "New Chromium" edge and "Chromium" edge blades. I used two identical English NEW razors and shaved the right side with one and the left side with the other. Then I switched sides for the next shave.
Much to my surprise, I was able to tell a difference. The "New Chromium" was smoother and the "Chromium" was sharper. Both were very good ...
Edit: not that anyone cares, but my test was flawed. The supposedly "identical" razors were not identical. I was not able to reproduce my results using US-made NEW LC razors. So, I'm back to thinking that the two blades are the same ...

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