06-20-2012, 11:47 PM
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I am a very lucky guy for many reasons, but one of them is that I own an old razor that used belong to an old friend of the family* that is - as far as I can tell - in near mint, unused condition. Off course, if I can find new blades for it it will no longer be unused - what better way to try SE shaving than with a razor that has a history attached?

Anyhow, I would be grateful if anyone can help me shed a bit of light on the details: What model, when made, stuff like that. And off course; where I can find blades for it.

And now, pictures!

[Image: OldSE01.jpg]
A nice box - a little worse for wear in the hinge, hence the slightly offset lid.

[Image: OldSE02.jpg]
Riches revealed; a SE razor and almost full packs of blades.

[Image: OldSE03.jpg]
Focusing on shiny objects is hard...

[Image: OldSE04.jpg]
Two packs of blades, one full, one missing one blade - which is in the razor.

[Image: OldSE05.jpg]
Everything out of the box.

[Image: OldSE06.jpg]
Just the razor - nice knurled grip, balance near the head.

[Image: OldSE07.jpg]
Closeup on the head - an interesting (to me) open comb with a bar. Not a spot of rust either, or even much dust.

[Image: OldSE08.jpg]
The head head-on. The lettering on either side says "LIFT HERE" in a non-serif font.

[Image: OldSE09.jpg]
The head opened, showing the blade that is in the razor. Two little tabs on each side holds it in place.

[Image: OldSE10.jpg]
The blade out of the razor. I'm not sure what "radio steel" is, but I know that back in the day radio was a buzz word much like digital was in the 90's.

[Image: OldSE11.jpg]
A better view of the lettering on the blade.

[Image: OldSE12.jpg]
The head with no blade. It's a little hard to see, but the text says "American Safety Razor Oo. Inc. New York". Again, it's practically spotless.

[Image: OldSE13.jpg]
The underside of the head, reading "Ever-ready" and "Patented March 24/14"

[Image: OldSE14.jpg]
Another view of the underside. Seems to be a very slight bow to the bar connecting the ends of the comb, but that might be the surface I photographed it on.

[Image: OldSE15.jpg]
One of the unopened blades. Compared to today's packaging, this is pretty awesome.

So there it is... would love to try it, but not using the original blades - I'm a little too chicken to use up a piece of history just like that.

Edit / update:
- So far I've found that it is NOT a 1906 model, nor is it a '24...
- I'm not sure a modern SE blade like the GEM would work, given the notches in the side of those.

*) An interesting fellow; before the War he was a cavalery officer, active in the Resistance during the war (lots of interesting stories) and joined the Air Force after the war.

2 2,776
 06-21-2012, 02:10 AM
  • Dave
  • Moderator Emeritus
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That is an absolute beauty whatever it is.

116 3,804
 06-21-2012, 02:35 AM
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I've used a lot of those ER models (though not in as good shape as yours). They'll take modern SE blades - no problem.

I think this may be the 1914 model, but I can't be sure. I never really focused on the history of the razors I used...........I just love using SE razors. Smile

EDIT: Now I see the patent date. Yep! It's a 1914! Congrats! They're excellent shavers.

37 1,731
 06-21-2012, 02:56 AM
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That certainly helped Yohann Biggrin

With your information I've found some pictures online of razors with the same head - most seem to have hexagonal handles though... I guess things changed during production.

Off course, I'm still curious if anyone can tell me more about it - and have a source for blades Tongue

2 2,776
 06-21-2012, 03:58 AM
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Yes, that is the 1914 model. It is one of the best SE razors. Very light and nimble, like the GEM Damakeene. Only the 1914 has the "Lift Here" blade cover. That is the correct handle. It uses the same blades as a 1912. Most drug stores have GEM or Treet blades made for this razor. Or, http://www.razorbladesandmore.com is a good source. There are always a few for sale on the auction sites, but this one is in very good condition, and complete. I use a 1914 almost every-day. Enjoy it!

6 230
 06-21-2012, 04:09 AM
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Thank you Mark Smile

Most drugstores in the US I guess - over here? Not so much... if the blades don't sit in a proprietary cartridge, they don't sell them.

I'll check out the webstore you linked - the real question is how much international shipping would be.

2 2,776
 06-21-2012, 07:01 AM
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(06-21-2012, 04:09 AM)WegianWarrior Wrote: Thank you Mark Smile

Most drugstores in the US I guess - over here? Not so much... if the blades don't sit in a proprietary cartridge, they don't sell them.

I'll check out the webstore you linked - the real question is how much international shipping would be.

Sorry, I failed to see your location. Amazon Europe has GEM blades for sale. Is that better?

6 230
 06-21-2012, 07:08 AM
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That's a great complete set. It's not common to find them so well preserved after all those years. Mold, mildew, tarnishing, rust stains from blades, dried cracked leather, etc... Even the original blade looks terrific. I have 2 old Gem blades with similar swirls, but not such a cool spine.

If the hinges are looking bad, it may be a little to late to help them, but you could try neatsfoot oil to rehydrate it, but it can only do so much--it's certainly worth a try. Do some research on treating dried leather, there're people out there who know a lot.

Like already stated above, any SE blade will work and they are indeed great shavers. Very cool find and it's even better that it found its way to you rather than being thrown out (yes people do that) or to someone who wouldn't appreciate it.

9 451
 06-21-2012, 07:34 AM
  • celestino
  • Escanhoado em Vilar de Perdizes
  • Vancouver, BC
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Hans, gorgeous razor. Thanks for the pictures and enjoy the shaves.

71 19,706
 06-21-2012, 07:36 AM
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Hans, you can buy the Gem PTFE single edge blades at Connaught for quite reasonable prices: http://connaughtshaving.com/gemss.html

144 11,578
 06-21-2012, 07:40 AM
  • Shanman
  • Reserve Collection Squirrel Hair
  • NE Florida
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1914 aka "Little Lather Catcher".

123 1,775
 06-21-2012, 08:55 AM
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I've bought supplies from Connaught Shaving before, so I'll probably put in an order with them. I'm still unsure about the cut-outs in the GEM blade, but if y'all says they fit I'm inclined to trust you.

John, the hinge is actually as good as can be expected - almost looks like a manufacturers flaw and/or the box got a sideways ding at some point. The leather itself is in great shape.

I have spent some time looking online, and now that I know what I'm looking for there is some information out there - but not too much. Anyone know when they stopped manufacturing these? At least that can put an end-bracket as to when my family friend might have acquired it.

The razor - and many of his other items* - ended up with my family after he died. He had no children and his widow felt we were the proper inheritors. I got it to look after it when I mentioned for my parents that I had taken up classical shaving - I guess my father didn't expect to shave off the full beard he has had since before I was born.

Thank for all the help so far - you have helped me turn an interesting curio into a treasured object with a history behind it Biggrin

*) Among other things I have most of his drafting gear and a couple of specialised slide rules he used while in the service.

2 2,776
 06-21-2012, 09:02 AM
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That's a great razor! Not only the condition, but the actual razor shaves great!

Make sure the blade is seated when you close the top. It'll close like a bear trap.

Hans, if you ever forget what it is (I do all the time) just look at where the handle screws into the head. It's named after the patent year, '14.

32 6,243
 06-21-2012, 02:14 PM
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Hans, I still believe you should condition the leather, even if it looks great. BTW, I love the snap buckle, they really knew how to build things way back then with such attention to detail--like those stamped blade holders. Now everything comes in a paper box. The exception being the Feather AS.

9 451
 06-21-2012, 06:16 PM
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Hans that particular set you have is a 1915 cataloged item and cost $1. That blade didn't exist until 1918, and in a 1919 advertisment they are priced at $.40 for 6.

I don't have any information that tells me when they stopped production of them. But a 1917 ad shows the metal not around the edge of the leather closure flap. Just to confuse the issue a bit, there is a 1917 drawing of a WWI doughboy and the set pictured does have the metal edging.

This info can be found in Waits Compendium , the ASR/EverReady chapter (SRC_ASR.pdf) pages 7-9.

32 6,243
 06-21-2012, 10:41 PM
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At least that puts a upper limit on the age of the set... which may have been made years before it found it's way to my family friend.

Thanks for all the help so far figuring this one out y'all Biggrin

2 2,776
 06-22-2012, 03:41 AM
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Put in an order for a ten pack of GEM blades from the UK - will be sure to let everyone of you know how the shaves turn out Biggrin

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