03-07-2012, 08:33 PM
  • Johnny
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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Then and Now

As for back as I can remember, about the time the picture in my avatar was taken (1949), I would watch my Dad get up every morning and like religion he would do two things, wash his false teeth with a large toothbrush and a bar of Ivory soap, and shave. His shave was the same routine every morning, run hot water, soak his Eveready Brush, lather his face with Williams Mug Soap, and shave with his old opened comb Gillette.

For my 15th birthday I received a new Gillette Super Speed, Eveready Brush, and a puck of Williams Shave Soap. I felt I was becoming an equal with my Dad. Little did I know?

Now neither my Dad nor myself did anything fancy when it came to a mug, we just used some old chipped heavy walled coffee mug my Mom had in the cabinet.

We lived in a small modest house with three bedrooms and one extremely small bathroom, no shower, just a tub. Sometime around 1965 when it started taking my sister longer to get ready than it did my Dad, Mom, and myself, my Dad gave up on trying to get a good mornings shave, and he committed the cardinal sin, he bought a Remington Electric Razor and a bottle of Williams Lectric Shave.

In our small den where my Dad would take naps on the old sofa sat an old end table that belonged to my Grandmother. My Dad set up his “shave nook” right there on that table. One Remington Electric Razor, one bottle of Williams Lectric Shave, one double-sided mirror, and the same three bottles of after-shave he had used for years. Mennen Skin Bracer, Aqua Velva, and Old Spice.

Now, back then all these goodies came from one of four places, Rexall Drug Store, Safeway Grocery Store, Montgomery Wards, or Sears & Roebuck. “For all you youngsters, there use to be a Roebuck.”

Today, if you want to attempt to drive somewhere to purchase these types of items, you more than likely have to drive to one of these locations or maybe all of them to find what you want. Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Walgreen’s, CVS, or Target.

Welcome to 2012. We now have hundred’s (maybe thousand’s) of wonderful items to choose from. Never in my lifetime has there been a better choice for razors, blades, soaps/creams, and after shaves. I can look better, feel better, and smell better than I ever have before.

The great part about all of this is we don’t have to burn one gallon of high dollar gasoline to get it. That’s right; let the Postman or UPS man bring it to you. There are many great vendors that stock these wonderful goodies we all love to use, including but not limited to, BullGoose Shaving, West Coast Shaving, Royal Shaving, Italian Barber, and ShoeBox ShaveShop.

Could you imagine what our Fathers and Grandfathers would have thought about this Internet and one button shopping?

I loved the 50’s and 60’s, but as for as shaving goes, we are now living in "THE GOOD OLD DAYS".

- Johnny -

173 23,293
 03-08-2012, 06:56 PM
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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Great article Johnny. I really enjoyed reading it.

45 15,955
 03-08-2012, 08:22 PM
  • Sully
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Cedar Park, Texas
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Thanks Johnny, I really enjoyed the article.

7 1,010
 03-08-2012, 08:40 PM
  • freddy
  • Senior Member
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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Johnny, what a great first article for this forum. Smile

2 11,211
 03-08-2012, 09:51 PM
  • CMur12
  • Semogueiro de Coração
  • Moses Lake, Washington State, USA
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That's great, Johnny!

Having been born in 1951, myself, 1949 puts a strain on my powers of recollection. Tongue

I remember my dad shaving with a Gillette Super Speed in the 1950s and 1960s, but he always used canned lather. I seem to remember a rather curious-looking can of Rise foam from those days. My dad was always a very early riser, however, so I rarely saw him shave.

When it came time for me to start shaving, it was my mother who decided that a Schick Injector might be a better razor to learn on and that Noxzema in a can would be more protective of young skin. I used the Injector for several years until I grew a beard. A few years later, when I decided to neaten up the beard, I was seduced by a Gillette Slim Adjustable for shaving my neck and cheeks. Eventually I strayed into twin-blades (Gillette Contour/Atra and Schick Tracer) and electrics, until I found my way to these forums a little over 5 years ago. (I have had the beard for forty years now, and I still just shave my neck and cheeks.)

- Murray

4 1,150
 03-09-2012, 03:30 AM
  • Colcurinho
  • Member
  • From the land of Semogue, Musgo Real, ..
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Big Johnny! It was nice to read your article.

Unfortunately I never had the pleasure to see my father shave with a straight razor or a safety razor, as I always remember him to shave with a electric machine. When I started to shave, I begin with a multiblade razor (don´t remenber which, two blades I gess), and fast I switched to a electric razor. My dad never teach me how to do a proper shave - no lather, no brush. Just recently I found the traditional shave, and I love it.

My father still use a electric shave machine Rolleyes

0 106
 03-09-2012, 05:38 AM
  • pgp
  • Member
  • Portugal
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Very nice article John. I'm glad tho have re-discovered wet shaving today!

1 74
 03-09-2012, 05:39 AM
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thanks johnny for sharing those special memmories,

0 104
 03-09-2012, 09:08 AM
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nice read. I love the idea that we now use the internet to find items that were created when the internet wasn't even an idea.

4 309
 03-09-2012, 10:43 AM
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Great article, Johnny. A walk down memory lane. Born in 1945, I learned on an injector and Noxzema cream -- though I don't recall who selected the items. When I returned to wet shaving two years ago, I was thrilled to learn that my wife had saved by dad's 1958 gold Aristocrat when he died in 1973. It's too tame to give me a really good shave, but a wonderful momento and link to the past.

15 316
 03-09-2012, 11:59 AM
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Thanks Johnny for a well written article. Sure brings back memories.

98 12,362
 03-09-2012, 01:10 PM
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A pleasure to read! I remember seeing my dad shaving with a brush, cream and a safety-razor - and later disposables. And my grandfather, too.
I learned how to shave using a cheap boar brush and any supermarket shaving cream - and any disposable multi-blade.

Later, we fell into the abyss of canned gels and the like.

But then, I (re)discovered an all new world of shaving brushes, soaps and creams. I tried a safety-razor for the first time. And re-converted my dad - I offered a safety-razor to him, and some soaps, creams and brushes as well.

People like my father or grandfather didn't have all the variety that we have available today. They used whatever was available at the village shop - no more than 2 brands of blades, 2 or 3 brands of shaving cream, and a boar brush model. You are right, Johnny - the Golden Age of Traditional Shaving is now, not then. Smile

2 5,511
 03-09-2012, 02:04 PM
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Thanks Johnny.

Very nice, very nice indeed. Brings back some personally wonderful memories.

2 546
 03-09-2012, 07:23 PM
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Well written, keep em coming
Well written, keep em coming

5 273
 03-10-2012, 07:51 AM
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A very well written article that stirred many pleasant memories. You have talent for creating images and sharing experiences with words.

29 1,729
 03-10-2012, 10:09 AM
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It was indeed a pleasure to read this article. And it made me to travel into the Memory Lane, too.
I remember my father shaving with his DE G's, and from time to time I would end up with my nose "painted" with lather, and we had quite a few laughs while he was shaving, mostly on weekends. And one of his Gillettes TTO was perfect to grab some of my plastic soldiers, too! Biggrin
Then, the Dark Ages of Canned Goo and multi-blades arrived. My father converted to the novelty, and when it was my time I learned how to shave with it. Confused
Last Christmas I gave my Dad a brand new Muhle R106 and a badger brush, and he was quite happy with it. And my Dad gave me his old Gillette Slim Twist I used to grab my plastic soldiers 40 years ago! Thumbup

0 81
 03-10-2012, 03:46 PM
  • Manticore
  • Old And In The Way
  • Manchester, New Hampshire
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Outstanding article Johnny. I must also agree with Freddy, that was an excellent first article for the forum.

My Dad used a Sunbeam Electric from before I was born. My first venture into shaving was with a Schick injector and when the technology took us into cartridges I followed the pack, although I did use an old Eveready Badger brush back then but gave that up for goo years ago. So up until last April I was shaving in the dark ages. Fortunately I found enlightenment, as many have, through a copy of Michael Ham's book. As they say the rest is history...

These truely are the Good Old Days! Wink

0 136
 03-10-2012, 06:42 PM
  • TexBilly
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Austin, TX
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Johnny, along with the touching history of your own upbringing, the article gives us fantastic perspective on where our niche "hobby" has gone since it was the only game in town. We really ARE living in the golden age of shaving! Now if Gillette could re-introduce some of their fine DEs well...[sigh].

Adding: As for my own memories, my Dad was a SuperSpeed guy and later turned to carts and ultimately electric. I presented him with a mint, cased 40s SuperSpeed a few years ago, knowing he couldn't use it (risk of nicks from blood thinners). He displays it ever so proudly on his big desk, perhaps a tiny memory of the good 'ol days. Mission accomplished....

35 2,703
 03-12-2012, 07:15 AM
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
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Hi Johnny

Very nicely written, hat-tip to you Sir! Smile

Take care, Mike

23 1,872
 03-14-2012, 07:33 AM
  • Obie
  • Senior Member
  • Glendale, Wisconsin
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Very well done, my friend. Such sweet memories.

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