07-12-2016, 05:32 AM
#1
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I know the fact that mostly all through the the 1900s the way to shave was with a DE, Straight soap and brush. Then with technology the 2,3,4,5 razor cartridges took alot of people by storm way back when. After starting to wet shave about 3 yesrs ago, ive noticed ALOT more artisins making brushes, soaps, razors, handles ect. More popping up everyday. Just by word of mouth ive gotten about 7-8 people I know to switch over and they love it. My question is, are we in the beginning stages of the golden era of wet shaving? I think we are, its only getting bigger, and thats exciting.

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 07-12-2016, 06:07 AM
#2
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Depends on how you define "Golden Age" I guess. If you mean "when it was most popular/common", that time is gone and wont come back. If you mean "when it had the largest selection f high quality razors, brushes and soaps"... that might very well be now.

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 07-12-2016, 06:09 AM
#3
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^ I did think about that after the fact. I know everyone wont go back to traditional shaving, I did mean selection of wet shaving items.

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 07-12-2016, 06:35 AM
#4
  • evnpar
  • Emeritus
  • Portland, Oregon
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I think of the Golden Age as being in the 1800's, when there were hundreds of expert razor makers producing magnificent straights that are still used today. There are no modern day equivalents to Sheffield, Solingen, or Swedish steel. There are many excellent modern day artisan razor makers, but nothing compares to the 1800's and early 1900's.

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 07-12-2016, 07:07 AM
#5
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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(07-12-2016, 06:35 AM)evnpar Wrote: I think of the Golden Age as being in the 1800's, when there were hundreds of expert razor makers producing magnificent straights that are still used today. There are no modern day equivalents to Sheffield, Solingen, or Swedish steel. There are many excellent modern day artisan razor makers, but nothing compares to the 1800's and early 1900's.

My thoughts also. No doubt though that traditional wet shaving using DEs/SEs/SRs with a brush and soap is in a bit of a renaissance right now. How big it will get or how long it will last is anybody's guess. I do enjoy the variety of traditional wet shaving gear that is now available compared to a few short years ago.

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 07-12-2016, 08:07 AM
#6
  • kav
  • Banned
  • east of the sun,west of the moon
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People who predict the future are seldom right. We don't have flying cars in spite of several small production efforts and automation has given underemployment instead of leisure. Anthropology holds to a concept of 'Appropriate Technology' for a stable society. A few billion Chinese on
bicycles worked. A few billion desiring cars, coupled with unregulated industry is choking their cities, and the planet with air pollution on a massive scale.
So, what is an appropriate technology for shaving in the next 100 years? WATER will be the major driving force in human conflict. We already see
ancient aquifers failing, land subsiding from drought and collapsing the depleted ones. Companies Like NESTLE are buying up water rights and each other( Perrier and Pelegrino) and in litigation for outright stealing waters held in common ie the Great Lakes while flint received GM lead.
Will we be forced to use a solar powered or electrical grid shaver? Hydroelectric power may go the way of nuclear. Our major soap source presently
is the PALM OIL industry with multiple impacts I have posted before. Livestock are also a major water use industry and may become a luxury as we harvest crickets for Stouffers frozen entrees. Maybe folks like Clause will pass on secreted soap stashes of unimagined value to their descendants. I do predict much of our throwaway culture will itself be tossed. Either via intense MANDATORY recycling like California's E Waste tax on new gadgets and recycling deposits on aluminum, glass and plastic beverage containers today OR, and I hope; a continued renaissance in 'artisan' I still dislike the term;non shedding brushes, multi generation metal razors, skuttles and even ( please God) the incredible blades of before that lasted multiple shaves. We may be using multiple recycled and filtered grey water, or fearfully buying a virgin flask down on the corner from El Chapo's or Freeway Ricky Ross' grandsons in between passes of the AMAZON corporate owned drone police with cameras and missiles killing anything that moves beyond our computer stations, assuming we have computers and not some artificial body with self shaving and exfoliating skin made of GORETEX which still wont work.
<SHUDDER> I'm going to go watch THINGS TO COME in B&W

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 07-12-2016, 08:07 AM
#7
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You would also have to put it in context.  Wet shaving is a 'hobby' for most of us and back then it was a chore.  If you were to go to the 1890's the average man would probably have one soap, one or two brushes and 1 or two razors.  The idea that my grandfather - born around the turn of the century - would have paid $100+ for a razor, $100+ for a brush, and $15-$20 for a soap would think we are crazy.  In 1927 when the market crashed $100 in today's dollars would be around $7.24.  The average hourly wage for the building trades would be around $1.12 per hour so the idea of the average guy spending a day’s wage on just a razor probably wouldn't happen.

Golden Age can vary - For DE razors - you could argue an ATT beats all the old classics and the newer competitors are giving the established makers a run for their money.  For soaps - probably the greatest selection you could imagine compared to 100 years ago when Williams was one of the top brands.  For straights I would have to agree with evnpar the golden age would have been the 1800's.
 
The Golden Age for selection and innovation may be today for most things but not for everything.  Just my two cents.


[Image: 1871_2c_sb_062011.jpg]

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 07-12-2016, 08:45 AM
#8
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The golden age is right now. Regarding creams, soaps, fragrances, after shaves and brushes - no era comes even close to now. None !

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 07-12-2016, 09:36 AM
#9
  • nikos.a
  • Senior Member
  • Athens, Greece
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Sooner or later, only the best will survive.

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 07-12-2016, 02:37 PM
#10
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It surely is a fantastic time to be a wet-shaver, right now! Smile

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 07-12-2016, 06:36 PM
#11
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I don't know when I'd classify the golden age as, but right now we have an embarrassment of riches with all the amazing choices in hardware & software. If you want to term it a golden-revival, I'm good with that!

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 07-13-2016, 02:37 AM
#12
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I'll make the pro golden age argument.

It was not too many years ago that simply where to obtain products was the fo us of these forums. Today, we have, at our fingertips, an unprecedented, even unimaginable, selection of shave products that are a click a way.  From razors, brushes to soaps and creams, today's wet shaver has numerous options at every price point.

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 07-13-2016, 03:21 AM
#13
  • Redd
  • Junior Member
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In the 8 years or so since I took a step back from cartridges & goo, there has been a marked change. When I re-started, vintage was pretty much the order of the day, regards hardware, but it seems that now almost every other week or so there is a new razor (head or handle) hitting the streets. It might not be my bag, as it were, but it can only be a good thing, after all today's New is tomorrows Classic / Vintage.

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 08-13-2016, 12:49 PM
#14
  • Tokyospike
  • Artist's Club Recruiter
  • New York City
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Today was my sixth wet shave with my first safety razor - and I'm 60. When, a couple months ago,  I thought maybe I would look into a shaving brush and old fashioned shaving soap (not being satisfied with anything mass produced I could get my hands on) I was astounded at the number of blogs, fora, YouTube videos, and online stores. Now that I have my equipment and some sample products, I'm trying not to continue buying new and different things every week (every day?) and not to think about straight razors . . .

I certainly feel it's a golden age - I could research a dozen razors and dozens of blades before settling on what fit my idea of shaving best. Results so far . . . well, I think I'm getting the hang of it . . .

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 08-13-2016, 01:12 PM
#15
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(08-13-2016, 12:49 PM)Tokyospike Wrote: Today was my sixth wet shave with my first safety razor - and I'm 60. When, a couple months ago,  I thought maybe I would look into a shaving brush and old fashioned shaving soap (not being satisfied with anything mass produced I could get my hands on) I was astounded at the number of blogs, fora, YouTube videos, and online stores. Now that I have my equipment and some sample products, I'm trying not to continue buying new and different things every week (every day?) and not to think about straight razors . . .

I certainly feel it's a golden age - I could research a dozen razors and dozens of blades before settling on what fit my idea of shaving best. Results so far . . . well, I think I'm getting the hang of it . . .

Well don't expect to not be encouraged a little bit to enjoy getting new stuff here and there. But many members, even some with huge amounts of gear, will tell you the benefits of sticking to using products for a certain amount of time to dial in the techniques needed o get optimal performance.

Use what you have and enjoy your shaves!

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 08-13-2016, 01:12 PM
#16
  • kav
  • Banned
  • east of the sun,west of the moon
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One more razor announcement and this properly will be called the stainlees steel age.

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 08-13-2016, 01:28 PM
#17
  • Entasis
  • Atop the Razor's Edge
  • Southern California
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(08-13-2016, 01:12 PM)kav Wrote: One more razor announcement and this properly will be called the stainlees steel age.

I awaiting the "kav" stainless steel razor.

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 08-13-2016, 02:52 PM
#18
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I see it as straight razors were at the peak in the 18-1900's . I'll argue that artisan made straights rival anything made ever. Brushes made in the  mid 80's be Plisson to 2009-12 Rooney , M&F are tops for me. Soaps perhaps recently before all the reformulations a few years back but vintage yardley is still considered by many tops. Frags yes today's frags are tops imo.

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 08-18-2016, 08:07 PM
#19
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For straights, i can only imagine having all those brands being made and available for purchase or use by your barber at the local shop.  
In the time periods mentioned above, would one even be aware of what was available elsewhere? 
Was the scale and extent of what was produced in the industry even known or were you limited to what you saw in a shop window? 
Nothing like that limitation now, i agree, but there are still some really interesting and unique ideas being created by people making custom items. Not to forget the quality preservation in the restoration work being done. 

The ease with which we buy off the web has maybe tarnished that golden lustre talked of above, i am not sure myself 

I think it is a golden age for the software. The offerings and variety I am exposed to on a monthly basis is awesome, I cannot keep up.

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 08-18-2016, 08:53 PM
#20
  • kav
  • Banned
  • east of the sun,west of the moon
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I think men found out what straights were exemplary. There was a viking sword vastly superior in metallurgy with inlaid name. It could bend where lesser blades would break. Swords were rare enough, and even this rarest of the rare was faked. All those George Catlin paintings of native american buffalo hunts? The best bow in the new world was a CALIFORNIA self backed design traded well into the northern and southern plains horse cultures at premium prices. Remember, the Internet can only generate what people put into it, just like word of mouth before.

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