08-08-2012, 02:24 AM
#1
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My latest acquisition on the razor front is my second oldest... a 1958 Gillette TTO known as the "TV Special". A fellow shaver here at the 'Nook decided it was better to sell it than having it sit unused in his rack, so I got the opportunity to snap it up for a little less than twenty dollars - which was a steal, really. Apparently the razor was advertised during the 1958 broadcasts of "Gillette Cavalcade of Sports" and it's notorious online for being a great shaver.

[Image: IMG_0088.JPG]
The new beuty - a short handled TTO vintage razor

[Image: IMG_0091.JPG]
Head on with the head open - note slight loss of plating on three spots along the right bar

As for the shave, I can best describe it as mild and effective. This isn't a harsh razor by a long stretch - in fact, some might find it to be too mild. So far I've only taken it for a spin with an Astra Superior Platinum blade, but I can't imagine it'll behave significantly worse with another blade... unless it's a bad blade off course.

Despite being a short handled razor, it's remarkable comfortable to hold. The slight flare near the base helps, as do the knurling. The balance is pretty good too, even if I find it slightly top heavy - either the head could have been slightly lighter, or the handle slightly heavier. It's no worse than most of my other razors - I've yet to find a razor with absolutely perfect balance.

I've only had it for about a week so far, and used it a couple of times, but the 1958 Gillette TV Special has gained a slot in my rotation. If you're in the marked for a vintage Twist To Open razor, and like 'em mild... well, you could do a lot worse than picking up one of these babies - even if they can be hard to find at a reasonable price.

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 08-08-2012, 04:34 AM
#2
  • slantman
  • Expert Shaver
  • Leesburg, Florida
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Great review Hans. This brings back memories of this boxing sports series from the 50s

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 08-08-2012, 08:11 AM
#3
  • EHV
  • Senior Member
  • Milford,PA
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Nice review WW!

I am always looking to gain knowledge and insight into the vintage Gillettes.

Do you have any idea how/if this is different from a a Flare Tip Superspeed? For some reason, I was under the impression that this was slight variation of the same razor but I'll bet that I am mistaken.
I need to study up!

Thank you!

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 08-08-2012, 08:34 AM
#4
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Good review, Hans, thanks. I once had a TV Special and found it to be too mild even for me, and I generally really like mild razors. But I found all of the flare tip super speeds except the red tip to be too mild.

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 08-08-2012, 10:47 AM
#5
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(08-08-2012, 08:11 AM)EHV Wrote: Do you have any idea how/if this is different from a a Flare Tip Superspeed? For some reason, I was under the impression that this was slight variation of the same razor but I'll bet that I am mistaken.

My entire collection of vintage Gillettes is this one razor... AFAIK it's a variation of the Flare Tip Superspeed, but I think someone more knowledgeable than me should answer that.

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 08-08-2012, 10:59 AM
#6
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(08-08-2012, 08:11 AM)EHV Wrote: Do you have any idea how/if this is different from a a Flare Tip Superspeed?

My understanding is that the only difference is in the handle pattern, with the TV special not having the horizontal lines across.

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 08-08-2012, 11:21 AM
#7
  • Triad
  • Triad Razor Handles
  • Texas
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Great review nice find!!

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 09-19-2012, 01:58 PM
#8
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incredible!! i had been trying to id my gillettes today and the picture sure helped because that is mine...well one of them. mine is D 1 or 7. not sure because my eyes aren't as strong as they once were{ just turned 47}

the other one is G 4. i was able to track that down if i did it right, as a 1961 superspeed. not much difference the lines in the TTO device on the bottom of razor is a little difference. here is the other incredible thing. these are my very first DE razors . i use them. are ya ready? are ya sitting down?!! I paid 8 bucks for the both of them at the local antique store. went in there labor day weekend and snagged a barbershop brand shaving mug and brush{ no label.looked like a oak handle with boar brushes ,i'm guessing}paid 5 bucks. still in the box as well.SmileSmile

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 09-19-2012, 02:18 PM
#9
  • brian
  • I wear sandalwood sandles
  • THE SWAMP (Florida)
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(09-19-2012, 01:58 PM)boris007 Wrote: incredible!! i had been trying to id my gillettes today and the picture sure helped because that is mine...well one of them. mine is D 1 or 7. not sure because my eyes aren't as strong as they once were{ just turned 47}

the other one is G 4. i was able to track that down if i did it right, as a 1961 superspeed. not much difference the lines in the TTO device on the bottom of razor is a little difference. here is the other incredible thing. these are my very first DE razors . i use them. are ya ready? are ya sitting down?!! I paid 8 bucks for the both of them at the local antique store. went in there labor day weekend and snagged a barbershop brand shaving mug and brush{ no label.looked like a oak handle with boar brushes ,i'm guessing}paid 5 bucks. still in the box as well.SmileSmile

Hi Boris,

WOW - you snagged some fantastic deals in that store, congrats! Biggrin

If I may help you date your razor, you have a D1, not a D7. The number indicates the quarter of the year in which they were produced, so it should never exceed a 4.

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 09-20-2012, 06:09 AM
#10
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(09-19-2012, 02:18 PM)brian Wrote:
(09-19-2012, 01:58 PM)boris007 Wrote: incredible!! i had been trying to id my gillettes today and the picture sure helped because that is mine...well one of them. mine is D 1 or 7. not sure because my eyes aren't as strong as they once were{ just turned 47}

the other one is G 4. i was able to track that down if i did it right, as a 1961 superspeed. not much difference the lines in the TTO device on the bottom of razor is a little difference. here is the other incredible thing. these are my very first DE razors . i use them. are ya ready? are ya sitting down?!! I paid 8 bucks for the both of them at the local antique store. went in there labor day weekend and snagged a barbershop brand shaving mug and brush{ no label.looked like a oak handle with boar brushes ,i'm guessing}paid 5 bucks. still in the box as well.SmileSmile

Hi Boris,

WOW - you snagged some fantastic deals in that store, congrats! Biggrin

If I may help you date your razor, you have a D1, not a D7. The number indicates the quarter of the year in which they were produced, so it should never exceed a 4.
thanks,brian!!

(09-19-2012, 02:18 PM)brian Wrote:
(09-19-2012, 01:58 PM)boris007 Wrote: incredible!! i had been trying to id my gillettes today and the picture sure helped because that is mine...well one of them. mine is D 1 or 7. not sure because my eyes aren't as strong as they once were{ just turned 47}

the other one is G 4. i was able to track that down if i did it right, as a 1961 superspeed. not much difference the lines in the TTO device on the bottom of razor is a little difference. here is the other incredible thing. these are my very first DE razors . i use them. are ya ready? are ya sitting down?!! I paid 8 bucks for the both of them at the local antique store. went in there labor day weekend and snagged a barbershop brand shaving mug and brush{ no label.looked like a oak handle with boar brushes ,i'm guessing}paid 5 bucks. still in the box as well.SmileSmile

Hi Boris,

WOW - you snagged some fantastic deals in that store, congrats! Biggrin

If I may help you date your razor, you have a D1, not a D7. The number indicates the quarter of the year in which they were produced, so it should never exceed a 4.
thanks,brian!!

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 09-20-2012, 08:27 AM
#11
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Hans, thanks for the review.

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 09-20-2012, 11:29 AM
#12
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I believe the 58 TV had the same high head profile like all SS Flair Tips from the 50s. OTOH your G-4 Super Speed should have the newer low profile head. I think the heads were changed in 1960 as some Fs had the older heads, and some of them the newer. It's not a big difference but I prefer the 60's SS Flair Tip heads for their maneuverability.

(09-19-2012, 01:58 PM)boris007 Wrote: incredible!! i had been trying to id my gillettes today and the picture sure helped because that is mine...well one of them. mine is D 1 or 7. not sure because my eyes aren't as strong as they once were{ just turned 47}

the other one is G 4. i was able to track that down if i did it right, as a 1961 superspeed. not much difference the lines in the TTO device on the bottom of razor is a little difference. here is the other incredible thing. these are my very first DE razors . i use them. are ya ready? are ya sitting down?!! I paid 8 bucks for the both of them at the local antique store. went in there labor day weekend and snagged a barbershop brand shaving mug and brush{ no label.looked like a oak handle with boar brushes ,i'm guessing}paid 5 bucks. still in the box as well.SmileSmile

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