03-25-2018, 05:00 PM
#1
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Why did we ever have travel razors?

It wasn't that long ago that razor manufacturers worried about the portability of their product.  So (for example) we have Gillette Tech razors with short handles.  And we have German razors with multiple-piece handles. In fact, some early Gillette 3-piece razors were marketed prominently as "Pocket Edition" razors.  But non-Pocket Edition razors would fit in a pocket.  

And there was the Gillette "Tuckaway".  Tuck away from what?  Are we hiding our kit so no one will know about our romantic rendevous?  And we need to take a razor (on the QT) to that rendevous?

Folks don't worry about how compact their razor is now so much.  But they obviously did at some point.  

My question is why?

Leaving aside whether you would find a short-handle razor useful today, what was the thinking in the 1940's and 1950's?  Why was there demand back then?  The difference in packed size between a Gillette Travel Tech and a regular Gillette Tech is nothing.  So why did we have a Travel Tech?

Did men in the early 20th Century find it useful to carry a razor around?  Was it so common a practice that razor sets, razor designs, and special boxes were necessary?  So you get a Travel Tech for Christmas and think, "Ah now I'll be able to ...."

Is this related to the "used blade" receptacle still found in older commercial airplane lavatories?  Was it a train travel thing?  A different way that people traveled and shaved back then?

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 03-25-2018, 05:24 PM
#2
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Queens, NY
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You ask good questions BH. I've wondered the same thing myself. Perhaps because most men then would tend to buy one maybe two razors a decade (I'm purely speculating here), the manufacturers figured they could maximize profits by tapping into a different/emerging market. The lure of traveling to exotic (or not) locales was more idealized ("romantic," if you will) than it is now. Maybe men figured they needed a dedicated razor just for that sole purpose.

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 03-25-2018, 05:28 PM
#3
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I never got into the concept of a travel razor.  The size and weight savings from the smaller  travel razors is not significant enough to make a difference to me.   What I do think about in choosing a razor to travel with is the possibility of losing it.   Thus, I won't travel with a razor which is expensive or difficult to replace.  For me, this means traveling with a Merkur 34C or vintage 1940's Gillette Super Speed.

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 03-25-2018, 07:24 PM
#4
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In old patents and advertisements, what we today will refer to as a travel razor is often refereed to as a vest pocket razor - which gives an indication of what pocket it was intended to be carried in. A vest pocket was - and still is - often sized to carry nothing larger than a pocket watch, and thus a good pocket/travel razor shouldn't be larger than normal pocket watch; say 2" square.

To me the implication is that a Gentleman should have no reason not to be clean shaven every day, since he could carry his razor everywhere. And speaking as someone who on a regular basis have to travel when space to pack is a premium... I quite enjoy the ability to bring a full fledged safety razor in less than half the space a modern cart or disposable takes.

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 04-15-2018, 12:07 PM
#5
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(03-25-2018, 05:00 PM)BrickHud Wrote: Why did we ever have travel razors?

It wasn't that long ago that razor manufacturers worried about the portability of their product.  So (for example) we have Gillette Tech razors with short handles.  And we have German razors with multiple-piece handles. In fact, some early Gillette 3-piece razors were marketed prominently as "Pocket Edition" razors.  But non-Pocket Edition razors would fit in a pocket.  

And there was the Gillette "Tuckaway".  Tuck away from what?  Are we hiding our kit so no one will know about our romantic rendevous?  And we need to take a razor (on the QT) to that rendevous?

Folks don't worry about how compact their razor is now so much.  But they obviously did at some point.  

My question is why?

Leaving aside whether you would find a short-handle razor useful today, what was the thinking in the 1940's and 1950's?  Why was there demand back then?  The difference in packed size between a Gillette Travel Tech and a regular Gillette Tech is nothing.  So why did we have a Travel Tech?

Did men in the early 20th Century find it useful to carry a razor around?  Was it so common a practice that razor sets, razor designs, and special boxes were necessary?  So you get a Travel Tech for Christmas and think, "Ah now I'll be able to ...."

Is this related to the "used blade" receptacle still found in older commercial airplane lavatories?  Was it a train travel thing?  A different way that people traveled and shaved back then?

Brick, Im an airline pilot, so I can shed some light on the current state of the topic  
The DE blade can easily be confiscated as a prohibited item,  ie weapon, depending on the tsa jurisdiction you are in. Different areas of the country have different interpretation of the rules by their regional tsa directors . I was working a few months ago and had my entire supply of brand new DE blades taken from me.. Id just visited Pasteurs... The reason I was given was "you can use them to take over the plane"  ! Well genius, Im a captain,, so I planned on taking over a plane . 

My suggestion for wet shavers is to buy a bakelite handle, and randomly put your blade packs throughout your stuff.. They are looking for a metal T-handle to tip them to the existence of de blades. The bakelite handle prevents it, and scattering your blade packs ensures that they don't leave you with no blades even if some are found  

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 04-17-2018, 01:36 PM
#6
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Flying with DE blades is a mess. I'm wary of anything which could be interpreted as intending to decieve TSA to carry an item sometimes classified as a weapon.

If I'm traveling for 5 days or less, its carts, otherwise, I mail a tuck to my hotel a week before.

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 04-18-2018, 05:39 PM
#7
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Maybe weight and space were really important considerations? Would seem so?

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