03-29-2018, 04:28 AM
#1
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Today we're used to the big multinationals sticking yet another blade on their razor and hailing it as the greatest breakthrough in shaving since the blunt stick... but the idea of "one blade good, more blades better" came quite soon after the Gillette safety razor hit the market. One of the earliest I've found so far was patented by Mr Herbert G. Harrison in 1909.

What Mr Harrison claimed in his patent was eightfold, namely:

Quote:1. A razor provided with a plurality of superposed blades, and with means for rigidly securing the cutting edges of said blades in such a close relation to each other that said edges may be simultaneously used for shaving the same spot, substantially as described.
2. A razor provided with a plurality of overlying blades and with means for rigidly securing the cutting edges of said blades one slightly behind the other and in such a close relation to each other that said edges may be simultaneously used for shaving the same spot, substantially as described.
3. A razor provided with a plurality of superposed removable blades, means for spacing said blades, and means for rigidly securing the cutting edges of said blades in such a relation to each other that said edges may be simultaneously used for shaving, substantially as described.
4. A safety razor provided with a guard, a plurality of overlying blades, and with clamping means for rigidly securing the blades in such a relation to each other that their cutting edges may be simultaneously used for shaving, substantially as described:
5. In a safety razor the combination of a plurality of superposed removable blades with curved clamping means, comprising a distance piece, for rigidly securing the blades in such a relation to each other that their cutting edges may be simultaneously used for shaving, substantially as described:
6. In a safety razor the combination of a plurality of superposed blades, a distance piece having eccentric curved surfaces; and means for rigidly securing said piece and blades in such a relation that the cutting edges will be presented to the skin simultaneously in the act of shaving, substantially as described.
7. In a safety razor the combination or a plurality of superposed blades with clamping means for rigidly securing the blades with the cutting edge of the one slightly in advance of the cutting edge of the other and in such relation to each other that their cutting edges may be simultaneously used for shaving, substantially as described.
8. A safety razor provided with a guard, a plurality of overlapping blades, an with means for securing the cutting edges of said blades in such a relation to each other that said edges may be used simultaneously for shaving, substantially as described.

Sounds complicated. Luckily the drawings makes it all clearer...
[Image: US1024509-0.png]
So all those words just means two DE-blades stacked with a spacer in between. I seem to recall that a razor like that hit the market a couple of years back and pretty much flopped - much like Mr Harrioson's razor seems to have done in 1909.

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 03-29-2018, 06:03 AM
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Another great find and post, Hans.  Thanks.  

Harrison may not have known that he was truly on to something.  According to Gordon McKibben's history of Gillette, a British scientist working in the Gillette Reading labs, Dr. Norman C. Welsh, began experimenting with the tandem blade concept and in 1964 discovered the "hysteresis effect" (first blade pulls hair from follicle and second blade cuts it below skin level).  It took Welsh and his team 7 years to develop a commercially-viable razor to exploit the effect, resulting in the Trac II in 1971.

Gillette must have tried a tandem-blade DE razor like the Harrison design.  I wonder why they didn't use it.  Any patents would have long expired by then.  Maybe that was the rub:  If Gillette couldn't patent the concept, they didn't want to produce it.

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 03-29-2018, 07:05 AM
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Gillette did try the Twinjector (link goes to my blog), but that seem to have taken a back seat to their carts. It's possible, as you suggest, that Gillette wasn't too keen on manufacturing something they couldn't patent and control.

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