09-05-2019, 11:20 PM
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/Edit: earlier patent found, see further down in the thread

Quote:Be it known that I, Thomas E McDermott, a citizen of the United States, residing at Somerville, in the county of Middleand State of Massachusetts, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Safety-Razors...
I'll grant that Mr McDermott's invention - which he filed a patent for in 1908 - was certainly new and novel enough for the patent office to grant a patent for... but I'm not entirely convinced that it was a particularly useful improvement. Or an improvement, period. The patents describes a couple of interesting ideas though, and his razor might be one of the first one to include a twist to open mechanism - it is the earliest patent I've seen that includes one - even if Mr McDermott describes it as an mechanism to primarily adjust the blade gap.
[Image: US1107538-drawings-page-1.png]
Mr McDermott's main idea seems to be that what he terms the "blade-bed" - the base plate in double edge terminology - should be resilient and exert a "constant yielding pressure" on the blade, thereby permitting the blade to be adjusted for a close or medium shave and preventing the cutting edge from vibrating.
He solved this by making the base plate spring loaded and movable, so the springs would press the base plate against the equivalent of the top cap. The blade-bed assembly consisted of a bottom piece that included the safety bar, two springs with spring guides, an upper piece that presses against the blades, and some "attaching and connecting parts" - ie.: fasteners and the like. The whole blade-bed assembly is mounted on a threaded rod that can be adjusted up and down via a nut in the handle to adjust the blade gap... and to allow replacement of the blade. It's the last detail which in my opinion makes this a very, very early example of a twist to open razor.
Mr McDermott also added a second so called improvement to his patent; a roller for rubbing lather on the face. Curiously enough he barely explains it in the text of the patent, just a short paragraph:
Quote:A lather roller 34 provided with longitudinal corrugations 35 on its surface is attached to the wall 6 by ears 36 or the roller may be attached to the side arms 2 of the frame 1. The ears 36 are provided with openings into which the ends of the spindle 38 pass. A spring catch 39 may be placed, if desired, over the ends of the spindle 38, to permit the lather roller to be readily attached and detached.
And that is all he had to say about that improvement... to me it seems like his main idea was the resilient blade-bed, and the roller just got tacked onto the design later. Such a roller could be added to almost any single edged razor though, if someone was so inclined.
To me the outstanding idea in Mr McDermott's patent was something he barely touched upon; twisting a knurled nut located in the handle to open the razor for replacing the blade. His resilient blade bed was an evolutionary dead end when it comes to adjustability, and the less we say about his roller, the better.*
This seems to be the only razor or shaving related patent Mr McDermott filed, his other patents are for an animal trap, a folding boat and an improved oar lock.

*) We don't want to give the multinationals ideas of what more to tack onto their flexible, vibrating, multi-bladed cartridge razors, do we?

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 09-06-2019, 03:18 AM
#2
  • eengler
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Great find Hans!

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 09-06-2019, 05:23 AM
#3
  • RyznRio
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Poor Mr. McD, he couldn't see the gold amid the rocks.

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 09-06-2019, 08:05 AM
#4
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Hans, you have a possible second career as a Patent Examiner at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

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 09-06-2019, 02:11 PM
#5
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Earlier than McDermott was the patent for a one piece Gillette type, combining both adjustability and a swing out handle I can't quite wrap my brain around.

https://patents.google.com/patent/US944989A/en[Image: e3fe57c1354f25e2426fcf78ceeefbba.jpg][Image: 38664b31de9a4970ceb1b346311a0857.jpg]

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 09-06-2019, 09:42 PM
#6
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(09-06-2019, 02:11 PM)jmudrick Wrote: Earlier than McDermott was the patent for a one piece Gillette type, combining both adjustability and a swing out handle I can't quite wrap my brain around.

https://patents.google.com/patent/US944989A/en

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Very interesting.. that didn't show up with the search words I was using. Thank you for pointing it out Biggrin

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 09-07-2019, 05:33 AM
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(09-06-2019, 09:42 PM)WegianWarrior Wrote:
(09-06-2019, 02:11 PM)jmudrick Wrote: Earlier than McDermott was the patent for a one piece Gillette type, combining both adjustability and a swing out handle I can't quite wrap my brain around.

https://patents.google.com/patent/US944989A/en

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Very interesting.. that didn't show up with the search words I was using. Thank you for pointing it out Biggrin
It was referenced in the judgement against Gillette in their suit against Segal for patent infringement. Along with a couple other pre-1930 patents predating both Segal and Gillette held patents.

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 09-07-2019, 05:58 AM
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(09-07-2019, 05:33 AM)jmudrick Wrote:
(09-06-2019, 09:42 PM)WegianWarrior Wrote:
(09-06-2019, 02:11 PM)jmudrick Wrote: Earlier than McDermott was the patent for a one piece Gillette type, combining both adjustability and a swing out handle I can't quite wrap my brain around.

https://patents.google.com/patent/US944989A/en

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Very interesting.. that didn't show up with the search words I was using. Thank you for pointing it out Biggrin
It was referenced in the judgement against Gillette in their suit against Segal for patent infringement. Along with a couple other pre-1930 patents predating both Segal and Gillette held patents.

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Also interested to note that the patent is assigned to Gillette Co LLC, indicating they bought it at some point - possible after the court case.

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 09-07-2019, 06:12 AM
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(09-07-2019, 05:58 AM)WegianWarrior Wrote:
(09-07-2019, 05:33 AM)jmudrick Wrote:
(09-06-2019, 09:42 PM)WegianWarrior Wrote: Very interesting.. that didn't show up with the search words I was using. Thank you for pointing it out Biggrin
It was referenced in the judgement against Gillette in their suit against Segal for patent infringement. Along with a couple other pre-1930 patents predating both Segal and Gillette held patents.

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Also interested to note that the patent is assigned to Gillette Co LLC, indicating they bought it at some point - possible after the court case.
From the 1939 judgement:

"The idea of a one piece razor of the Gillette type did not originate with O'Malley. In this respect it was anticipated by the Edmonds patent No. 944,989 of 1909, and the Dunn patent No. 1,064,457 of 1913. Both of these patents were issued to the Gillette Company as assignee."

The O'Malley patent was most relevant to their claim, the others being no longer in force.

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 09-07-2019, 04:12 PM
#10
  • RyznRio
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(09-06-2019, 08:05 AM)TheLegalRazor Wrote: Hans, you have a possible second career as a Patent Examiner at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Now that would be an interesting commute.

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 09-07-2019, 04:51 PM
#11
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(09-07-2019, 06:12 AM)jmudrick Wrote:
(09-07-2019, 05:58 AM)WegianWarrior Wrote:
(09-07-2019, 05:33 AM)jmudrick Wrote: It was referenced in the judgement against Gillette in their suit against Segal for patent infringement. Along with a couple other pre-1930 patents predating both Segal and Gillette held patents.

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Also interested to note that the patent is assigned to Gillette Co LLC, indicating they bought it at some point - possible after the court case.
From the 1939 judgement:

"The idea of a one piece razor of the Gillette type did not originate with O'Malley. In this respect it was anticipated by the Edmonds patent No. 944,989 of 1909, and the Dunn patent No. 1,064,457 of 1913. Both of these patents were issued to the Gillette Company as assignee."

The O'Malley patent was most relevant to their claim, the others being no longer in force.

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Very interesting.. thank you Biggrin

The Dunn patent isn't really a twist to open in the normal meaning of the word, but an interesting way to make a one piece razor. I'll likely do a quick write up on both Biggrin

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