09-01-2020, 12:48 AM
#1
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I’ve mentioned the Christy razor in the past, as well as other razors that built on the same idea or used Christy blades. As mentioned, the blades at least were for sale until the early thirties. What I found today shows that razors themselves were offered until at least 1927, competing for the low end of the market.
[Image: Vintage_Newspaper_Advertising_For_The_Ch...7x1024.jpg]
Newspaper Advertising For The Christy Safety Razor, The Indianapolis Indiana News, July 5, 1927
See – the ad urges – how an unprotected blade wrinkles the skin. Marvel – it beseech – how the massage bar* smoothens the skin! Just like the barber does!!
Was skin stretching unheard of in the 1920s? Were shavers unaware that stretching the skin helps give a smooth shave? Or were the Christy company fighting tooth and nail to stay in the game, playing the razor and blade strategy^? A strategy that came more into play after the original Gillette patent had expired in 1921 and cheaper double edged razors started to appear on the market.
I am a little dubious of the claim that millions of razors were sold in the preceding year. It is not unthinkable that a large slice of those were promotional freebies, snatched up for the cost of ten blades. In other words; sixty-nine US cents – or 10.30$ in 2020. At that price point, you could make the argument that the new Christy razor could fill a similar niche as disposables do today. Buy the kit, work your way through the pack of blades, then get rid of the whole thing.
That said; it’s nice to see that Christy and his razors went down swinging to keep their share of the market.

*) As patented in 1924, US patent 1,502,615 (Skin smoothing and stretching device for safety razors)
^) “Razor and blade”, a business strategy of creating a market by selling cheap (or giving a way) a product. You can then recoup the cost by selling a related product, preferable a consumable. The classic example is – as the name suggest – a free razor which you then have to buy blades for.

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 09-01-2020, 09:56 AM
#2
  • RyznRio
  • Active Member
  • Connecticut
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My, my, the Gent pictured in this add certainly looks pleased, perhaps his experience at the massage bar culminated in a happy ending. wrinkle free baby!

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 09-01-2020, 04:33 PM
#3
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Oddly enough when you see Christy razors for sale it’s usually from rural areas/states.

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 09-02-2020, 12:48 AM
#4
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(09-01-2020, 04:33 PM)DIrving79 Wrote: Oddly enough when you see Christy razors for sale it’s usually from rural areas/states.

I have an interesting source - which I might write about later - which states that:
Quote:Before the expiration of the Gillette patents, the replaceable-blade market was segmented, with Gillette occupying the high end with razor sets listing at $5.00 and other brands such as Ever-Ready and Gem Junior occupying the low-end with sets listing at $1.00.

Christy's razors - which as a rule is simpler / cheaper to manufacture than EverReady and Gem razors - would be filling the niche that is the lower end of the low-end market.

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 09-02-2020, 03:57 AM
#5
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Queens, NY
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I confess to being completely unaware of Christy razors until now. My reaction was similar, Hans. If a million of them were sold, where are they? Were they so flimsy and delicate that they simply broke into bits and were trashed?

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 09-02-2020, 09:01 AM
#6
  • Harvey
  • Senior Member
  • North Hills CA
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I have one..must admit never used it..came with box,instructions and one blade...says on box not to be sold...says complimentary razor...Fremont Ohio

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 09-02-2020, 02:19 PM
#7
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I came to this thread thinking the razor would shave your wrinkles away...

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 09-02-2020, 11:26 PM
#8
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(09-02-2020, 09:01 AM)Harvey Wrote: I have one..must admit never used it..came with box,instructions and one blade...says on box not to be sold...says complimentary razor...Fremont Ohio
If you have it accessible, any chance of a photo? All the images I've found are either black and white or blurry.

(09-02-2020, 02:19 PM)mike_the_kraken Wrote: I came to this thread thinking the razor would shave your wrinkles away...

A straight razor wielded carelessly should take care of that... Tongue

(09-02-2020, 03:57 AM)chazt Wrote: I confess to being completely unaware of Christy razors until now. My reaction was similar, Hans. If a million of them were sold, where are they? Were they so flimsy and delicate that they simply broke into bits and were trashed?
There is about one page worth of information in Waits' Compendium, and about as much available online. Christy started a knife company in 1891 (still in business today, I recently learned), patented his first razor in 1902, and created a company specifically to make razors in 1907. Judging by the available information, Christy aimed for the low end of the marked, and in addition to selling under his own name also licensed other companies to make razors to his design (as well as manufacturing razors for third parties - acting as an OEM in today's parlance). The last Christy style razors Waits mentions is the Keen Kutter by Shapleigh Hardware company, and the Durham Enders Company's Speed Shaver - both lasting into the 50's.
There is probably a lot of razors made to Christy's patents in various drawers... and a lot more in the landfills around the world.

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 09-03-2020, 07:18 PM
#9
  • Harvey
  • Senior Member
  • North Hills CA
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(09-02-2020, 11:26 PM)WegianWarrior Wrote:
(09-02-2020, 09:01 AM)Harvey Wrote: I have one..must admit never used it..came with box,instructions and one blade...says on box not to be sold...says complimentary razor...Fremont Ohio
If you have it accessible, any chance of a photo? All the images I've found are either black and white or blurry...>>>>>Looks just like the one in your first post


(09-02-2020, 02:19 PM)mike_the_kraken Wrote: I came to this thread thinking the razor would shave your wrinkles away...

A straight razor wielded carelessly should take care of that... Tongue


(09-02-2020, 03:57 AM)chazt Wrote: I confess to being completely unaware of Christy razors until now. My reaction was similar, Hans. If a million of them were sold, where are they? Were they so flimsy and delicate that they simply broke into bits and were trashed?
There is about one page worth of information in Waits' Compendium, and about as much available online. Christy started a knife company in 1891 (still in business today, I recently learned), patented his first razor in 1902, and created a company specifically to make razors in 1907. Judging by the available information, Christy aimed for the low end of the marked, and in addition to selling under his own name also licensed other companies to make razors to his design (as well as manufacturing razors for third parties - acting as an OEM in today's parlance). The last Christy style razors Waits mentions is the Keen Kutter by Shapleigh Hardware company, and the Durham Enders Company's Speed Shaver - both lasting into the 50's.
There is probably a lot of razors made to Christy's patents in various drawers... and a lot more in the landfills around the world.

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