05-12-2021, 11:46 AM
#1
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Hi, been awhile.

Would like to draw on the expertise of the group.  I just purchased this vintage Gillette travel set on ebay.  Everything looks great but there's no date code on the head.  I believe this set is from the mid 19 teens right?  Shouldn't it have one?  Were any Gillette razors made without codes?  It does have the trademark logo, "Made in the USA and the ubiquitous crack from the press fitting.  Should I be suspicious it's not authentic?  Sorry the pics are so huge, don't know how to resize them.  Thank you for your input.

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 05-12-2021, 12:18 PM
#2
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Gillette serialized all razors between 1904 and 1921, and deluxe models until 1931. Date codes were introduced in 1951, and stopped being used in 2001.

Looking at the set I would peg it as a Old (shape of head and top cap), likely from the 20's. There may (or may not) be a serial number on the barrel of the twisting know or under the top cap.. but just as likely not. The crack in the handle is quite normal and easily fixed if it's a major problem.

Lovely looking razor Smile

/Edit:
To build on that;
According to Waits, it is a "1907 Single Ring", which he says was produced until ca. 1920, but I know was manufactured later (ie: I own one that is post 1921).
The diamond trademark on the lid of the case was first used in 1908.
The top cap looks to be thick (comparatively speaking) and with rounded corners, which would point to the razor being from somewhere between 1921 and 1929.
The layout of the case is similar to the Military Set (not to be confused with the khaki set), but then that was based on a civilian set... namely the combination / Traveler Set first sold in 1912, and offered until at least 1927. If your case has a mirror in the lid, it is likely 1925 or older, if it does not it is likely from 1927 plus/minus a couple of years.

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 05-12-2021, 02:06 PM
#3
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Thank you so much.  Love learning about these as I've recently been bit buy the vintage collecting bug.  What really blew me away was the condition of the case because all others I'd seen were pretty tattered.  Question, did all the sets before 1925 have a mirror in the lid?

Is Waits the author of a reference handbook?  What reference books would you recommend?  Are there any guidebooks on relative value?  I always wonder if I'm getting taken.  I pretty much only have to go by what I see on ebay and Etsy. 


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 05-12-2021, 09:33 PM
#4
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Quote: Question, did all the sets before 1925 have a mirror in the lid?

At least advertisements from 1925 and earlier shows travel kits a mirror in the lid, and the advertisement from 1927 does not - but, just to confuse the case, I've spotted a 1922 and a 1920 advertisement where the golden set have a mirror and the silvered version does not... mind you, the golden set with a mirror cost a whooping 10$, but you could save 2.50$ if silver and no mirror was okay. The fact that your set is golden, has no serials, and is in the no-mirror case makes me believe it's from the end of production of this particular kind of set.

Unless what you got there is a Combination Set and not a Traveler Set... those were sold in similar cases, don't seem to ever have had the mirror, and I can't quite pin down when they stopped selling them. And no, I'm not clear on what the difference is - it could be that the Traveler Kit came with a brush. In 1921 the 00G was advertised for 4.50$, so it must have offered less than the more expensive kit. For what it's worth, your set looks very similar to what Mr Razor have identified as a Standard Combination Set 00G on his site.

Quote:Is Waits the author of a reference handbook?  What reference books would you recommend?   

Robert K. Waits' Safety Razor Compendium is the best printed source I'm familiar with when it comes to vintage razors - even if Waits on occasion has mistakes or misses out on details.
Additionally, fellow shavers are a great source of information, there is plenty of good info online (remember to cross reference), and old patents can be a gold mine.

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 05-13-2021, 06:10 AM
#5
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Thanks again!

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