08-08-2021, 05:05 PM
#1
  • Bax
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Yeah, I dated a GEM, then married her.  But enough about that, on to razors...


I'm having trouble finding out info about my GEM.  It has the "1912" head, of course, but it has a Bakelite handle that's different from the fat ones I've seen online.  It's a skinny bakelite handle.  It came in a groovy sliding-cover Bakelite case that has "GEM Jr." molded on the lid.  (Maybe it's plastic, but I sound more erudite when I say fancy words like Bakelite, even though Bakelite and plastic seem like the same stuff to me.  It could be a nylon graphite composite super-goofy cosmic space-age polymer for all I know.)

Here's a pic:
[Image: IgWFJH6.jpg]
I figure I could keep wandering the interweb-net like a bewildered old fool, or just ask here in the Shave Nook... I reckon there is a GEM expert in here who'll say "why, that's OBVIOUSLY a 1939 Traveling Stooge edition that was popularized after it appeared in the movie "At the Circus" when Groucho Marx (as Attorney Loophole) used one in the film - there were 52 billion of them made in the US, UK, Ukraine, and Uganda.  (Or some such thing that'll make me feel stupid, like the only person on the planet who didn't already KNOW that!)  We have experts in this forum, y'know.  As Attorney Loophole might say:  "I've seen the evidence!"

So where in the GEM timeline would this little set fall?
Anyone got any guesses?
Thanks,
- Bax

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 08-09-2021, 09:07 PM
#2
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Best guess I can make based on the Google is "the 20's". Pretty wide span though...

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 08-10-2021, 04:15 AM
#3
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(08-08-2021, 05:05 PM)Bax Wrote: Yeah, I dated a GEM, then married her.  But enough about that, on to razors...


I'm having trouble finding out info about my GEM.  It has the "1912" head, of course, but it has a Bakelite handle that's different from the fat ones I've seen online.  It's a skinny bakelite handle.  It came in a groovy sliding-cover Bakelite case that has "GEM Jr." molded on the lid.  (Maybe it's plastic, but I sound more erudite when I say fancy words like Bakelite, even though Bakelite and plastic seem like the same stuff to me.  It could be a nylon graphite composite super-goofy cosmic space-age polymer for all I know.)

Here's a pic:
[Image: IgWFJH6.jpg]
I figure I could keep wandering the interweb-net like a bewildered old fool, or just ask here in the Shave Nook... I reckon there is a GEM expert in here who'll say "why, that's OBVIOUSLY a 1939 Traveling Stooge edition that was popularized after it appeared in the movie "At the Circus" when Groucho Marx (as Attorney Loophole) used one in the film - there were 52 billion of them made in the US, UK, Ukraine, and Uganda.  (Or some such thing that'll make me feel stupid, like the only person on the planet who didn't already KNOW that!)  We have experts in this forum, y'know.  As Attorney Loophole might say:  "I've seen the evidence!"

So where in the GEM timeline would this little set fall?
Anyone got any guesses?
Thanks,
- Bax
Hmm definitely not 20s. The case and handle are similar to those used by Conrad/Clix and Gillette during WW2. Appears to be plastic rather than Bakelite (which is fragile, cases are often chipped). The fat handle Junior is widely advertised during the war and early postwar period (especially 44-48) but don't find ads for this version.

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[Image: 2d8c92119c96f0ac88d3c50b889e4f31.jpg]

Here's another WW2 Junior. Blades modern Micromatics.
[Image: 9516dc0782cddc5903cc22f8d259deb2.jpg]

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 08-10-2021, 04:35 AM
#4
  • Bax
  • Active Member
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I stumbled across some advertised on auction sites and whatnot as WWII military contract sets, but said "STAR" rather than "GEM" on the lid -- and contained a DE bakelite razor, not a brass-head SE.  It looks like the sliding case had longer legs than the razor did!

I also found an auction site that had a GEM like mine with paperwork that says "for U.S. Armed Forces" but that doesn't really give it a date.  The seller asserts it's WWII, but the instructions apparently say "for the US Armed Forces -- but that doesn't mean it was WWII, nor does "for the US Armed Forces" mean it was an issue item (could have been a BX/PX item). 

Here's their ad:
[Image: j1AeSw4.jpg]
Too bad nobody's scanned the instruction manual from this kit into a .pdf so we could read it... perhaps there is some other evidence in there that would help date the kit.  If GEM merged with STAR in 1919 to become American Safety Razor, then this would suggest the "Armed Forces" razor above would have been for WWI, not WWII!

HOWEVER, it's clear that the GEM brand lived on independently after the merger with STAR into ASR.  ASR produced razors under both monikers (as well as Ever-Ready) for many years after the merger.  I found the below chart that suggests my razor in the original post could be a 1943... that's when the "slim" version (with Bakelite handle).  Absent any evidence to the contrary, that scintilla of evidence would suggest that it's more likely a 1943 than any other date, at least according to what I can divine from this chart (and the paucity of information available elsewhere):

[Image: JxBbAQ2.png]

Too bad GEM stuff isn't documented very well; this chart is pretty awesome, but it's about the only resource out there (there's a newer, less complete version of this floating around online, too).  It'd be nice to see pics of the different razors, cases, boxes, and literature (instruction manuals) and whatnot, in an organized wiki sort of fashion.    

My groovy '43 Slim Bakelite-Handled 1912-Head GEM Junior is still a pretty cool razor, even if the evidence that pins it to 1943 is pretty weak.
  :-)
- Assistant Professor Intern Sleuth Bax

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 08-10-2021, 04:40 AM
#5
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(08-10-2021, 04:35 AM)Bax Wrote: I stumbled across some advertised on auction sites and whatnot as WWII military contract sets, but said "STAR" rather than "GEM" on the lid -- and contained a DE bakelite razor, not a brass-head SE.  It looks like the sliding case had longer legs than the razor did!

I also found an auction site that had a GEM like mine with paperwork that says "for U.S. Armed Forces" but that doesn't really give it a date.  The seller asserts it's WWII, but the instructions apparently say "for the US Armed Forces -- but that doesn't mean it was WWII, nor does "for the US Armed Forces" mean it was an issue item (could have been a BX/PX item). 

Here's their ad:
[Image: j1AeSw4.jpg]
Too bad nobody's scanned the instruction manual from this kit into a .pdf so we could read it... perhaps there is some other evidence in there that would help date the kit.  If GEM merged with STAR in 1919 to become American Safety Razor, then this would suggest the "Armed Forces" razor above would have been for WWI, not WWII!

HOWEVER, it's clear that the GEM brand lived on independently after the merger with STAR into ASR.  ASR produced razors under both monikers (as well as Ever-Ready) for many years after the merger.  I found the below chart that suggests my razor in the original post could be a 1943... that's when the "slim" version (with Bakelite handle).  Absent any evidence to the contrary, that scintilla of evidence would suggest that it's more likely a 1943 than any other date, at least according to what I can divine from this chart (and the paucity of information available elsewhere):

[Image: JxBbAQ2.png]

Too bad GEM stuff isn't documented very well; this chart is pretty awesome, but it's about the only resource out there (there's a newer, less complete version of this floating around online, too).  It'd be nice to see pics of the different razors, cases, boxes, and literature (instruction manuals) and whatnot, in an organized wiki sort of fashion.    

My groovy '43 Slim Bakelite-Handled 1912-Head GEM Junior is still a pretty cool razor, even if the evidence that pins it to 1943 is pretty weak.
  :-)
- Assistant Professor Intern Sleuth Bax
It's a WW2 period razor. Not really a tough call. Sure, call it a '43.

Sent from my Google Chromebook Pixel (2015) using Tapatalk

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 08-10-2021, 05:06 AM
#6
  • Bax
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Hey!  That comment was by jmudrick!   One of the experts whose knowledge and experience was captured in the Swell Chart above (see the small print at the bottom of the chart)!  If a leading expert on GEMs says that mine is a WWII-era, then by golly that's what it is -- the mystery has been definitively solved!!!  I feel honored to have the assessment offered by such a world-renowned GEM dignitary and expert in the field!  
Thanks a boodle!
    :-)
- Bax

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