12-03-2021, 08:10 PM
#1
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
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The Empire Razor is obscure, and probably Australian. I have seen OC versions, but I thought this one nice. Interesting ‘clip’ slots for blades (but not really clips) and a pretty Deco-ish handle. It is stamped “No 2” and “Patent Applied For”. 

I’m thinking early 1940s?

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 12-03-2021, 08:27 PM
#2
  • 2Chops
  • Senior Member
  • North Central PA
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Cool looking razor.  I love the art deco look.  I wonder how it shaves.

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 12-03-2021, 09:02 PM
#3
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
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A bit of research indicates that it was probably made by Que Products, NSW Australia, 1942, but patented in 1944. or was that 1946? Wink

Apparently it is ‘adjustable’ meaning you tighten and loosen the handle (?). 

Here is the Mignon (USA) patent:

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 12-03-2021, 09:08 PM
#4
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
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Here is a variant, sold on that well-known auction site for US $105 plus shipping and taxes. I found mine at a flea market, $5 US. Please don’t hate me. Smile

[Image: P7gbOwg.jpg]

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 12-03-2021, 11:17 PM
#5
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Very nice - I like how the blade alignment guide pins are made by cutting / stamping / forming part of the material of the sheet metal top cap. Simple, easy, and cheap in a war time economy.

US 2,402,116 gives priority to an Australian patent from August 1943 - but I can't seem to find that one online.

The concept of a mostly stamped razor does remind me of the "vending machine razor" I first saw David mention here on the 'nook a couple of years ago - but even simpler and easier to make.

A very nice find Shaun - I might dive deeper into the patent in the near future Wink

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 12-03-2021, 11:33 PM
#6
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
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(12-03-2021, 11:17 PM)WegianWarrior Wrote: Very nice - I like how the blade alignment guide pins are made by cutting / stamping / forming part of the material of the sheet metal top cap. Simple, easy, and cheap in a war time economy.

US 2,402,116 gives priority to an Australian patent from August 1943 - but I can't seem to find that one online.

The concept of a mostly stamped razor does remind me of the "vending machine razor" I first saw David mention here on the 'nook a couple of years ago - but even simpler and easier to make.

A very nice find Shaun - I might dive deeper into the patent in the near future Wink

Thought you'd like this. There is more information available: https://pdfpiw.uspto.gov/.piw?docid=0240...patimg.htm

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 12-04-2021, 12:39 AM
#7
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Given that it is out of the pack... how does it shave Wink ?

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 12-04-2021, 12:43 AM
#8
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
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I’ll give it a try some time soon. Smile

I gave the cap a polish. It is steel, not plated brass. The base plate and handle are a different colour steel. The contrast is truly beautiful when assembled:
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 12-04-2021, 10:56 AM
#9
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Shiny...

You do realize you just have to polish the rest as well  now?

Also; someone with access to a hydraulic press and a die-maker got to set up a production line for these bad boys Smile

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 12-05-2021, 01:44 AM
#10
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
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(12-04-2021, 10:56 AM)WegianWarrior Wrote: Shiny...

You do realize you just have to polish the rest as well  now?

Also; someone with access to a hydraulic press and a die-maker got to set up a production line for these bad boys Smile

That WOULD be interesting! 

Now (of course) I have just realised that mine must be an improvement on the original as patented and pictured. Mine is, after all, the No.2. 

The improvement has to do with a couple of things: the end of the handle now receives the thread that is built onto the top plate, now sealed off like most 3-piece razors; and the edges of the cap are now the same on both sides. There must have been no particular advantage in these characteristics of first version, and the manufacturing of No.2 may have just represented an even more simplified process.

But now I want the first version!!

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 12-05-2021, 02:21 PM
#11
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Shaun, are the two sides of the top cap different on your No2 razor?

Cause I'm looking at the patent, and part of what Mr Mingon claims is "One longitudinal edge 15 of this blade keep is chamfered and the other longitudinal edge 16 is set at an oblique angle. By this construction of the edges 15-16 one edge of a razor blade held by the blade keep is more exposed than the other. The edge most exposed may be used to shave a tough beard and the other edge used to shave a soft beard"

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 12-05-2021, 02:29 PM
#12
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
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(12-05-2021, 02:21 PM)WegianWarrior Wrote: Shaun, are the two sides of the top cap different on your No2 razor?

Cause I'm looking at the patent, and part of what Mr Mingon claims is "One longitudinal edge 15 of this blade keep is chamfered and the other longitudinal edge 16 is set at an oblique angle. By this construction of the edges 15-16 one edge of a razor blade held by the blade keep is more exposed than the other. The edge most exposed may be used to shave a tough beard and the other edge used to shave a soft beard"
No. They are the same. That’s what I meant earlier by saying these changes (top cap edges now the same) were probably not worth the trouble. The No.2 simplified the manufacturing process, I’d say. I did look at the two edges initially to check exactly what you are enquiring about. We think alike!

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 12-05-2021, 08:26 PM
#13
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(12-05-2021, 02:29 PM)Shaun Wrote:
(12-05-2021, 02:21 PM)WegianWarrior Wrote: Shaun, are the two sides of the top cap different on your No2 razor?

Cause I'm looking at the patent, and part of what Mr Mingon claims is "One longitudinal edge 15 of this blade keep is chamfered and the other longitudinal edge 16 is set at an oblique angle. By this construction of the edges 15-16 one edge of a razor blade held by the blade keep is more exposed than the other. The edge most exposed may be used to shave a tough beard and the other edge used to shave a soft beard"
No. They are the same. That’s what I meant earlier by saying these changes (top cap edges now the same) were probably not worth the trouble. The No.2 simplified the manufacturing process, I’d say. I did look at the two edges initially to check exactly what you are enquiring about. We think alike!

Great minds etc Tongue

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 12-07-2021, 08:18 AM
#14
  • timwcic
  • Active Member
  • St Petersburg, Fl
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Very interesting find. Here is its OC brother found at a flea market. Funny, this was priced the same

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 12-07-2021, 09:00 AM
#15
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
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(12-07-2021, 08:18 AM)timwcic Wrote: Very interesting find. Here is its OC brother found at a flea market. Funny, this was priced the same

[Image: LfpzsQ9.jpg]

[Image: ddfjMUQ.jpg]

[Image: fh6UyOp.jpg]

Yes, I have seen these varieties. Note the difference in lugs though; yours is like the standard ‘Gillette’ type (not pressed-out U shapes), as well as being OC.

I think the ‘George Mignon’ patents were completely unique but bought out or acquired by Empire in the later 1940s, but I would need more precise dating.

Your Empire is more readily found (here in Australia) than the pressed-steel/pressed out ‘Mignon’.

Thanks for bringing yours out! I have one like it, but unmarked.

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 01-14-2022, 04:25 PM
#16
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
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And then today, I find this in a flea market: original tin, with insert specifying the Que company, plus an original Que blade! Pictures:

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 01-14-2022, 07:48 PM
#17
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
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Advert: 1946 (Western Australia)

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