British Flare Tip Rocket "S" Stamped

Discussion in 'Safety Razors' started by Rusty blade, Jan 29, 2016.

  1. Rusty blade

    Rusty blade The Good Humor Man

    I asked this question some time ago and no one seemed to know the answer. I thought I would ask again, just in case someone missed my first posting.

    Does anyone know the date of the Made in England Flare Tip Rocket with an "S" stamp for a date code? Does anyone know what the "s" stands for? Sorry for the poor quality of the pics...low light and an incompetent cameraman.
    British Riocket.jpg S Stamp.jpg
  2. Gabe

    Gabe Well-Known Member

    Interesting . Is it part of the date code ? I don't see any date codes stamped in the corners like US made Superspeeds. Only time I've seen Gillette stamp something in that location is the "+" sign on Redtips.
  3. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    I can help you narrow it down some. That model has the flatter head profile and end caps, making it one of the later Rockets. Post 1962 or thereabouts. The Brits started putting the actual date codes on razors in the late 80's to early 90's.

    Rockets like yours are often marked with an "A" or an "S," and nobody knows why.
  4. RaZorBurn123

    RaZorBurn123 waiting hardily...............

  5. Rusty blade

    Rusty blade The Good Humor Man

    A gent on the Shaving Room directed me to another post in TSD by @MTgrayling

    "#20: Flare Tip Rocket; there were some of what I assume are newer vintage Flare Tips that have either an "A" or "S" stamped under head but only on a single side of the handle. What this represents is anyone's guess, but these Rockets also have end caps like an American Super Speed. Along with the end caps these had a slightly different lower head profile. Brit. Pat. 694093 stamped in the blade tray, 58 grams."

    The mystery continues....
  6. Rusty blade

    Rusty blade The Good Humor Man

    Thanks Ryan...very helpful. I also came across a post somewhere that said the Gillette factory in England made razors for other countries and they stamped the first letter of the country on the base plates, eg. "G" for Germany, "F" for France, etc. So a possible explanation for the "S" stamp might be Scotland? A long shot, but who knows. Interesting history. I may try to track this lead down through one of the archives in the UK...just to satisfy my curiosity.
    This British rocket is a really nice razor to shave has a bit more weight than the US built rockets.
    Carbide Mike likes this.
  7. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    If that was the case, the 'S' would more likely refer to Spain.

    I think it's more likely that the 'S' was to identify the die that stamped out that part.

    Edit: The very bottom paragraph shouldn't have strike through, but I can't figure out how to reverse it. Lol

    Razors marked for sale to other countries usually had a numeral marking. 'II' indicated Germany or a German speaking market. If I remember correctly, 'I' was for the French market.

    Edit: My poor memory. The I, II, and III stampings refer to the aggression of the razor. They differentiated between the light (blue tip), medium, and heavy (red tip) razors.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017
  8. Rusty blade

    Rusty blade The Good Humor Man

    I also posted this question on The Shaving Room forum, a U.K. site hoping someone in the British scene might know the answer. One gent responded he thought the "S" stamp denoted the change Gillette made to a smaller head on this razor sometime in the early 60s. He said it shaves just a "frog hair less aggressive" than the earlier larger head model. Seems like a reasonable explanation.

    SHAVEWIZARD420 Well-Known Member

    Can't help with identification, but it looks like a nice razor Rusty blade. Flair Tips are great razors, and a piece of history.
    Carbide Mike and Rusty blade like this.
  10. Rusty blade

    Rusty blade The Good Humor Man

    I agree. This razor is a pleasure to use. A great little piece of history. :happy088:
  11. TitanTTB

    TitanTTB Well-Known Member

    I have an English Tech from the 70's that has S P stamped on it. I assumed it was a date code or referred to the factory it came from but never found a solid answer. My HD Rocket has Roman numerals.
  12. Rusty blade

    Rusty blade The Good Humor Man

  13. The Daily Blade

    The Daily Blade Active Member

    Interesting. I just got one of these razors from a seller in Canada and it has the II stamp on the underside. Also, the handle looks white bright kind of like Rhodium. I, as many here I am sure, am seeing all kinds of stuff about these razors and would be interested in more commentary for sure. By the way, not sue if it helps ID this thing or not but it weighs right at 58 grams
    Recklesstr, PLANofMAN and BeShaved like this.
  14. The Daily Blade

    The Daily Blade Active Member

    By the way, the case did not come with this razor. It was used for the photo only!! The case has a fat handle tech in it
    BeShaved likes this.
  15. Jayaruh

    Jayaruh The Cackalacky House Pet

    Supporting Vendor
  16. preidy

    preidy Just call me Dino

    Just noticed that a previously obtained Rocket Flair Tip (my second) has flat end caps like the US Super Speeds. It has all the same marking (made in England & Pat Date) like the late 50's Reg Rocket Flair Tips with pointed caps - but oddly does not have an "S' marking or other on the tray bottom? I was going to sell it since I had two but I changed my mind and will add this one to my Rocket collection.

    IMG_2588.JPG hh.jpg IMG_2605nn.JPG
    Recklesstr and Carbide Mike like this.
  17. Morman Bridge

    Morman Bridge Well-Known Member

    Hi folks, this thread got me to revisit a couple of my old razors too. I have an English made Gillette Super Speed Flare Tip, and an English made Flare Tip Rocket.
    While examining them I discovered the Flare Tip Super Speed seems to have a rhodium finish. It also has a Maltese cross type screw in the handle. It does have the Brit Patent number in the blade tray. It has Rocket type end caps, and I noticed the indentation above the TTO knob is the same distance from the knob as all the pre 1961 Flare Tip Super Speeds.

    The Only thing I really noticed about the Flare Tip Rocket was it has a "II" marking on the bottom of the tray.

    Here is the English Flare Tip Super Speed, on the left, with my English Flare Tip Rocket on the left.


    And here is a photo of a 1953 USA made Flare Tip Super Speed on the left, English Super Speed I the middle, and English Rocket Flare Tip on the right.


    I wonder if my Super Speed is rhodium played?

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  18. Taipan

    Taipan Well-Known Member

    My understanding of the 'I'; 'II' and 'III' markings was to determine the relative aggressiveness. So the Blue Tip (Mild) is 'I'; Silver Tip (Medium) is 'II' and the Red Tip (Strong) is 'III'.
    I don't know what the 'S' denotes though.
    Carbide Mike likes this.
  19. Taipan

    Taipan Well-Known Member

    I have a '58 'TV Special' UK Rocket that is rhodium plated. The knurling is different too the regular Rocket Flair-Tip. I think your English Super Speed is nickel plated but the English made ones seem to come up brighter.
    preidy, PLANofMAN and Carbide Mike like this.
  20. Taipan

    Taipan Well-Known Member

    Hope this is a clearer picture.
    Rhodium plated on the left; nickel plated on the right.
    preidy, PLANofMAN and Carbide Mike like this.

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