The original Gillette safety razor from 1904

Discussion in 'Safety Razors' started by Adelio, Oct 9, 2012.

  1. Adelio

    Adelio Active Member

    Does anybody know if the orginal Gillette safety razor from 1904 ever turns up for sale? Are there images of it available? Was the Tech a major design change?
  2. johnus

    johnus Well-Known Member

    The single rings are easy to find on ebay. I've found that the war years are the best shavers. If you start away from the boxed sets you'll find them reasonably priced.
  3. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    Aye, there are images available. This is the Original razor design. I would be surprised if there are even 50 left in the world. If you are looking for the single rings, those are far more common.
  4. Slipperyjoe

    Slipperyjoe Rusty Metal Tetanus

    King Gillette's personal razor is apparently still kicking around. Someone on BB purportedly owns it...
  5. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    It was made for him by Tiffany. Presumably he shaved with it, but I wouldn't go so far as to say it was his personal razor. It is perhaps the most beautiful razor ever made though.:) Adelio, take the time to look up that thread, it's worth a read. I actually joined B&B just to be able to look at the pictures in that thread.
  6. IAmTheJody

    IAmTheJody Gillette-i Master

    The original invention, as seen above in PLAN's post, never made it to retail and was never made in 1904. The patent was granted in 1904 though.

    The first model to be sold by Gillette was the double-ring, starting in 1903 and ending in 1906. Only 51 razors and 168 blades were sold in 1903. The first 100 or so came in a lithographed tin box. The blades also came in a lithographed tin box. The remaining came in the common leather-covered wooden case, in a white shipper box or a black shipper box. Models produced prior to November of 1904 will have "PAT. APL'D FOR" on the band near the bottom knob. Models produced after November 1904 will have "PAT. NOV. 15.04" on the band. All of the 1903 ones made, didn't have a serial number and did have the "PAT. APL'D FOR" stamp. All of the 1904 ones made DID have a serial number and were stamped either with "PAT. APL'D FOR" for the first ones made in 1904 or "PAT. NOV. 15.04" for the later ones made in 1904.

    Here is a 1904 retail double-ring with the "PAT. APL'D FOR" stamp and a serial number of 23569:



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  7. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    :smiley respect:
    :smiley respect:
    :smiley respect:
    Still the master.:D Thanks for the correction and the pictures.
    IAmTheJody likes this.
  8. johnus

    johnus Well-Known Member

    Find dating the early Gillettes very interesting.
    I have a '04 type with a British pat. date of '02. Were these actually made in Britain in '02 or was that just the date that the pat. Was applied for there????
  9. IAmTheJody

    IAmTheJody Gillette-i Master

    The filing date for the British patent was in 1902 but it wasn't approved until October 1903. So if yours has an 02 on it, it would conceivable be made sometime in 1903. It should be stamped '28763 of 02' on the smooth band at the bottom of the handle.

    Does yours have a serial number on the screw-out stem? If so, does it start with the letter 'A'?
  10. Bird Lives

    Bird Lives Future Root Beer King of Turkey

    So Jody...does this lovely shave as good as she looks ??
  11. IAmTheJody

    IAmTheJody Gillette-i Master

    Unfortunately, she's not mine. She belongs to Jake. :(
  12. Oldguy

    Oldguy Member

    Hi Jody,

    Here is my Double Ring. It has no serial number and has the "Pat. Apl'd For" on the handle.


    While it is generally accepted that Gillette produced 51 Double Ring razors and a number of blades in 1903, It is very possible that they were not sold until 1904 although a few might have been given out as samples. By Gillette's closest estimation a total of about 55,000 razors were made without serial numbers. I certainly don't believe my DR is one of the original 51.
    However there is one feature of my razor which I originally thought was a fault until I saw a photo of another non-serialized DR with the same feature.

    The end of the razor handle has a slot machined in. It appears this was done to facilitate pressing the end onto the handle tube. It's what I would expect more from a prototype so maybe it is one of the very early ones.


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  13. IAmTheJody

    IAmTheJody Gillette-i Master

    Hi Len! Great to hear from you again!

    Yes, with that slot, no serial number and "Pat. Apl'd For" on it, I definitely think it was one of the very first. If not within that first 51, surely within the first 500. I've only seen 1 other Double Ring that had all of those things. Well, 2 now thanks to you showing yours.

    Thanks for sharing. Very awesome!
    Jim99 likes this.
  14. johnus

    johnus Well-Known Member

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1350225897.217540.jpg ImageUploadedByTapatalk1350225934.806700.jpg ImageUploadedByTapatalk1350225965.981454.jpg ImageUploadedByTapatalk1350225992.475620.jpg ImageUploadedByTapatalk1350226042.995828.jpg
    Photos of the '02 I've looked at the barrel and the comb a number of times and no serial number. The only Id is on the handle and that being the date and pat number. Thanks
    Jim99 likes this.
  15. IAmTheJody

    IAmTheJody Gillette-i Master

    Can't see the date and pat number from the small photos but that is a single-ring "old type" which is the second retail model Gillette made after the double-ring model.
  16. The Daily Blade

    The Daily Blade Active Member

    I am so hoping that I just scored on the bay for all of $44.00. Yeah, it was me that got what looks like and is described as a Gillette, double ring razor as shown in these photos. Box is not correct for the razor, but the razor looks right. I can't wait to have it in my hands and check it out further! Thoughts?

    1.jpg 2.jpg
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  17. mrchick

    mrchick Odd, Terrible Avatar

    It has the correct number of teeth. Looks like a double ring to me. Nice catch.
  18. Jayaruh

    Jayaruh The Cackalacky House Pet

    Supporting Vendor
    Lucky dog. That is on my want list. I am happy for you. I can't wait for you to get it.
  19. The Daily Blade

    The Daily Blade Active Member

    I do see that it might have a bent tooth. I am wondering, if it is the real thing and I think it is, if I should have it repaired and refurbished. Any suggestions? Do people prefer these as "barn finds" or redone? I have used Scott at Hibco in the past to do a couple razors for me and am thinking about this one. Any thoughts, recommendations, ideas and advice is greatly appreciated
  20. jmudrick

    jmudrick Well-Known Member


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