When was Modern Shaving Cream invented?

Discussion in 'Shave Creams' started by chrisf8657, Jul 23, 2015.

  1. chrisf8657

    chrisf8657 Active Member

    I'm not talking about the goo in a can, I know that's 1948-1949 depending on who you ask.
    I'm talking about Lathering Shave Creams like TOBS & GFT.

    I know Shaving soap was around since before the 1800's, just wondering about Lathering creams like what we use today...

    Just had a lovely shave with GFT Almond cream :)
     
  2. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    The first non-lathering shaving cream in a tube was Barbasol in 1919. It was non lathering. This is proving to be a tricky search.

    Here's more info, and apparently, Barbasol wasn't the first modern shaving cream.
    https://triviahappy.com/articles/ho...-a-private-island-a-brief-history-of-barbasol

    Edit:
    After more searching, Santa Maria Novella Crema da Barba seems to be the top contender for the oldest shaving cream, the packaging has a date of 1612.
    Though historically, around 1221, the Dominican monks at Santa Maria Novella began creating elixirs from rose water and vinegar.

    Cella and Valobra are also contenders, having been made for over 100 years. Poraso, despite laying claim to being the oldest cosmetic company in Italy, has only been making shaving cream since the 1950's.

    Here's some more information from [redacted], published in 1869. The fourth recipe is probably the closest looking one to a modern shaving cream.

    "Shaving Cream, No. 1. — White curd soap I lb. spermaceti and almond oil, each 1 oz. Beat with the whites of 2 eggs, add liquor potassa 2 oz., and bitter almond oil to scent.
    Shaving Cream, No. 2.—White wax, spermaceti and alnfbnd oil each 2 dr.; melt; add white soap 4 oz., and beat together with eau de cologne.
    Shaving Cream, No. 3. — Soap 2 oz.; macerate in rectified spirit enough to soften it to a paste ; add liquor potassas £ oz., bittet almond oil 5 - drops, otto of roses 3 drops, oil of lavender 2 drops, eau de cologne J oz., mix.
    Shaving Cream, No. 4. — Almond Cream, — The preparation sold under this title is a potash soft soap of lard. It has a beautiful pearly appearance, and has met with extensive demand as a shaving compound. It is made thus : [redacted]
    Part of the problem is that the date of the company's founding (for example, Akka Kappa 1869) does not indicate a date for the manufacture of shaving cream as a product. The oldest companies were founded as either perfumers or barbers, and as such, modern shaving cream wasn't added to their inventories until (in many cases) the 1950's.

    Colgate sold shaving cream in a tube as early as 1916, and in 1921, introduced Colgate Rapid-Shave Cream. I wonder if people complained about the reformulation as bitterly as modern shavers do now, whenever a shaving soap or cream gets reformulated. :)

    Edit: if anyone stumbles across this post and wonders why parts of it have been redacted, it's because I have decided to make formula No. 4 and re-introduce it to the shaving community.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2015
  3. macaronus

    macaronus Sir Nice-a-Lot Staff Member

    Moderator
    Excellent write-up, Ryan! Thanks a bunch for lookin all that up and writing it down!
    :smiley respect:
     
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  4. swarden43

    swarden43 "It's your shave. Enjoy it your way."©

    I bow to you, as well, Sir!! :smiley respect:
     
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  5. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    In 1912, William Mennen introduces the first American shaving cream tube.
     
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  6. Jayaruh

    Jayaruh The Cackalacky House Pet

    Supporting Vendor
    I wish we could still get tube shaving cream in stores. The kind that actually lathers.
     
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  7. crackstar

    crackstar Israeli Ambassador to TSD

    I know that De Vergulde Hand has been around for more than 450 years.
     
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  8. chrisf8657

    chrisf8657 Active Member

    Thank you for the excellent writeup and taking the time to look into what I asked, it's really appreciated!
     
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  9. macaronus

    macaronus Sir Nice-a-Lot Staff Member

    Moderator
    True, in 1554, but they started out with soap... :)
     
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  10. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    Like C.O. Bigalow?

    I know what you mean though, It would be nice to walk into a Walmart and pick up a tube of Colgate or Palmolive.
     
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  11. crackstar

    crackstar Israeli Ambassador to TSD

    Yes, yes, of course - you're right!
     
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  12. swarden43

    swarden43 "It's your shave. Enjoy it your way."©

    Great cream that Bigalow!
     
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  13. Paul Turner

    Paul Turner outside the quote(s) now

    Bill Mennen certainly knew what he was doing....it became a great company.
     
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  14. Billyfergie

    Billyfergie The Scottish Ninja

    Great write up Sir....Very interesting....:chores016:

    Billy
     
  15. Jerry-built Hustler

    Jerry-built Hustler Well-Known Member

    While the Santa Maria Novella pharmacy dates back centuries, their shaving cream is a fairly modern creation. Indeed, their original cream wasn't even their own creation. They wanted to expand their men's range in the 1990s, but didn't have the facilities to make their own cream, so hired Martelli to do it. Martelli makes Proraso. That's why the older formulation SMN cream was a virtual dead ringer for Proraso and Omega shaving soap, although the SMN did have subtle differences. The reformulated version, which now features the Tabacco Toscano scent, is a unique cream, and for the price, it ought to be. However, the idea that the founding date of the original pharmacy extends to all SMN products is a fiction I'm sure the company is more than happy to allow people to believe.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2015
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  16. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    Good info there.^^^
    :happy088:

    Chris and I had a fairly lengthy discussion about this subject via PM's, and the conclusion was that most of the "old" companies didn't add shaving cream to their stable of products until the '50's-'70's. It was the "new" upstarts like Colgate and Mennen who introduced modern shaving cream to the world.

    I'm tempted to try my hand at making that 1869 Almond Shave Cream formula, though I would probably substitute beef tallow for the pig lard.
     
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  17. Jerry-built Hustler

    Jerry-built Hustler Well-Known Member

    BTW, normally I like to back up what I say with some supporting documentation. However, given the nature of the information, it's not like SMN is broadcasting their business arrangements with various OEMs to whom they outsource their production. (They currently claim to manufacture all of their own products, which is plausible, given that their cream is no longer a Martelli product.) The bit about their old shaving cream is something I picked up on various forums over the last decade of being into this craft. Here is one "source," notably the posts by Chris Fisher (fisherc), who is one of the more knowledgeable gents I've come across over the years. I have seen his information confirmed elsewhere. Still, it's all very much hearsay. (FWIW, I'm not the Nathan in that thread.)
     
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  18. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
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  19. TitanTTB

    TitanTTB Well-Known Member

    JB Williams of Williams Mug Soap fame made a shave cream in the 1880's (possibly earlier) called 'Williams Swiss Violet Shave Cream'. A google search can find ads & pictures of the ceramic jar it came in.
     
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  20. Jerry-built Hustler

    Jerry-built Hustler Well-Known Member

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