1911 ABC Flower pattern pocket razor (pic heavy)

Discussion in 'Safety Razors' started by battle.munky, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. battle.munky

    battle.munky Has the menthol.munky on his back!

    We were out antiquing and happened upon this razor. I didn't want to pay the guy what he was asking but when I left the store, my MIL snuck in and got it for me for an early birthday present.

    I believe it is a 1911 single ring (from the SN, its a "B") and it is easily identified as the flower pattern with the matching case. It also came with the blade box and 33 blades, most of which are usable, with a few too rusted to mess with.

    The handle has a slight bend to it and I'm not sure if I should try to true it up or leave it alone. The cap has a little bit of scratching on it and a tiny bit of plate loss and the comb has one ever so slightly bent tooth. The case has some scratches but is mechanically solid. It is far from museum condition, but it sure is an amazing piece of shaving history.

    If anyone knows more than I outlined here, please feel free to add to my info. I (SWMBO did most of the work) pulled most of what I could find from B&B's "Pocket razor" wiki, Mr. Razor.com, and our very own Jody's Renaldo.us website, so to all of those sources, I thank you.

    Now for the pics:

    Attached Files:

  2. IAmTheJody

    IAmTheJody Gillette-i Master Staff Member

    Fantastic score! The ABC sets are awesome in that their handles are solid brass, not hollow. Because of that, I think you could get the handle back straight if you had the tools which really would only be a table-top vice. Put some kind of cloth around it to protect it of course. Or wrap it in cloth, lay it flat on a table with the bend up and try with a hammer to straighten it out. And of course, do so at your own risk. But I think it shouldn't be too hard to do.
    battle.munky likes this.
  3. Bird Lives

    Bird Lives Future Root Beer King of Turkey

    WOW!! That is a score and a half...beautiful...You could probably straighten it or send it to Cooncat or somebody special who could make it look like new if thats what you want...or if the head is cool just shave away...
    BTW when is the maiden voyage?
    battle.munky likes this.
  4. battle.munky

    battle.munky Has the menthol.munky on his back!

    Thanks Jody, it really is a really good catch. I think I may try to straighten it. Go gentle at first and then stop if no sensible progress is getting made. I sure as hell don't want to hurt it.

    Thanks Lloyd! I think I may take it for a spin this afternoon. I got a truly wonderful shave yesterday and need just another few 10ths of a mm or so to go before I can justify shaving again :D
  5. PanChango

    PanChango Not Cute

    Nice Bob.

    If you don't want to send it out, you could check with a local jeweler to see if they could do the work. If I tried to do it, it would probably end up worse then it was when I started.
    battle.munky likes this.
  6. gregindallas

    gregindallas Rolls Razor Revivalist

    Can't think of what normal activity

    would bend a short brass rod like that. I think it may have been born that way. Be very carefull strightening. Brass tempers after heating (orginal process, I think it was hot stamped or maybe cast) and can be brittle as it's crystal structure sets up as it cools.
    battle.munky likes this.
  7. GDCarrington

    GDCarrington Burma Shave

    That is one beautiful razor. I agree with Dale in that you want a higher level of experience in play if you wish to try to restore it.

    However, the way it is has a certain charm to it. If it were me on this one, I would leave it as is.

    Good fortune with whichever way you decide on going.
    battle.munky likes this.
  8. swarden43

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

    Nice! :happy088:happy088

    I kinda like the bend - a little character. Give ya something to think about every time you use it. "Hmmm...<scrape, scrape> I wonder <rinse, scrape> how that bend <rinse, scrape, scrape> got there <rinse, scrape>?"

    Enjoy it for many years to come!
    battle.munky likes this.
  9. Jake

    Jake Well-Known Member

    That's a great ABC set & I really like the bend. I wouldn't worry about it's curve -- a very distinctive shape & truly one-of-a-kind. It is hard to break that handle -- but I wouldn't even take that slight chance. Very cool razor as is.

    Congratulations! And enjoy shaving with it -- they are great shavers.
    battle.munky likes this.
  10. battle.munky

    battle.munky Has the menthol.munky on his back!

    I used it and the bend didn't affect the shave at all. I think for the sake of being lazy,out of fear, and for protection of the sanctity of the razor, I'm gonna leave it.

    It did OK with regard to the shave. It isn't my favorite shaver but it is the crown jewel in my den. I cleaned it up with scrubbing bubbles before I used it and it shined up well. If it weren't for the laziness mentioned above, I'd post a cleaned up pic. :D

    Thank you all for the observations. :happy088
  11. Brian

    Brian Active Member

    Great looking razor. Your MIL must love you!
    battle.munky likes this.
  12. IAmTheJody

    IAmTheJody Gillette-i Master Staff Member

    I guess I should have clarified but it was late for me having been up all night and I was ready for the bed... while I see it as an easy fix and gave advice on how to do so, I too would leave the bend just as I would also leave any tarnish/patina on any ABC case except for the smooth, no-ornatation ABC cases.

    As for how that bend got there in the first place, I imagine someone using it over time, tapping it on the corner of the sink after each pass rinse and final clean-up rinse... these 100 year old razors have many stories to tell... :D
    battle.munky likes this.
  13. battle.munky

    battle.munky Has the menthol.munky on his back!

    Roger that on the patina. There isn't a whole lot to begin with but I was thinking of leaving it like it is. As far as the bend goes, I'm actually kinda liking it the more I think about it and look at it.
  14. huck1680

    huck1680 Great Northern CanUkrainian

    Very Nice....verrry nice
    battle.munky likes this.
  15. Dridecker

    Dridecker Sherlock

    Beautiful razor Bob, enjoy it in good health my friend!
    battle.munky likes this.
  16. dougr

    dougr Well-Known Member

    Bob, very nice ABC set and you have the case and the razor both in floral. Nice interior also, and it will make a treasure for your den. doug
    battle.munky likes this.
  17. battle.munky

    battle.munky Has the menthol.munky on his back!

    Thank you all.

    Now, I have a question about the blades. Are those worth anything? I have never seen them before and all of the blade boxes I've ever seen had either late model DE blades in them or empty. I don't want to chuck them unless they are worthless. Did they come in wrappers? I don't know that anyone has ever really gotten too in depth about the old blades, at least no where I've seen. If anyone has any clue, please let me know.
  18. GDCarrington

    GDCarrington Burma Shave

    Keep those blades, not for shaving. These are getting hard to come by due to the process of disposal of blades. Remember, they are original Gillette blades. They are good for a photo case treatment or a plaque treatment in a display.
    battle.munky likes this.
  19. Brian

    Brian Active Member

    Try this site, it says it's for Gillette's and Blades. Perhaps if nothing else there is a link to email him.

    battle.munky likes this.
  20. IAmTheJody

    IAmTheJody Gillette-i Master Staff Member

    They did at one time come wrapped and in boxes. In their current state, there's really no value to them other than historical. If any of them have a 3-digit code that begins with the number '1', you may want to keep those as they were made in 1911 - same year as the razor. Plus 1911 was also the first year they started putting date codes on blades.

    To determine exact year and week the blade was made, the first number would be the last number of the year and the next 2 numbers added together would be the week. So, for example, a date code on the blade of 132 would be made in 1911 in the 5th (3+2) week. 711 would be 1917, in the 2nd (1+1) week.

    For the blades that have 4 digit date codes, it's a bit more tricky. Gillette changed to 4 digits in 1924. The first number would be the decade, the total of the second plus third number would be the year and the total of the second number plus the fourth number would be the week. So a date code of 2362 would be made in the 5th week of 1929. The number 2 at the beginning gives you your 1920 decade, 3+6 (the second & third number) gives you the exact year in 1920 which would be 9 so 1929, and 3+2 (the second & fourth number) gives you the week. Told you it was tricky... :happy102
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