As rare as rocking horse poo!

Discussion in 'The Brush' started by dangermouse, Feb 10, 2020.

  1. dangermouse

    dangermouse Well-Known Member

    Hey fellas. I have snagged an old 'Made in England' Gillette/Rubberset brush. I have no idea of the date and have never seen one of these English brushes before. I've also got another Gillette travel brush with a missing base. They cost me the grand sum of £5.50 :) I hope they clean up well. Has anyone cleaned the hair on one of these? I don't want the ferrule to crack! image.jpeg
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  2. jimjo1031

    jimjo1031 never bloomed myself

    One thing I do when getting an older brush that has bristles in good shape, is to soak them in hair conditioner for a while. I even take them out every so often and work them through with my fingers. Then I rinse the brush and do a couple of lathers with shave soap. That usually works to condition an older brush and get it ready for use.
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  3. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    Ditto. Except I shampoo it too, before doing the shave soap lathers. I've used this technique to restore brush hair that was so brittle a touch caused the hair to break.

    And yeah, the Gillette travel brushes are rare. They were only (as far as I know) sold in the higher end travel sets. I've never seen a confirmed date range, but I've always assumed late 1920's though the 1930's.

    Earlier than that, and the vulcanized rubber holding the knot together disintegrates. I had a 1907 rubberset brush and the hair would have been savable, barely, but the rubber was toast. It ended up coming out in about four or five pieces.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2020
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  4. dangermouse

    dangermouse Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Jim. I'm definitely be using the conditioner first; that's a great tip. A fellow was telling me that he soaked his knot in water and as the dry knot absorbed the water, the ferrule cracked.
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  5. dangermouse

    dangermouse Well-Known Member

    Thanks Ryan. I had no idea they made a British version of those travel sets but you can bet I'll be looking now. This is a terrific hobby :)
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  6. jimjo1031

    jimjo1031 never bloomed myself

    I have a Gillette travel brush with container. The bristles are dry, missing some and I was able to remove it by twisting it. So I just need a 16mm knot to replace it.
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  7. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
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  8. dangermouse

    dangermouse Well-Known Member

    This set, thanks to Mr Razor's website, is dated 1906; it seems there are canisters in the set, for a small brush and soap going that far back. The 1918 Military set also has the same canisters. There must have been brushes to fit them but I wonder when the resin that the used on those old brushes first appeared.
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  9. Enrico

    Enrico Popcorn

    I lean a little more towards replacing the knot than trying to rejuvenating the original. There's a statement lacking on brushes prior to 1930 .... "Sterilized". This was a process added to brushes due to the out break of anthrax. The spores have been know to be viable for up to 100 years.

    Now, I'm not trying to scare people, but add to thought is that the original knots were not always that great of quality and time is not kind. If you don't plan on using them you can leave them as is, without any issues.

    BTW excellent purchase.

    Last edited: Feb 12, 2020
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  10. brit

    brit in a box

    very cool..
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