Brit pat 694093 II - what is the II?

Discussion in 'Safety Razors' started by dangermouse, Oct 10, 2019.

  1. dangermouse

    dangermouse Well-Known Member

    Hi everyone. I recently bought a British flare tipped super speed; underneath the guard plate it has written Gillette Made in England and II written on the diamond shaped part. I have seen, on Mr. Razor's wonderful site a British razor with the II marking but also one made for the German and French market. Can anyone kindly shed any light on this for me, please?
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  2. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    On the British Super Speeds the II marking refers to it's aggressiveness as a shaver. The British blue tip Super Speeds have an I and the red tip Super Speeds have a III. The II is what you find on the standard Super Speed and later flare tip models, you also find III on the later red flare tip and I on the later blue flare tip razors. Those flare tips are usually referred to as Rockets but the reality is they aren't and never were Rocket razors that is a collector nomenclature mistake. Gillette never referred to those razors as Rockets.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
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  3. jimjo1031

    jimjo1031 never bloomed myself

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  4. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    Case and point on the flare tip razors.

    Notice no mention of Rocket in the ad. Also of note this ad is from 1961 and from what I can gather pending further digging the British flare tip razors didn't come onto market until 1960. Prior to that it the previous models would have been the British Super Speeds that this razor replaced.

    In the case of Rockets, the term rocket for the British versions never did refer to the razor but to the case the razor was sold in regardless of marketing mumbo jumbo. I am planing of doing a full thread on the actual truth behind all this and will post the link once done.
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  5. brit

    brit in a box

    what about the blue ,regular and red tip flare tips with the rocket style mechanism .the rhodium 58 tv special.they were 1950s.the slim head rocket style flare tip were early 60s to 65 as well.
  6. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    First British flare tip far as I know was the 58 TV special. The rest of the flare tips don't show up until 1959 for British made razors. The standard flare tip in first in 1959 and up until at least 1961 was referred to as the Gillette 60 Special when sold in the same style of case as the 58 TV special. in 1960 it supersedes the Super Speeds and is also referred to as a medium. Blue flare tip was a light and red flare tip a heavy and they also supersede the super speeds in 1960. The slim head style flare tip I can say for sure was available by 1964 since there is a known example of one with a J2 date code on it.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
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  7. brit

    brit in a box

    makes brit adjustable either other than u.s 2 slim head regular flare tip fazors are stamped k -1.r0cket style mechanism,u.s style end caps..
  8. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    Based on what I could find the British Super Speeds light, medium and heavy were only produced between 1958 - 1959; blue aka light and red aka heavy flare tip w/rocket knob 1960 - 1961; standard flare tip w/rocket knob as a Gillette 60 Special 1959 - 1961; as a medium 1960 - 1961 and packaged differently from those 1962 - 1964 and possibly as late as 1966.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2019
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  9. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    @brit some more collector fiction concerning British Rockets. There is no such thing as an LD Rocket. The style of razor in the No 54 Rocket sets predates the the introduction of that set. The first instance of this razor was in 1951 for the 50th anniversary of Gillette. The aluminum ones that collectors call LD Rockets were only sold in No52a Anniversary sets and those sets were sold between 1951 and 1953. The gold version was in 1951/52 and the nickel plated head version 1952/53. What is termed an HD Rocket aka the all brass nickel plated version was the only British razor that Gillette termed a Rocket and only when sold in the No 54 sets between 1954 and 1958. They were just termed a quick action razor when sold in the No 59 set.

    Here is an ad showing they were still selling the No52a Anniversary sets in 1953 along side the coronation sets.

    Here is an ad for the 1951 Anniversary set so you can see the case.
    1951 gillette.jpg

    Here is an ad showing the No 54 Rocket set and No 59 set with the same razor but not billed as a Rocket

    Even though these razors are all the same shavers the only distinction here that makes a Rocket a Rocket is the case itself.

    Same deal with the French Monobloc, same shaver, different style handle, the razor was never billed as a Rocket either.
    brit likes this.
  10. BlueShaver

    BlueShaver Premature Latheration Sufferer

    Good info.

    Same kinda thing for the name "Tech" thrown at any closed comb 3 piece Gillette.
    As i understand it, the name "Tech" referred to Gillette's closed comb TECHnology introduced after the NEW. Whilst there were razors marketed as a Tech razor, i don't think there was one marketed as the Tech razor. There are one piece, two piece and three piece "Tech" razors,
    The 1st TTO Aristocrat was a Tech razor.

    I think....
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  11. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    Tech was generic name for all US made Gillette razors which is used from 1938 and up first on the 3pc razors and then 1pc razors from 1941 - 1947. They dropped the Tech name from all one piece razors with the introduction of the Super Speed. It applies to 4 major revisions they made to the razors first on the 3pc models and later the one piece models in 1941 when they dropped to open comb razors from production.

    From 1938 to 1947 they differentiated them by 1 piece Tech or 3 piece Tech, after that differentiated by sets for the 1 piece razors while 3 piece razors were just called 3 piece Tech regardless of set.

    The 1st Aristocrat was not a Tech razor because it produced prior to 1938 in 1935 and it also was an open comb so it doesn't meet 1 of 4 revisions in that ad. They would have been referred to as a Gillette Aristocrat one piece razor. Same deal with the Sheraton and Senator because they were open comb razors. The first American Aristocrat that is called a Tech was the 1941 safety bar guard version in the US. They are called 1 pc Tech razors, Aristocrat model. The other Gillette 1 piece models in this time period were referred to as either a Gillette 1 piece tech razor Milord model or Ranger model.
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  12. mr-razor

    mr-razor Well-Known Member

    the 1962 No54A set was called Rocket too (what you say: the case gives the name, but the HD Rocket don´t fit that case; the razor was called Twist-action razor):

    Last edited: Oct 11, 2019
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  13. dangermouse

    dangermouse Well-Known Member

    Thank you very much for the information. I have noticed that other razors which I think are the super speeds, that preceded the flare tip also have II written in the same place. I shall be on the look out, on eBay, just to see if I can spot the I's and III's.

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  14. dangermouse

    dangermouse Well-Known Member

    I'm a bit confused by this talk of Super Speeds; Rockets; Flare tips with Rocket style mechanisms and slim heads! Thank you for posting the link to the thread. I will be carefully reading it later tonight. It's a shame some of those early pictures are blurred but a great resource non the less. Nice one.
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  15. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    Thanks I didn't see any ads for Rockets past 1958 but will note that this razor was also a Rocket from here on in and also see if I can find a date range for this set.
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  16. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    1962 seems to be a one off year for Rockets in England and Canada possibly Australia also.

    Here is an ad corroborating that date.
    62page1.jpg 62page2.jpg

    No mention of Rockets between 59 and 61 elsewhere for Anglo markets. It is possible they sold razors under the Rocket name in other markets like Germany, France, India, South Africa outside of the years of 1954 - 1958, 1962.
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  17. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    Couple of other tidbits, British Super Speeds and what people call red or blue tip rockets looks like the only Anglo market they were sold in was Australia. They most likely were also sold in some foreign markets like South Africa but it looks like they were not a widely available item worldwide.
    This looks to be what sets were available in England in 1959.

    The standard flare tip that people call a rocket was sold as a Gillette 60 special in England and Australia when it had the same style case as the British 58 TV special razor and in England anyways as a no 80 set. The razor was also sold in traveler set labeled as no 72 in 1959 ( we can extrapolated that set number from English 59 ad above), there was also a gold plated flare tip razor sold in a presentation set which set number is unclear in 1959. Also it looks like the standard flare tip is no longer sold in England after 1962. It seems they dropped all the one piece razors with the exception of the adjustables and replaced them with the slim twist in 1963. We know that razor was sold after 1962 but which markets are unclear at the moment.
    Australian 1959 ad
    British ads
    61page1.jpg 61page2.jpg g1961ad.jpg

    Also notice no mention of the Rocket sets in 1961. I'll split all this information off into it's own thread at some point once I get the rest of the information reformatted.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019
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  18. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    One other thing to consider, the British 1958 TV special maybe another case of collector fiction like calling all British made One piece solid guard bar razors that aren't Aristocrat or Aristocrat Jr razors Rockets. If you look carefully at the ads that No 80 set looks a lot like a British 58 TV special. Either that razor was never sold in 58 or was recycled into a no 80 set afterwards. I'd have to do some research on which is the case here unless someone has some proof that razor really was sold in 1958 as a TV special.
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  19. brit

    brit in a box

    cool how they are selling the gillette 195 when the slim was just being started /made..
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  20. mr-razor

    mr-razor Well-Known Member

    here are another Australian 1962 and 1963 Ad, that shows the "195":

    1962-12-01 FatBoy, Aristocrat Australia.JPG

    1963 Fatboy Australia.JPG
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