British and other non US Aristocrat TTO timeline.

Discussion in 'Safety Razors' started by BBS, Nov 16, 2020.

  1. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    The aim of this thread is to identify and put together an approximate date range for production of each razor type. I will be keeping away from individual sets since the same razors were sold in multiple sets and configurations depending the market. I'll try to only touch on sets when pertinent. As such I'll define the British razors by generation and key features that can be used to identify and possibly date them. This will be split into 3 sections, 1st part is the identification of the British razors, 2nd thread will be the adverts backing up the approximate change over dates. 3rd thread will cover non British Aristocrat razors.

    One common feature of all the British Aristocrat razors is that they all were sold primarily in full rhodium plating with the following exceptions. Between 1936 and 1938 the 1st gen razors were silver plated when sold in the No 2 Traveller set and the standard nickel plated case set which wasn't designated a set number in the adverts until 1938. In 1938 the standard set is designated as No 15 and the plating is changed to rhodium for the No 15 and No 2 Traveller sets. The 1st, 3rd and 4th gens were also sold in gold plate. The 1st gens being sold in gold plate in No 3 Traveller sets and a No 19 set. The 3rd gen in what is assumed to be both a No 19 and No 22 set. The 4th gen in what was called a Deluxe set also assumed to be a No 66 set. The 4th gen was also sold in nickel plate in the No 70 sets.

    All dates are approximate and information may be incomplete and subject to revision.

    The British Aristocrat razors can be grouped into 4 distinct gens regardless of sets and plating.
    Pictures courtesy of @mr-razor from

    1st gen
    1936 - 1947

    The 1st gen Aristocrats were all open comb models. It is also assumed production stopped on these razors during WWII and continued either in 1945 or 1946. Silver plated 1st gens can be dated to 1936 - 1938, rhodium plated ones 1938 - 1947. Gold plated versions, 36 - 39 are known production dates and are known to exist in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd styles.

    The earliest ones 36 - 38 had 400 621 stamped on the base plate and 430 030 on the handle, were only silver or gold plated and had a center bar like the American open comb Aristocrats . The next versions starting in late 1938 were rhodium or gold plated, had the next style of center bar and had 400 621 stamped on the base plate and 430 030 on the handle. The last versions came in either rhodium or gold plate and only had 430 030 stamped on the base plate. Switch over happened most likely in 1939.

    1st style - these were produced between 1936 and 1938, stamped 400 621 on base plate and 430 030 on handle. There are also some though not common variants with 430 030 on the base plate, 400 621 on the handle. You also have versions made for the French market with importe D'Angleterre stamped on the lower band of the handle.
    1930s British Aristocrat No15-1st.jpg

    2nd style - this is the standard version you see from 1938 - 1939 same patent number stampings as 1st style but different center bar.
    1938 Aristocrat 15 rhodium-1sta.JPG

    3rd style - stamped 430 030 on base.
    1stoc3rda.jpg 1stoc3rdb.jpg

    No 3 Traveller set with 3rd style razor. Can see nothing is printed on the handle so it is a 3rd style. This razor is the basis for the switch over date which is approximately 1939. It is determined by the fact the traveller sets didn't go beyond the 1930s and the 2nd style switch over happened in late 38 so 39 is the most likely date based upon all the information thus far.
    1930s British Aristocrat No3.jpg

    4th style - this one had a different handle style which happens to be the same as the American Aristocrats, if the blade date is correct for the set this would have been produced in 1947.
    1947 (S2 on blade) Ango-American Aristocrat Hybrid from Ken R.jpg

    2nd gen
    1948- 1949

    The second gen was the first safety guard version of the British Aristocrat. It had a flat bottom plate and center bar like the 1st gen Aristocrat. They were all stamped 430 030 on the base plate.
    1948 Aristocrat No 21 Australia-2ndgen.JPG

    3rd gen
    1949 - 1950

    The 3rd gen they changed the handle style, tabs including adding end caps to the tabs and notched the center bar. They still had a flat bottom plate and were also stamped 430 030.
    1949 (U2 on blade) Aristocrat No16-3rdgen.JPG

    4th gen
    1950 - 1959

    The 4th gen Aristocrats they changed the base plates from flat bottom to a diamond indent stamped design. The ones produced from 1950 through 1953 were stamped Patent Pending. Either sometime after July of 1953 or no later than 1954 they all change from being stamped Patent Pending to Brit Pat 694 093. Also of note are the 1953 Aristocrats sold in the coronation sets. These were the only Aristocrats made out of aluminum and as such are easy to distinguish by the weight. They will weight in the 37 to 40 gram range while all other British Aristocrats usually weigh either in the 70 gram or 80 gram range. Nickel plated versions can be dated to 1958 as part of the No 70 set.

    1950 - 1954 Pat Pending example
    1952 Aristocrat No22-4thgen.jpg

    1954 - 1949 Brit Pat 694 093 example
    1956 Ariszocrat De Luxe England.JPG
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2021
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  2. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    Next up advertisements
    Full page ads as seperate attachments

    First year instance of the 1st gen
    B1st.JPEG C 1936 Aristocrat silver, No77, No88 England.jpg

    Last instance of the 1st style 1st gens
    C 1938 No15, No19, No45, No46, No47.jpg

    First instance of the 2nd style 1st gens
    C 1938-11-23 Aristocrat No19, No2, No3.jpg

    Last year instance of the 1st gen

    First instance of the 2nd gen

    First instance of the 3rd gen

    There aren't any ads I could find showing the 1950 date for the 4th gens but we do know they switched base plates to the diamond indent style on the Aristocrat Jr razors in 1950 so it is assumed they changed the dies for the Aristocrats at the same time.

    No 70 set. Only known instance of a 4th gen nickel plated Aristocrat.
    C 1958-11-20 Toggle, No70, No58, Travel set.jpg

    Last instance of the 4th gen.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 16, 2020
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  3. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    Before we go into the other Aristocrats it needs to be stated that this razor the US made 1pc Executive could easily be mistaken for a British Aristocrat. It is the only full rhodium plated US made razor and the handle style is similar. Here are pictures of 1949 and 1950 for reference. The 49 will say pat nos on package, the 50 pat nos on pkg. Both are stamped made in the USA.
    Here is a 1949
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Here is a 1950
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Here is the full set
    1949 Executive von Jody Renaldo.jpg
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2020
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  4. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    Now for the other Aristocrats.

    First are the Brazilian variations. These are gold plated versions of the Brazlian Monotech sold in Deluxe sets. Not much is known about these except they were sold in the 1950s.
    1956 B1 Brazil Aristocrat.jpg

    Next up is the Japanese Aristocrats these are nothing more than the US gold plated Super Adjustable Deluxe razors repackaged and rebranded as the New Aristocrat for the Japanese market. They were sold in 1969 and 1970.
    69na1.jpg 69na2.jpg
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2020
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  5. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    Concerning the patents on the 1st gen.

    It becomes obvious why they dropped the 400 621 patent number from the razors since the actual design shown never came to commercial fruitition. Frankly I think they added it as a C.Y.A. of the whole TTO 1pc idea in case competitors tried to make a knock off until it became apparent it wasn't needed.
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  6. Northstonehill

    Northstonehill Active Member

    Great thread - loving British Aristocrats! Thanks also for the added advertisements, some new ones I haven’t seen before :happy096:
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2021
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  7. Northstonehill

    Northstonehill Active Member

    If you want I can upload photos of my Aristocrats for further documentation, have most models you mention :)
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  8. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    Please do and great to have you participating here on this thread Peter.
  9. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    To add to this for completeness purposes they also produced these razors at least part of 1951 before they stopped making razors out of brass due to the Korean War. Date codes for W1 exist and so should W2.

    Here are adverts from May and Sept. of 1951.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    1951 W1 date code 1pc Executive - pictures courtesy of @José Santos
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
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  10. Northstonehill

    Northstonehill Active Member

    Thanks! - Upon reading your first post properly (apologies) however I see that this thread was not intended to cover the set differences. So fully understand that this is a potential theme for another thread. All good!

    And thanks again for feeding the Aristocrat flame with your excellent historic overview; I am sure that many here are intrigued by this key Gillette model line:love055:
  11. romsitsa

    romsitsa Active Member

    The No 3 traveler pictured and the one you call 3rd version are actually different.
    The No 3 has no stamps on the handle but is otherwise similar to the 2nd version while the 3rd version has two crimps, mostly seen on Gen 2 handles.
    It could be that 3rd v. was also produced pre 1945, but it’s more likely that these were made after ww2 with open comb heads. It doesn’t help that purchase tax was in force between 1940 and 1973.

    “Missing” gold versions:
    Gen 1: No 19, 16 must be a typo
    Gen 2: set number unknown, case looks similar to the No 19
    Gen 3: set number unknown, case looks similar to the No 21, 16 must be a typo

    And I suspect some No 66 came with nickle plated razors, at least I found three locally and imho chances that all were swapped are low.

    Last edited: Jan 31, 2021
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  12. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    I don't know enough about cases to do one that would be anything close to complete.
  13. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    16 might be a typo I'll cross check that later and edit the original post if it is. Let me take a closer look at the handles, if it is a difference that is dateable I'll spin it off into it's own style. On the nickel plated versions it is very possible they offered them in other sets in non Anglo markets. I don't have access to foreign language adverts to check.
  14. romsitsa

    romsitsa Active Member

    16 is the flat nickel plated case for Gen 3 Aristocrats.
    For a date there are a few pointers, if there is a price tag. No 15 should cost 15’ pre war. There are few with a 29’ price tag, these should be post war, imho (as a Traveler did cost 30’ or 35’ pre war).
    If there is an incl. tax print, it was sold 1940-73.
    The bogus one is the No 14 with 7/6, the same price as the Popular, which doesn’t sound right.

    And forgot that there is another Gen 1 variant, 430 030 on the head, 400 621 on the handle.

  15. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    On the gen 1 I added that variant in the description and also a note about handles on the French made 1st gen style 1 variants. As far as separating the 1st gens by style the only reason the 2nd and 3rd styles are separate because there is a switch over point that can be dated. That sort of thing is useful in knowing when or about when a razor was made and in some cases when a razor belongs in a set or not. These distinctions are made for collectors not end users since at least for the first 3 styles of gen 1 Aristocrats they all shave the same. The 4th style I can't confirm and I doubt it is a razor you'll see come up for sale that often anyways.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2021

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