Gillette Canadian Rocket TTO timeline

Discussion in 'Safety Razors' started by BBS, Sep 12, 2019.

  1. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    This particular set and razors are some of the least known or understood razors by Gillette collectors.
    These razors were sold from 1949 - 1956 and had 4 distinct type of razors sold in the Rocket set.

    First here is the Canadian trademarking filing.

    Date registered is March 11th 1949 and date first use is February 16th 1949.

    The first version of the Canadian Rocket was sold in 1949 and 1950. As it turns out the first Canadian Rocket set was packaged with a razor no one has been able to definitely prove was sold as Rocket far as I know. They were correct that the 2nd gen British Aristocrat Junior was also packaged as Rocket in Canada. The ad space shows only this razor in the cardboard box packaging but it was most likely also sold in the red styrene case in 1950. To many examples show up with in that case and the case does mention razor made in England so all the information points to that conclusion. The only thing the ad space shows is this style of razor didn't extend beyond 1950 as being sold as a Rocket in Canada.

    Here are pictures of the 1949 and 1950 set in the cardboard box.
    49ra.jpg 49rb.jpg 49rc.jpg

    Ad from the Edmonton Journal June 6th 1949

    Ad from the Vancouver Sun Jan. 27th 1950.

    First instance of the change to the red styrene case
    Ad from the Leader Post Aug. 17th 1950

    The second Rocket variation though not 100% confirmed but all information points to it being a Rocket was sold sometime in 1950 through the 1st quarter of 1951 depending when the British made razors base plate changed from a flat style to diamond indent. These are also made in England and the base plates will also say Patent Pending on them.
    See comments for reasons why.
    canr1.jpg canr2.jpg canr3.jpg

    The third Rocket variation appears in 1951 no later than the 2nd quarter. This Canadian Rocket was first sold in the red styrene cases. This one looks like a 40s style super speed but is missing any the of the US patent info and no made in the USA stampings, they are date coded. This razor was nickel plated only. This particular Rocket was sold from 1951 - 1956

    Here is a W2 date code stamped Rocket courtesy of
    1951 (W1) Canadian Rocket.JPG

    Here are pictures of this razor and case.
    cr1.jpg cr2.jpg cr3.jpg cr4.jpg

    In 1952 a new model of Rocket is introduced called the Deluxe. This razor was sold between 1952 and 1956. The Deluxe also shows the introduction of new style of styrene case and far as I can tell the first instance of the gold plated Super Speed style Rocket. This case was used for all Rockets from 1952 and up except for the Christmas sets in 1952, 1953 and 1954.
    See comments for Christmas set ads from these years.

    Here are some pictures of the razor and set
    crg1.jpg crg2.jpg crg3.jpg crg4.jpg crg5.jpg

    Here is a 1952 ad showing the old red styrene case

    Ad from the Vancouver Sun Oct. 31st 1952 showing the new blue styrene cases.

    Ad from the Edmonton Journal July 15th 1954.

    Here is the last ad for these razors from the Ottawa Citizen Feb. 10th 1956. After this year you don't see any more Canadian Rockets being advertised. This ad shows the Deluxe along with the standard Rocket set. You can see it is the same Deluxe Rocket as introduced in 1952 by the style of razor and case.

    A note on Super Speeds being sold in Canada. The first year you see them sold is 1955 for blue, standard and red flare tip. There never was any Super Speeds sold prior according to ad record and my guess is this when they superseded the Rockets as the lower priced one piece TTO option in the Canadian market. That means there was never any 40s style Super Speeds or Black Tip Super Speeds sold as Super Speeds in Canada. Those style razors were only sold as Rockets.

    Here is the first ad I found for any Super Speed being sold in Canada.

    Ad from the Vancouver News Herald Nov. 1st 1955
    Last edited: May 26, 2021
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  2. RyX

    RyX DoH!

    Oh, Gary @brit will want to see this thread!

    Thank you for bringing the documentation to TSD @BBS!
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  3. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    Full page ads for each. You'll need to click on the file attachments to view them since they won't attach as thumbnails.

    Christmas sets

    Ad from the Edmonton Journal Nov. 27th 1952

    Ad from the Calgary Herald Nov. 26th 1953

    Ad from the Leader Post Dec. 9th 1954

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 18, 2019
  4. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    I have a lot more for Schick injectors to work on next.
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  5. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    Gary has some hunting to do, see if he can find those gold plated and black tip Rockets.
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  6. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    Updated info I just found and bought a Canadian Deluxe Rocket, pictures added to the original post.
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  7. jtspartan

    jtspartan appropriately stimulated, via Netflix

    Very informative, thank you! I have a #51 (or #53- same razor, I think) English Aristocrat Jr that I assume is a Canadian Rocket in that I got it in a small antique store in rural Alberta. I don't have the case, however, which I guess is really the only way to identify it as such.
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  8. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    They are the same razor just packaged differently so unless you are a set collector then it doesn't really matter since full sets for either shouldn't fetch a big difference in price.
    brit likes this.
  9. jtspartan

    jtspartan appropriately stimulated, via Netflix

    Nope, makes no difference to me. Nice razor to use, regardless.
    One point that I find curious- given that there were no Gillette TTOs manufactured in Canada (although, virtually every 3 piece from the first 1/2 of the century was- Old Types, NEWs, New Improveds, Goodwills, Pre and Post War Techs etc.), I wonder if this is the only TTO that was ever considered 'Canadian' in terms of marketing.
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  10. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    The only ones you could consider Canadian going by if they were stamped with made in the USA or Made in England would be the Rockets made from 1950 - 1954 for sure since they aren't marked as made in the USA or England. The Black Tip Rockets are unknown until an example is found and documented since we don't know how they were stamped at this point.
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  11. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    I will also add that the nickel plated Rocket set made from 1950 - 1954, the case said made in Montreal on the back as you can see in the pictures and also came with a razor that didn't have any made in USA stamps or US patent information on it. The Gold plated Deluxe model I'll know about the set specifically the case once I receive the one I bought to examine the underside of the case.

    If @jtspartan you are in the market for a Canadian razor like this I would bet plenty go unbought and sit on shelves in shops collecting dust because people think they are 40s style super speeds or mismatched sets. Now that you know what to look for I bet you'll find a few if you decide to go hunt the junk shops up in your area. Probably the same goes for those later black tip models. You know what markings or lack of and date codes to look for when you see one now.
    brit likes this.
  12. brit

    brit in a box

    the red styrene case does state on the back that the razors were made in england,none of the superspeed type razors were made in england as far i i can i believe the triangle baseplate nickel rockets be correct for the styrene case and the flat plate versions had the cardboard box..
    the factory canadian instructions also show how to load a blade in a milord..
    also,nothing british was date coded until the 60s..
    no superspeed tto razors were manufactured in canada,only techs until 1953/4,and no early superseed style razors were produced in england..i do believe at least the triangular baseplate nickel rockets to be available in the styrene least for 1950...researching..
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
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  13. brit

    brit in a box

    i also have an early example of a rocket deluxe case with gillette and a british gold wash rocket razor..razor and case are mint.the wear marks in the case coincide with this razor..i have tried a us superspeed type of razor in this case it's too long to match the wear marks above the tto knob.. .this razor has been part of this set for decades. 20190912_194936.jpg 20190912_195050.jpg
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
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  14. brit

    brit in a box

    seems the rocket is a canadian named english marketed rockets were available until the rocket hd came about.. download (1).jpeg download (2).jpeg s-l1600.jpg this is the 430030 flat baseplate version..
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  15. brit

    brit in a box

    my red rocket case came with the flat plate razor when i purchased it..very clean with instructions from montreal.i have seen a fair number of these in these cases in various condition with flat plate and diamond plate rocket style razors..seen lots on canadian ebay..and a few in shops...but not with the superpeed style version razor..only blue cased gold ones ..
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
  16. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    It is very possible they did produce some of the Rocket sets in 1950 with the English made 2nd gen Aristocrat Jr styled razor which is the flat base plate with newer pointed end caps in the red styrene cases originally before switching to the Super Speed styled razors. The fact the case says razor made in England bolsters that claim but you also see in the ads in the papers the razor in that case is the Super Speed style Rocket. Either way most likely they did sell the first Canadian Rocket iteration in that case for part of 1950 before switching to the Super Speed styled Rockets. Knowing how businesses work they didn't want to spend to money to change the molds they made the cases from or had already ran a large production order and didn't update the cases until 52 when the Deluxe Rocket was introduced even though they did update the razors.

    @brit can you take some pictures of the instructions and post for documentation and posterity purposes?

    My write up is based upon what the newspaper ads show but I know even that isn't infallible and subject to revision. I can totally accept the idea they sold both razors in that case only point I would contest is if you said your set is any date but 1950 or even 1949 the exact introduction date down to the month of that style of case.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
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  17. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    That blue case and razor have probably been mismatched for decades also. If that case was originally designed to house a British made razor they would have printed such on the back of the case and you'd also see somewhere in the ad space pictures of the correct razor in the case between 52 and 56. With the red case I don't think I've found the pictures in the ad space yet is why for the other razor. I checked month by month and the cardboard case disappears in April of 50 and the first ads show the super speed styled razor in that case. The Christmas sets in 1949 show the cardboard case also being sold with shave cream and such. I'll post that ad in a little bit.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
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  18. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    One other thing Gillette did sell Milord sets in Canada up to 1954. So there was overlap between the Deluxe Rockets and Milords between 52 and 54. The only way for sure to differentiate the razors is the Deluxe Rockets razors would have been stamped differently as you can see if my Deluxe Rocket razor pictures and most likely shave differently.
    brit likes this.
  19. brit

    brit in a box

    pics on instructions show a milors .one can see the blank band near the tto knob that isn't present on a superspeed style razor.however these are deemed as generic type pics.. 20190913_070114.jpg 20190913_070231.jpg 1949 Rocket.jpeg instructions also advertise the cream colored blade dispenser..
  20. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    One other thing that razor looks to have blunted end caps. Does your razor also have the same. If it does we know how to tell an Aristocrat Jr from an Rocket then for same style of razor.
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