Discussion in 'Shower or Shave of the Day' started by Trigger, Dec 31, 2021.
Watch out for dem polka-dots ))
Thank You Joe....I must say the CTS soap came through for me very well.
Banner shave Joe
SOTD MONDAY MORNING, JANUARY 17, 2022
The vintage circa 1880-1910 Smith Brothers 11/16 straight razor selected for this morning’s mug shave has an interesting history. Smith Brothers was a large hardware chain operating in Boston between 1860 to 1910. Franklin Smith, the founder, a prominent abolitionist, and loyal Republican was born into a prominent Beacon Hill family in Boston, Massachusetts on October 9, 1826.
His father, Benjamin, was the Tax Collector for the Port of Boston, and his great-grandfather was president of Harvard University. Mary O. Smith was his mother, and he was the younger brother of Benjamin O. Smith, who became his partner in Smith Brothers Company, a hardware business.
Smith was a moral and religious man and served as Sunday-school superintendent at his Baptist church, Tremont Temple, which he also helped renovate after a fire. He was one of the original founders of the YMCA. Smith was also an early supporter of Abraham Lincoln for president and helped to get him elected.
The razors he sold during his first 20 or so years in business were imported from England and made of good Sheffield steel. In 1879 Germany’s Import Act raised enormous import tariffs of from 10 - 15 percent on Sheffield steel and pig iron thus allowing Germany to begin promoting the good Solingen steel we all know and love by underpricing Sheffield steel allowing them to begin selling to the American market.
By 1914 Germany had passed England as the premier European steel producer, one of many reasons that may have propelled the two countries into the First World War. The earliest Smith Brothers German steel razors began to appear in the 1880’s and were marked “Blue Steel” and referenced gun bluing designed as a rust preventative.
In any case this particular razor’s horn scales were rife with insect holes. They’d clearly been repaired in the past, but by the time I purchased the razor they were more filler than horn. The blade was both tarnished and rusty. I did manage to clean up the blade, but the scales were another issue. Since my Parkinson’s and power tools don’t play well together, the razor went out to my friend, Glen Mercurio for a new set of scales.
Although the ‘patina-loving’ crew are probably outraged at my scale selection, I chose blue and gold acrylic scales. Yes, I probably lowered the value of the razor, but I'm not selling it. My son, Ben, is inheriting my safety and straight razor collection. I’ve kept the scales, so he can always repair them and reattach if he wishes.
The mug shave was great! Blue steel or not, the German steel on this one hundred ten to possibly one hundred thirty year old straight razor really holds an edge. It delivered a superb two and a half pass velveteen shave. Smith Brothers sold great straight razor blades, Sheffield steel for their first twenty years in business and then good Solingen sourced blades for their last thirty years when they closed their doors.
My absolute favorite vintage noggin shavers are my three GE Jones Shake Sharp SE razors. The razors were designed for the thicker carbon steel DE blades of the depression era, to both sharpen and extend blade life. Unfortunately, due to the intervention of WWII and the introduction of the postwar newer, thinner stainless steel DE blades, this innovative SE design that made use of the more prevalent DE blade, just never took off.
As a result there aren’t that many available on the secondary market, but after my friend Jeff (@jmudrick) introduced me to this astounding little vintage shaver and it’s performance with two stacked stainless steel blades, it’s remained my hands-down favorite noggin shaver. I originally had four, but PIF’d one to a friend at TSD who’s become a fan as well. Another friend (@Dave in KY) there went out and sourced the ultra rare Bakelite first edition Mk1 model, and has joined the fan club!
The amazing thing about this little safety razor, is it’s the only SE razor I’m aware of that was designed for the more prevalent DE blade. And when two are stacked, one atop the other, the noggin shave moves into the amazing mode! I have never nicked myself with this little safety razor. My noggin shave this morning was with my Bakelite handled little Shake Sharp razor which left me porcelain smooth after the usual two ATG passes.
RAZOR: Smith Brothers 11/16 (Mug), Shake Sharp Bakelite Mk1 (Dome)
BLADE: 2 Stacked Feather DE (Dome)
PREP: Cold water rinse followed by a heavy scrub with Argan Oil
BRUSH: Blue Resin Handled 22mm Two Band Badger made by my son
SOAP: Mitchell’s Wool Fat
POSTSHAVE: Cold water wash with brush squeezings followed by a rinse with Humphreys Lilac WH. Finished with Chatillon Lux Pure Lavender Post Shave Toner.
Does your handle have a mold crease running down the center? I couldn’t tell from the pic. The G handles were I believe made of modern plastic, whereas the G handles were Bakelite and had no crease. I recently PIF’d my white handled G to a TSD member and it had the crease.
Roger is all around good people! He helped me confirm the age of the vintage Kamisori my son gifted to me. This is a great community, both here and elsewhere, for the most part!
Good shave, Paul!
Great Friodur shave, Joe! I currently own no SS straights. Maybe someday! Your Friodur seems to be working well for you. My new-to-me Iwasaki 33 straight razor is arriving tomorrow. Can’t wait to give it a spin.
Fabulous shave with a wealth of information Jeff.
Thanks Joe! I believe that I have 2 more shaves with it before I move on to either Max or my near wedge Wosty.
Great shaves and historical info Jeff! Prior to today, I always though Smith Brothers made cough drops. Take care
Thanks Jeff. The edge that I put on this razor is very sharp. I only have 13 shaves on it since I honed it on 6/11/20. I am very happy that I own this razor.
Thanks Jeff .
January Injector Focus Shave #8
Razor: Schick G
Blade: Personna 74 tungsten
Brush: Trotter Handcrafts Cities in Space
Soap: Proraso red cream
A/S: Proraso green
Nice shave this evening with the G using Proraso products. I can pretend I am cool enough to carry off Italian fine style in the privacy of my home.
Yes, @jgreenepa , there is a very faint seam in the center of the handle. Does that make it plastic or bakelite?
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Awesome on all counts Myles!
18th January 2022.
Shaving recipe for today.
Prep: Warm shower:/Asda Sea Salt & Fennel Extract 2 in1 Shower Gel.
Cold wet flannel to my face.
Pears Transparent Bar Soap with Mint Extracts.
Brush: Omega 10051.
Lather: Scottish Fine Shaving Soap.
Blade: Treet Dura Sharp. ( D3)
Razor: Merkur 37C.
Cold water face wash with brush squeezing's, Cold Water Face Rinse. /Homemade (~Autumn/Winter mix~) peppermint lavender, eucalyptus, + Tea Tree essential Oils Mixed Together With 200ml of Care+Witch Hazel./Brut ASL./The Real Shaving Co PSSB.
Early morning cold water shave,
Third outing of the Treet Dura Sharp which paired together with the Merkur 37c wonderfully still feeling smooth and efficient.
Another very eclectic assortment of shaving diversity which all worked together excellently for an acceptable comfortable shave.
A enjoyable 2 pass + pick ups close comfortable shave with no errors to report...Finishing the shave off with a small dollop of SPF 15 Anti-Ageing Moisturiser.
My face is feeling silky smooth & smelling divine.
Stay safe, and enjoy your day ladies & gentlemen.
thank you Jeff.i am loving the benefits of these lowly razors..very underated..
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