Super Speed evolution....a bunch of useless info you probably don't need to know

Discussion in 'Safety Razors' started by MTgrayling, Nov 26, 2008.

  1. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    Thanks with this information you've answered the question when the plates transitioned from PACKAGE to PKG. I'll update accordingly.
    brit likes this.
  2. preidy

    preidy Just call me Dino

    Thanks I learned something new at this early hour. So today I have to run upstairs to my razor drawer and check my NDC SS set and make sure I have the correct case. I assume that the 48 case is the same as the 49?
    brit likes this.
  3. kfbrady

    kfbrady Well-Known Member

    Well, the very first two years of the Super Speeds - 1947 and 1948 - they shipped in cardboard boxes.

    The red styrene case only appeared in 1949.

    Photo from Achim's fantastic website

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  4. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    I'm pretty sure that is the the wrong razor for that box and is an Aristocrat Jr. I've seen what I know for sure are 1947 no notch super speeds on ebay that don't have the ring on the neck of the razor like all the other known 40s style super speeds. I highly doubt Gillette sold both neck designs under both brand names. As far as I know without examples to check they are exactly the same razor in every other aspect. Also look at the boxes on the website for 47 no notch and 47 Aristocrat Jr. Notice the neck has no ring on the neck for either's instructions.
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  5. kfbrady

    kfbrady Well-Known Member

    Maybe, but what's that got to do with red styrene cases and a '48 Super Speed?

    Are you saying that the red cases were available in 1948?
  6. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    No the date of the introduction of the cases is most likely correct give or take a production quarter, I'm saying in that picture that is the wrong 47 razor for the box. What is common on box boxes for US 47 Aristocrat Jr and US 47 Super Speed. The instruction picture of the razor. What neck style was on 41 and 46 US Ranger Tech.

    When I say a production quarter going from boxes to a fancy for the time case it was most likely introduced to market around a major holiday like Christmas. Without an example it is just a guess on my part but having designed and built product lines for oem and customers that is the way you roll out a new product line change to maximize sales and get customers familiar with the new changes to re-buy something they already have. It is something that could also be possibly dated definitively by some advertising pieces touting those new cases if they exist like an old Sears and Roebucks catalog.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018
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  7. DaveO

    DaveO Active Member

    Very interesting and informative post, but will there be a test on this tomorrow?
    brit likes this.
  8. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    If you like to go bargain hunting at the last chance before the landfill aka expensively worded junk aka antique shops, it certainly helps.
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  9. kfbrady

    kfbrady Well-Known Member

    Of course there will be. You need to score 80% to get a passing grade. :drool:
  10. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    Another variation.

    The 40 - 46 Milords, 41 - 46 Ranger Techs and 47 no notch 40s style SS all have a smooth curved bend from the base plate up to end of slots before the safety bar angles parallel to the handle.

    The 47 and up notched SS, Milords all have stepped creases instead. First bend touches the lettering on the underside and second bend is in the middle of slots.

    The transition razor that has the stepped crease but no notches is the US made 47 Aristocrat Junior. Besides the collar this is the other characteristic that differentiates it from a 47 no notch SS. I'll try to get some good enough pictures taken to show the differences.

    I don't if this is the crease that is mentioned in the original write up since the poster wasn't specific in his explanation. If it is then this is just a more detailed explanation and we have a different idea of where the blade tray ends and safety bar begins.

    Now does this affect the way the razors shave, I have no idea yet, but if it does then it proves at least to me there is also a legit functional difference between the US made 47 no notch SS and a 47 Aristocrat Jr and they are not just the same razor in different boxes with cosmetic changes.

    The US Made safety bar US made Aristocrat follows this manufacturing progression sans the transition head.

    The US made Milord also follows the manufacturing progression including the transition head on the 47 model.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2018
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  11. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    Notice the difference in creases on the safety bar for both no notched Milords. Pictures courtesy of

    1946 Milord
    1946 Milord.JPG

    1947 Milord no notch
    1947 Milord.JPG

    The crease is most noticeable in the center bar between the 2 slots. Also notice the collar is the same as the 47 US Aristocrat Jr so this is most likely the same razor sans the plating.
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  12. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    Mr Razor's website is a wealth of knowledge but he has the wrong razor for the 47 no notch Super Speed. There are 3 variations between the 2 that can be spotted visually. My pictures are a little blurry but you can use the above post to make out the fine details on the creases on the safety bars.
    pic1.jpg pic2.jpg pic3.jpg

    On the left is the 47 no notch Super Speed and right is the 47 Aristocrat Jr.

    First picture you can clearly see the difference in the collars.

    Second and third you can see the lack of crease on the Super Speed and crease on the Aristocrat Jr. to the right.

    There is a third variation which is impossible to show directly through pictures.

    If rotate the razors along the center bar through the middle of end caps the lettering orientation is different on both sides of the base plate of the razor.

    On the Super Speed the top to bottom, left to right lettering reverses when you flip the razor for each side.

    The Aristocrat Jr. the lettering doesn't reverse.

    I did some checking and at least on all the 40s style super speeds dated coded, NDC, notched or no notched the orientation reverses on all the razors base plates when you flip them. Same with the 47 and up Milords.

    The 47 Aristocrat Jr. and NDC notched Aristocrats don't reverse the orientation of letter on the base plates when flipped.

    If nothing else this proves 1 of 2 things the Aristocrats during the same run of 40s style super speeds were stamped with a different press or the press operator purposely rotated the stock differently depending on which work order he has doing.

    Now this got me to checking my other razors here is the orientation breakdown.

    Those that preserve the lettering orientation on the flip for the base plate.

    50s style regular flare tip super speed (maltese screw in TTO knob)
    60s style flare tip super speed (rattle clip in TTO knob)
    Red Tip super speed (one without the + on the base plate)
    Diplomat (Aristocrat with a different name handle knurling)
    46 Milord Ranger Tech

    Those that do not preserve the lettering orientation on the flip for the base plate.

    Aluminum and steel handle black tip super speeds
    58 TV Special flare tip super speed
    blue tip super speed.

    If someone has a nickel plated 46 Ranger Tech can they confirm what the orientation is on the lettering of the base plate when flipped?

    The Ranger Tech is the oddity here since they reversed the orientation from the Ranger Tech to Super Speed unless the gold plated ones were done differently than the nickel plated ones.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2018
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  13. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    Another Super Speed variation to add to the list. I found a 47 no notch version with the creases on the safety bar like the notched versions. Apparently they made both 47 Aristocrat Jr and Super Speed w/o notches using the same base plate.
    ss1.jpg ss2.jpg ss3.jpg
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  14. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    As far as the base plate lettering orientation goes they are not the same. The Super Speed w/o notches and creased safety bar is the same as the other 40s style super speeds with and without notches. For me this is enough evidence to prove the Aristocrat Jr is not part of the same family of razors from this time period and is more than just another 40s style super speed with a different collar.
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  15. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    Having finally shaved with all the 40s style SS variations including a 47-50 NDC notched Milord and black tips, 41 nickel plated Ranger Tech, 46 gold plated Ranger Tech and 47 Aristocrat Jr. I know for sure their shave characteristics and how they differ. I am using a 47 - 50 NDC notched SS as the baseline to compare against here.

    The 41 and 46 Ranger Techs shave the same so gold or nickel plate and year doesn't matter here. They are on the mild side but most aggressive of all these razors and also the closest shavers.

    The 47 no notch curved base plate like the Ranger Techs, it is not as aggressive as a Ranger Tech but more aggressive than a 47 - 50 NDC notched SS. It doesn't have that characteristic rough tug on the hair that the 40s style super speeds sans the black tips all have. This is one smooth shaver. It may be possible that some of 46 Ranger Techs may have used this same base plate towards the end of their run so if you disagree that the 41 and 46 are the same it is possible you have one of these particular variations if they exist.

    The no notch creased base plate like 47 - 50 NDC SS shaves identical to a 47 - 50 NDC notched SS.

    The 47 - 50 NDC notched Milord is the same so no difference due to plating.

    The 47 Aristocrat Jr is a unique shaver in this batch it is milder and smoother than the 47 -50 notched NDC SS. It falls on the mild scale between this razor and 50s style flare tip but smoother than both.

    The aluminum handle and steel handle black tips are the worst of the lot. They are about as smooth as a 50s style flare tip and but milder, closer to a blue tip than anything else.

    Rated by closeness of shave

    1. 41 and 46 Ranger Techs including same style Milords
    2. 47 curved base plate no notch SS
    3. 47 - 50 NDC notched and no notched creased base plate SS including same style Milords
    4. 47 Aristocrat Jr
    5. Aluminum and steel handle black tips

    Rated by smoothness

    1. 47 curved base plate no notch SS
    2. 47 Aristocrat Jr
    3. 41 and 46 Ranger Techs including same style Milords
    4. Aluminum and steel handle black tips
    5. 47 - 50 NDC notched and no notched creased base plate SS including same style Milords
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  16. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    One other side note here more so about US Aristocrats and base plate orientation. There maybe a way to distinguish between a 46 and 47 no notch Aristocrat.

    One thing I noticed is the following trend

    46 Ranger Tech doesn't reverse the lettering orientation on the base plate when flipped.
    46 - 47 no notch NDC Aristocrat does reverse the lettering orientation on the base plate when flipped.

    47 and up 40s style Super Speeds does reverse the lettering orientation on the base plate when flipped.
    47 and up notched Aristocrats doesn't reverse the lettering orientation on the base plate when flipped.

    If a no notch Aristocrat exists that doesn't reverse the lettering orientation on the base plate when flipped like 47 and up notched versions that should be sufficient proof of a 47 no notch vs a 46 no notch.
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  17. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    Looks like the 47 date for the switch over to the notched center bars is wrong. Check these 2 ads out.

    First check the ad out here in Life Magazine Jan. 12th 1948 pg 68 and 69.
    I would post the full ad but it is copyrighted. super speed&f=false

    It is still the old style no notched center bar.

    Now check this ad out here in Life Magazine Jun. 7th 1948 pg 108 and 109 super speed&f=false

    There is the new no notched center bar. If they were selling these in January of 48 it reasons they would have placed this ad in the January issue of Life also.

    So we can use this as the basis for saying that transition on the Super Speeds, Aristocrats and Milords didn't happen until 1948 not 47 as has been previously believed.
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  18. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    To revise the timeline on the US 40s style super speed.


    First variation on the left
    47 - 47/48 (curved safety bar and no notch center bar)
    47 definitely and possibly 48

    Second variation on the right
    47/48 - 48 (creased safety bar and no notch center bar)
    47 possibly and definitely 48


    48 and up (creased safety bar and notched center bar)
    brit likes this.
  19. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    Doing some more research I can narrow down almost exactly when Gillette went to the new styrene cases.

    Material is copyrighted so I need to link through google books.
    Life Magazine Aug. 8th 1949 pg 56

    The ad shows the Super Speed in the box.

    Life Magazine Oct. 10th 1949 pg 81

    The ad shows the new styrene travel case.

    So sometime after August of 49 but no later than October 49 they started selling the Super Speeds in those red styrene cases.
    brit likes this.
  20. brit

    brit in a box

    looks like i scored a 47 aristocrat jr.:)

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