Discussion in 'General Shaving Talk' started by PLANofMAN, Nov 26, 2018.
i am surprised being some of the nicest and sought after gillettes were built there..
The thing of course is that we learned to shave without the internet, and also survived. New shavers (but I see the same in the fountain pen community: "what ink colour should I use? ... get real!") seem to be a lot less confident than we were when we started shaving.
Probably because there was a lot less information available, so there wasn't so much to doubt about. I went to the supermarket to buy an Omega boar (the only brands I remember being available were Omega and Vero) when it was time to get another brush. Same with soaps; there were three or four brands available (of which only De Vergulde Hand and Palmolive survived).
Nowadays there are a zillion products to choose from, you get overwhelmed with reviews, and "everyone" claims to be an expert. Some of those experts recommend more pre shave steps than I have in my entire shaving routine! (essentially unchanged since I started shaving in 1985 or so). Is it a wonder that new users get confused?
Too much of a good thing yadda yadda
Trust me, would I lie to you? xyz is the only shaving soap to buy and the acd razor is the preferred razor by we in the know. yadda yadda yadda
I expected the answer to be something like, they got it right with the 100/102.
That's a good answer to any shaving related question.
Actually the Kampfe Brothers had it right long before those models.... just saying.
i agree ,the old types were the the invention of the gillette wheel.. i prefer the new and their variants..
Don't know what took you so long
Getting slow in my old age I guess....I will try to do better.
When I started wetshaving a little over a decade ago, there still wasn't all that much available. Merkur razors and vintage finds, Dovo, Vulfix, and the occasional Simpson's brush, Col Conk, Williams and Van Der Hagen, Merkur and American Safety Razor store brand blades were about it. At least it was that way where I live. It wasn't until Giovanni Abrate, he of Barbiera Italiana and the Razor & Brush forum, opened his online store that a wide variety of products became available. It was still mostly Merkur and vintage razors, though. People talked about vintage razors quite a bit, but mostly it was just learning the basics with a few basic tools.
A few years before that, the selection was even more limited. Lee's Safety Razors and Classic Shaving, and the occasional cutlery store were the only wetshaving products vendors around.
Classic Shaving website, 2003
Lee's Safety Razors website, 2002
Gear hoarders were few and far between because there simply wasn't much available to squirrel away. Now buying a ton of stuff seems to be all the forums are about. Discovering new products is only important because they are a new feather to add to the nest. It sounds kind of bird brained to me, but to each his or her own. BTW - Has anyone ever seen a chick hoarding shaving gear? They hoard shoes like the dickens, after all, so why not shave stuff?
I remember how things used to be. I was using a cartridge razor and the only options were a few Merkurs, a Weishi, and a smattering of poorly-regarded Parkers. Even so, the Merkur 34C was a really good razor, so it was an improvement. That wide-eyed enthusiasm can still be seen at reddit/wicked_edge. Pinterest and Instagram offer
I think a lot of people are becoming more savvy to the shilling and other $$$ motivated shennanigans in wetshaving. Even a decade ago, commercialism was starting to creep into the wetshaving scene. Badger & Blade, then the largest wetshaving forum, was really just an ad agency masquerading as a forum. Oh wow, did that conflict of interest cause a lot of conflict! The resulting forum wars lasted well over a decade, did a lot of damage to traditional shaving, and a lot of bitterness and hard feelings. Fortunately, that nonsense seems to have ended two or three years ago, and is now rapidly fading in the rear view mirror. So the good ol' days weren't always good, tomorrow ain't as bad as it seems.
See what I mean?
Immediately prior to the introduction of cartridge razors, most men used either an electric razor or a safety razor with canned foam. Using a safety razor, brush and soap or cream probably had not been in widespread use since the 1950s. Even when it was, people did not have access to the huge variety of products we now have at our fingertips. What we have wrought is no longer a traditional wetshaving revival, it is a whole new thing altogether. It has one foot in the past, and the other firmly planted in the future.
Survived yes, as a bad shave is seldom fatal, but irritating or rough shaves are pretty annoying. Even "good enough" shaves aren't all they can truly be. With the Internet, everyone can learn proper shaving technique in about 15 minutes, and start putting it into practice almost immediately. Before the shaving forums, a lot of guys never got good shaves. My old man just told me I needed a shave and left it at that. I had to figure everything out on my own. I learned more about shaving in a half hour on the wetshaving forums than I did in thirty years beforehand.
That is probably why newbies seem less confident today. They go onto a forum, ask relevant questions, to which the answer is often "You need to buy 100 razors, 200 soaps, 300 brushes, and then an extra razor for bragging rights." That is fine for those who want to wave their razor handle around, less good for those trying to learn the alien and arcane art of traditional shaving.
The innovation in shaving seems to have been from straights to safety razors to electric razors. Within the safety razor spectrum, DE and SE. The DE razors have shown more innovation, but nothing real since the Adjustable TTO. The safety bar and TTO before that, but began with King’s 1904 Razor.
The Auto-Strop is impressive, even the injectors brought something new, but a new razor released every year?
It should be easy to find your groove with so little innovation since the 60’s, but with so many choices and so little difference between the choices it’s a wonder anyone finds what works best. But they do find what they are “looking for”.
Sometimes the devil is in the details. The various safety razors, both past and present, often give shaves that are quite different from one another.
You do have a point, though. There are safety razors sold today that give great shaves to a lot of people. The same was true eighty years ago, even if the selection back then was much more limited.
The selection 80 years ago was not more limited, there were dozens of manufacturers offering innovative designs. It was if anything a golden age of safety razor manufacture. We are not yet close to that.
It is important to get your feelings out in the open. You have been hurt and probably have feelings of anger and/or disappointment. Realize that when people ask your opinion about which razor is best... it says more about them than about you.
You cannot sit in judgement of life nor should you be obligated to judge razors. No one should be forced into that position. Helping others is probably a good thing but you should not do so at the expense of your own emotional exhaustion. Take time to heal. Take time for you.
On a side note... the best razor is the Rockwell 6S.
There's a thread killer
Just because something was made does not mean available to all individuals. That was far more true in the 1930s than today. Eighty-five years ago, people were limited to whatever the local stores happened to carry. Ok, add on a few products available via mail order. It wasn't like now, where we can buy worldwide over the Internet. The number of different traditional shaving products available to most individuals, safety razors included, is now much greater than it ever was before.
To list just a few razors:
Above The Tie
Baxter of California
BBNY & Co.
Flying Eagle / Kwang Yung
A good number of the above sell several, and sometimes many, different models. Add to that a variety razors sold by Razorock / Italian Barber, Phoenix Artisan Accouterments, and others. That would still omit quite a few razors from the list.
The number of different blades available back in the 1930s was what, maybe a dozen in large cities? More likely five or less in most places. Nowadays we can order from 100+ different blades worldwide. Shaving soaps? Dozens, if not hundreds vs. several back in the day. Not to mention that people in the 1930s were lucky if they could afford a second razor, something that would likely have been seen as unnecessarily extravagant. There are some wetshaving accumulators now who have enough stuff to tilt the Earth off its axis. The present is the Golden Age of Wetshaving, nostalgia notwithstanding. The Internet is what made it possible.
My take on Golden Age has a lot to do with innovation however, and while there are plenty of razors available today I don't see the kind of innovation in design that took place in the 30s.
Many of the more interesting among the modern razors at $185++ would have been $10-15 (razor alone) in 1934, we could therefore argue exactly how "available" those razors are. I certainly don't consider Wolfman or Paradigm "available to everyone" even if Yuma or Baili might be.
For that reason I find those razors far more interesting than current production, as lovely and well made as Wolfman, Karve, Timeless et al may be. I recognize that's purely a matter of personal preference.
Thanks for the list.
Someone has been watching too many Gillette commercials. Maybe watching their older ads would help?
Did we ever decide which razor is best?
Love those vintage Gillette commercials, BTW.
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