Gillette Old Type Head

The entrepreneur King Gillette revolutionized the world of wet shaving when he patented the disposable blade double edge safety razor (the patent was submitted in 1901 and approved in 1904).  This new razor was included in the issued field gear of every American service man during World War I, and the returning troops were even allowed to keep these new razors upon their return state side. In one fell swoop Gillette managed to create a huge new market for a relatively simple and easy to manufacture piece of equipment with a built in huge demand.  Eventually Gillette would move on from the first design to create many new and different styles of razors, but this first disposable blade double edge safety razor (currently known as the Gillette Old Type) remained a popular razor.  The Gillette Old Type three piece razor can be found relatively easily in antique shops and on-line sites, thanks in large part to its initial wide spread use and popularity.  It is still a fairly popular razor with many dedicated collectors and users.  A razor that came out 110 years ago (the Gillette Old Type was first released in 1903) and is still used and loved today must have a lot going for it, so when I was given the opportunity to use this historic and storied razor I jumped at it.

I was gifted a Gillette Old Type razor head by a generous member of The Shave Nook shaving forum.  I have never used an open comb razor before and am really looking forward to trying out this razor head.  It fit reasonably well on my Sik Bay plastic razor handle and more or less fit on my Edwin Jagger DE86 handle (it did not tighten down all of the way on that handle without a blade, but seemed to lose pretty much all of its play once a blade was installed).  I have a Gillette fat handled Tech coming soon, so I am betting that the fat handle will work out better, but until then I’ll use what I have on hand.

The head was a bit beat up aesthetically speaking, but in perfectly functional condition.  I cleaned, sanded, and polished the head to reveal some pretty brass and an extremely nice looking razor head.  I left the bottom of the base plate alone because it still had most of its plating on it.  One of the end teeth is slightly bent, but not enough to worry about, so I left that alone too.  I’m very happy with how well this head turned out and I look forward to using it.  I planned on skipping my shave tomorrow, so I may not pull it out until Wednesday.  I’ll keep you fine folks posted, but until then here are some before and after pictures (my tablet’s camera does not have a macro option, so you’ll have to forgive the mediocre quality):

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Before shot #1

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Before shot #2

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After shot #1

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After shot #2

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After shot #3

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After shot #4

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On the Sik Bay handle #1

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On the Sik Bay handle #2

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