GEM Jr. (Damaskeene?) question (with pics)

Discussion in 'Single Edged Razors' started by dcobranchi, May 12, 2012.

  1. Guys,

    I recently picked this one up on Craigslist. The head is stamped GEM Junior. Patented 1900. The case seems original to the razor. Everything fits precisely, and it even has a razor blade sized card that tells the user not to lift the brass guard on the top to load the razor. The question, though, is that the case is a GEM Jr. Damaskeene (see photos below). No mention of Damaskeene anywhere on the razor itself, nor on the blade case. So, questions for the experts:

    1) Did GEM make the Damaskeene that early?
    2) Were all of the Damaskeene razors stamped as such?
    3) Or do I have a mismatched razor & case?

    $P1110182.jpg $P1110184.jpg $P1110185.jpg $P1110187.jpg $P1110189.jpg
  2. My set like this has a open comb 1912 in it, according to the Safety Razor Compendium the set has what is possibly the first blade dispenser
  3. Kentos

    Kentos Moderator Emeritus

    I think the head might be mismatched, as I have the exact same case, but it had an OC Damaskeene head.

    Your looks to be lather catcher, which is even better from a rarity standpoint IMO.

  4. Oh! That card goes in the razor blade box. I thought it was referring to not lifting the brass "box" on the top of the razor. Cool.


    BTW, Kentos, beautiful set. Yours looks brand new. Do you have the stropping handle? It seems that the extra piece that fits inside the handle can hold the blade for stropping, too.
    Last edited: May 12, 2012
  5. The name "Damaskeene" originally referred more to GEM's blades than the razor frame. The razor that we now call the Damaskeene was GEM's early version of the 1912; however, the Damaskeene blades were also sold in sets with the older Gem Junior like the one you have there. (We usually refer to that style as the Gem Junior Bar to distinguish it from the earlier style of Gem Junior that had the same frame without the bar.)

    Here's an ad from the November 1912 issue of The Outing Magazine for the set you have there:


    And here's a fun one from the November 25, 1914 issue of The Outlook that shows the later 1912-style Damaskeene set:

  6. That first ad sure as heck looks like my razor. Same fancy scroll work on the head. So, it's legit.

    It was sold as a seven day set? Use the blades once and then strop them on the weekend?
  7. alex2363

    alex2363 Contributor

    Yes, thats right. Or whenever you wanted to strop them.
  8. alex2363

    alex2363 Contributor

    Great info Porter, you do have a quick draw on that info Six shooter info gun, I sure would be afraid of ya if we had a Sun Down info Shoot out in the old west![​IMG]
  9. Well, it was sold with seven blades, yes, but that dispenser would make it a bit inconvenient to use one each day, I would think. You'd have to repack the used one each day. The earlier sets were more like the old seven-day wedge blade sets, where there were slots in the case for individual blades. This ad is from the June 1908 issue of System and shows a set like that with this same frame with the "NEW BAR":


    They call me Tater Salad.

  10. Those old ads are absolutely terrific! Great reference mat'l.
  11. alex2363

    alex2363 Contributor

    Agreed, i have alot from my resources, but Porter takes the cake, he has a bit more than me.
  12. alex2363

    alex2363 Contributor


  13. Seems like the vast majority of SE historical information comes from old magazine advertisements.

    Too bad ASR doesn't seem to have a company historian the way some of the gun companies' do.
  14. alex2363

    alex2363 Contributor

    Well, I appreciate your analyzes but I think many members have a different approach to inform us. Porter has a variety of styles to inform us and i admire his variety. It is always different, entertaining, educational, and many times illustrative along w historical references that gives our imagination a view on how traditional shaving must have looked like. WE should be honored to have a member that gives us the gift of time as he gives us his informative time to help us. ( I do go for my other resources more than on ads, but we all have different approaches to help each other out and to me thats good enough.)
  15. Kentos

    Kentos Moderator Emeritus

    Great info!

    I do have the stropping insert in the handle. TBO the hollow handle feels a little too light. I would ideally want the stropping machine they sold for a buck! :smile:.
  16. Wow, that is a beautiful razor!
  17. Thanks. Yeah, these very early GEM and Ever-Ready razors were true works of art. And they provide great shaves as well. Mine has a fair bit of brassing. I like the look, but worry about the longevity of the exposed brass. This one may have to be replated eventually. In Ni, of course. I'm definitely in the hunt for more of these. Just have to build up the Paypal account balance first.

    Except for the coolness factor of the stropping attachment, the handle is pretty meh. The slightly later handles like the chain are nicer, IMO.
  18. ackvil

    ackvil Moderator Contributor

    Just love these history threads. Great job Porter.
  19. The "bar" is the open rectangle on top of the razor, right? The smaller drawing next to the case doesn't have that feature. Is that the older design?
  20. Nice looking leather catcher, and great job on history info. Good job Guys :eek:)

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