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1930 Gillette New Richwood #81 - one of the rarest British Gillette hybrids

From 1930 through 1950 the Gillette company offered a small number of ‘hybrid’ razors, meaning individual razor designs that somehow were between, or a combination of, the usual model lines. Most often with a head setup from one model line and handle design from another. British Gillette was especially adept at this, using the Raised Flatbottom head setup on other model handles.

In this post I’d like to share of of the rare ones: The 1930 New Richwood #81 RFB, as I recently had this fine specimen return back after refurbishment.

On top I’ll add a couple others that I find fall into the hybrid definition.

The 1930 #81 Richwood New RFB
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I never even knew this particular model existed until fellow collectors pointed me to it. Compared to the often seen New RFB’s #77/#88 razors this ultra-rare razor model is recognizable only by its significantly thicker handle. But still it shaves the same as other RFB’s - wonderfully smooth and efficiently.

In the beautiful wooden case (standard Richwood case, I believe, made in the USA) this is a fine example of what Gillette could do during it’s heyday in the 1930s. I still wonder though why the creators decided to pair a British made RFB type razor with a Richwood case? But probably, as often seen with British Gillette, they just wanted to use up surplus cases. Or maybe their strategy was to put out models to test if they would take off in the market? If so this did not, because it seems that only few were made. At least only very few survive to this day.

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The combo of a US case and British razor was also seen in the #20 set shown below.

This silver/nickel version #81 is one of my newest additions to my collection as I had to hunt high and low for the longest time to find one. And I only managed to find a really well-loved example which meant a necessary replate by Chris at Razorplate, while I myself refurbished the case.

Today this razor is back to full glory with nickel head and silver handle. I could not find any official Gillette source confirmation that this is the correct/original plating, but it was confirmed by Chris when he examined the original plating on it.

The #81 set was offered in both a gold and a nickel/silver razor version, with the case lettering and logo matching the razor color.

The 1947 #40 Hybrid Tech
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The 1930 #20 Big Fellow Chromium De Luxe RFB
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Haha, thanks so much friends. This van has a great backstory.

It has been refurbished by an 86-yr old guy who is a fanatic about these Tekno toy cars. He is so addicted that he built a full restoration workshop in his basement with full paintshop and aftermarket parts he gets produced across Europe and elsewhere. Stuff like decals and such. The cars get restored exactly to original spec with the right paint numbers, production method etc., it takes him 3 months to build one of these.
:001_wub:
 

FarmerTan

FarmerStan the Man
Haha, thanks so much friends. This van has a great backstory.

It has been refurbished by an 86-yr old guy who is a fanatic about these Tekno toy cars. He is so addicted that he built a full restoration workshop in his basement with full paintshop and aftermarket parts he gets produced across Europe and elsewhere. Stuff like decals and such. The cars get restored exactly to original spec with the right paint numbers, production method etc., it takes him 3 months to build one of these.
:001_wub:
Thanks for the info! Impressive.
 

FarmerTan

FarmerStan the Man
Yes

Arrived in June.

Waiting on our first big snow later today of around 15 inches plus drifting.

Getting used to the colder temps though. Was sweating yesterday at work outside in the rain at 32-35⁰ most the day 😂
Congrats on the move.
It's weird how that works. Once I had a bunch of wood (poplar) to split. Beautiful sunny day, 35° F. and I started out in a heavy coat, hood, sweatshirt, tee shirt.... After about an hour I was down to skin, lol.

Crazy. That was 33 or so years ago, when I thought I was invincible. Ended up really sick for a while after that, probably not related. But age has forced me to use hydraulics and and my brane now!!!
 
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