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Army issue brushes ca. 1943

Here is a slice of wartime shaving brush history from Popular Science, April 1943. I tripped over this while looking for something else, but immediately recognized the brush in the picture. These show up on ebay all the time, and now I know why: the USA Army ordered at least 2M of these, maybe more.

The article mentions that they dropped the usual brass ring and set the bristles in plastic instead of rubber, to save both materials for other uses. Sadly the article says nothing about the manufacturer. Some of the similar-looking brushes on ebay are marked Ever-Ready, but some are unmarked. Maybe the unmarked ones were military issue and the marked ones civilian? These may have been made to Army specification by multiple contractors, too.

The author is also silent on the source and nature of the bristles. From other sources I gather that boar bristles were normally an import, and that was a problem during wartime. From 1942-46 civilian use was restricted by something called "Order M-51". These Army brushes may have been exempt, or may have been horse hair or some other substitute. The ones on ebay mostly look like horse to me, but there are also some that look like boar. Anyway pictures can be deceptive. Does anyone know?

 
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Interesting to note that the government was still promoting the use of a shaving brush during war time instead of brushless cream which had been out for a couple decades.

I've seen these made by both Ever-Ready and Rubberset. Since government contracts would normally exclude a brand name these may well have been civilian versions or surplus production sold after the war. Now that I think about it these also seemed to just have the brand name, no "Sterilized" which is odd.

Great info. Thanks for posting.
 
Interesting to note that the government was still promoting the use of a shaving brush during war time instead of brushless cream which had been out for a couple decades.

I've seen these made by both Ever-Ready and Rubberset. Since government contracts would normally exclude a brand name these may well have been civilian versions or surplus production sold after the war. Now that I think about it these also seemed to just have the brand name, no "Sterilized" which is odd.

Great info. Thanks for posting.
I take that back, it looks like only the Rubberset excluded the word "Sterilized".

$rubberset wwii.jpg
$ever-ready wwii.jpg
 
$20150214_104154-1.jpg $20150214_104224.jpg I have the exact Every Ready....I bought from a WWII site claiming it was from WWII. I guess from the pics can we confirm this???? Excellent posting....love collecting items from the era.
 
Great post.

It appears Major Winters is using the correct brush in Band of Brothers.

 
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