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Century shave with a century-old razor

My 100th shave with traditional wet shaving gear was today, and I got to use the 1918 Gillette Old Type I won in the Christmas PIF offered by @HDSledge. I'd like to thank him again for the very generous PIF!


This is my first and only experience with a vintage razor, and I think it's in great condition. There is some really cool wear on the parts, but no deep scratches, dents or dings. At 102 years old, that's pretty awesome. The ends of the top cap are worn equally, suggestive of where you have to hold it when assembling/dissassembling. The razor and case are both small but very hefty for their size.


The threads are so soft upon tightening, and I'm being careful not to over tighten it. Nothing new feels like this! The degree of use this razor has experienced makes me think about its history, and who used it. It dates from the end of 1918, almost certainly after Armistice Day based on the serial number.

But how does it shave, you ask? With its very thin top cap and base plate, and a generous amount of blade reveal, this is a new experience for me! This razor rewards a very shallow angle, riding the cap to the extreme, at which point it is so smooth. (Well, I guess that stands to reason!). Adjust the angle just a little more steep, and you quickly get a lot of blade feel, which I don't mind at all. I used a Gillette Silver Blue in it today, my first use of one of these, and liked it a little more than the Gillette Platinums I'd tried previously.


I get the impression that this razor is very efficient and almost expects its user to do one or two passes tops, and then get on with the business of the day. I like that, although I do three passes as usual. I feel like this razor leaves behind almost zero lather or residual slickness even from Tabac; it just scrapes everything clean. The three times I've used the razor so far, I've gotten around five weepers, mostly around the chin. Nothing serious, but a reminder of the need for better technique. Most ATG moves with this razor are not comfortable for me yet, so my results haven't been as close as with an R41 or my Feather shavette, but neither of those razors has a the kind of cache this one does.

If my first 100 days of wet shaving has treated me like this, I can't wait to see what's to come! It's good to be a part of B&B. This experience wouldn't have happened otherwise. Happy shaves, all.
This razor is such a riot. I keep going shallower with it and it just keeps working better. I feel like the handle is nearly perpendicular to my face and almost the entire cap is on my skin. Probably an exaggeration, but that's what it feels like. And it shaves like that. Really well! In fact, with so much of the surface area of the cap riding on my skin, it feels like it sort of clings to my skin, thus maintaining the shallow angle I've set. It's almost like it's on autopilot.

I assume this works because the whole top assembly is so thin that the blade is able to remain close enough to the skin to continue contacting the whiskers, and also maybe because of the high amount of blade reveal (to my eye anyway) which means there's not as much cap material to get between the blade and the skin. If I'm wrong on both counts I don't mind. Razor geometry is still a weird science to me.
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