Gillette Canadian Rocket TTO timeline

Discussion in 'Double Edged Razors' started by BBS-1, Sep 12, 2019.

    This particular set and razors are some of the least known or understood razors by Gillette collectors.
    These razors were sold from 1949 - 1956 and had 4 distinct type of razors sold in the Rocket set.

    First here is the Canadian trademarking filing.

    Date registered is March 11th 1949 and date first use is February 16th 1949.

    The first version of the Canadian Rocket was sold in 1949 and 1950. As it turns out the first Canadian Rocket set was packaged with a razor no one has been able to definitely prove was sold as Rocket far as I know. They were correct that the 2nd gen British Aristocrat Junior was also packaged as Rocket in Canada but had the packaging itself wrong as seen in these 2 ads. These were only packaged far as I know in the cardboard boxes shown in the ads.

    Type of razor as it would have been packaged as an Aristocrat Jr in England, picture courtesy of
    1949 (U3 on blade) Aristocrat jr.JPG

    Ad from the Edmonton Journal June 6th 1949

    Ad from the Vancouver Sun Jan. 27th 1950.

    The second Rocket variation appears in 1950. This also is the first Canadian Rocket to be sold in the red styrene cases. This one looks like a 40s style super speed but is missing any the of the US patent info and no made in the USA stampings, they are date coded. This razor was nickel plated only. This particular Rocket was sold from 1950 - 1954

    Here are pictures of this razor and case.
    cr1.jpg cr2.jpg cr3.jpg cr4.jpg

    Ad from the Leader Post Aug. 17th 1950
  1. In 1953 a new model of Rocket is introduced called the Deluxe. This razor was sold between 1953 and 1956. I've never seen this razor before but it is assumed to be the same razor as the second version of the Canadian Rocket in gold plate. The Deluxe also shows the introduction of new style of styrene case which is used for all Rockets produced from this point until 1956.

    Ad from the Gazette Aug. 24th 1953

    In 1954 the final version of the Canadian Rocket is introduced. This one was sold between 1954 and 1956. This razor is the same as American Black Tip Super Speed but was only sold in one handle configuration as seen below. Whether it had the US patent and made in USA stampings I don't know but they should be dated coded and as such regardless of production quarter have a year date code of Z, A and B on them.

    Here is picture of what the razor and handle style looks like. This is an American Super Speed dated W3 but the handle style is the same as shown in the ad below.


    Ad from the Edmonton Journal July 15th 1954.

    Here is the last ad for these razors from the Ottawa Citzen Feb. 10th 1956. After this year you don't see any more Canadian Rockets being advertised. This ad shows the Deluxe Rocket. You can see it is the same Deluxe Rocket as introduced in 1953 by the style of razor and case.

    A note on Super Speeds being sold in Canada. The first year you see them sold is 1955 for blue, standard and red flare tip. There never was any Super Speeds sold prior according to ad record and my guess is this when they superseded the Rockets as the lower priced one piece TTO option in the Canadian market. That means there was never any 40s style Super Speeds or Black Tip Super Speeds sold as Super Speeds in Canada. Those style razors were only sold as Rockets.

    Here is the first ad I found for any Super Speed being sold in Canada.

    Ad from the Vancouver News Herald Nov. 1st 1955
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
  2. Full page adverts of above with the newspaper dates in the margins. You have to click on the file links to view them.

    Attached Files:

  3. Northstonehill

    Northstonehill Contributor

    Andy, very interesting and informative as always. Thanks for taking the time to do the write-up and sharing it with us!
  4. You'll know what you are buying now if you come across some these in the future. This will also put to bed whether the 2nd gen Aristocrat Junior was also packaged as a Rocket when sold in Canada. When I checked that razor was never sold as an Aristocrat Junior in Canada period according to my research.
  5. To update this I just found a Canadian Deluxe Rocket. This what the set and razor looks like including markings on the razor.
    crg5.jpg crg4.jpg crg3.jpg crg2.jpg crg1.jpg
  6. REV579

    REV579 Contributor

    I don't know if it is helpful or not, but here are some details I can provide:
    Black Tip Super Speed
    Aluminum Handle, Nickel Plated Shoulder
    W-3 1951

    Black Tip Super Speed
    Aluminum Handle
    W-4 1951

    Black Tip Super Speed
    Steel Handle, Nickel Plated Head
    X-2 1952
  7. Date code and patent stampings or lack of is what is helpful here. Weight is irrelevant since they only sold this style razor at one price point.
  8. I also have to add the Deluxe Rocket introduction date should be 1952 since that razor does have a date code of X 1 pictured above.
  9. NPK


    Just for interests sake, using a Canadian $ inflation calculator:

    $1.29 CAD in 1949 = $14.61 CAD ($11.06 USD) in 2019
    $1.59 CAD in 1953 = $15.67 CAD ($11.86 USD) in 2019
  10. Thanks for putting this together!
  11. Very comprehensive list, but imho one is missing, the 4th gen Aristocrat Jr in red Rocket “razor made in England” case.

  12. So, did all the Canadian Rockets, Super-Speeds, and Aristocrat Juniors have the blunt end caps like US-made models or were some of them pointy?
  13. GREAT THREAD!! Thanks for the timeline and history!! :a14::a14:
  14. They were sold as a no 58 set in Canada same as in England if that is the razor you are referring to.

    I will revise one thing though even though I haven't found visual documentation is that the English made 2nd gen Aristocrat Jr styled razor was most likely also sold in those red styrene cases for part of 1950. Reason being the cases do say razor made in England on the underside so the case was probably originally made to house the first iteration of the Canadian Rocket before they changed over to the Super Speed style razors. With that said I would say they would only date to 1950 and that is it. Since if they had introduced those styrene cases in 1949 you'd see some proof of it in the ads and I find none. Not even for the Christmas sets which all show the cardboard cases in elaborate packaging with creams and blades. The earliest mention of the styrene case is Apr. of 1950 and that ads right from there on all show that case with the Super Speed styled Rocket.

    Also another tidbit based upon research of someone else on another forum where I also posted this thread is that Rocket as a razor brand originally originated in Canada not England. Even though some people myself included will called British 40s style razors Rockets the actual first use of Rocket for British razors are the ones we call HD or LD Rockets. Based on what I know don't come onto the British market till until around 1953.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
  15. REV579

    REV579 Contributor

    Finding digitized British ads has been very challenging up to this point, at least for me.
  16. I have the felling some of the advertised sets never really made it to the Canadian market.
  17. Hello,

    the No 58 was never called a Rocet, it was an Aristocrat Jr in Australia for one Christmas season, the rest of the"world" called it one piece nickel plated razor.
    Gen 3 Aristocrat Jr.-s could come in both Canadian cardboard and plastic cases. I think Gillette Canada put into the plastic case whater razor was supplied by England. There is a Canadian color ad for a gen 4 Junior in plastic case from 1949, but I simply can't find it.

    By Gen 4 Aristocrat Jr. in red cases, I mean this setup. At least 50 float around the interweb, too many for a coincidence: solid guard bar/1949 Rocket.JPG

    Yes, the Rocket name was a Canadian invention, the first British Rocket was the aluminum thick handle Rocket aka. LD Rocket (but not the gold anodised Anniversary variant). The only thin handle British Rocket was the "Parat" when sold in the blue case.

  18. What you call a gen 4 Aristocrat Jr razor is the same razor I am calling an 2nd gen Aristocrat Jr. Answer yes that was the first style razor sold as a Rocket in 1949 and 1950. In the cardboard case in 1949 and 1950 and though I haven't seen any ads showing so mostly likely in the red styrene case in 1950.

    So you know how I am referring to these razors as by gen.

    Gen 1 as pictured here has the flat base plate, different style handle, tto knob and end caps as gen 2 and 3. Junior Set No48 beschriftet Logo.jpg

    Gen 2 the razor also sold as a Rocket in Canada. This one has the flat base plate, pointed end caps.
    Aristocrat Jr set solid guard bar/1949 (U2) Aristocrat jr.JPG

    Gen 3 this one has the diamond base plate solid guard bar/1950 (V4) Rocket Set No51 England.JPG

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