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Gillette Single Rings with British Patent Numbers

If the linkage between my case's hallmark and the razor's serial number can be trusted, then I would think that pulls that whole series a bit later than you might like, George. Sure, there'd be some gap between the two, but I would think that it would be closer to 1910 than 1908.

Hi Porter,
Good to see you back. So....you've been holding out on us.:biggrin1:

I have to admit that I'm struggling a little with your logic here. It would seem to me that the simplest explanation is that the Sterling cases would have been supplied as an after market item by some enterprising silversmiths. Hence the Double Ring in a 1914 hallmarked box.

Your single ring is the earliest E series found so far. As an aside, I've often wondered what the starting number for series might have been. Has anyone sighted a razor with an alphanumeric followed by five blanks or zeroes and a 1, or did they start numbering at 100 (I have H000882)? Whatever, E078912 is early and the consensus seems to be that there was an opening of a factory at Leicester in Jan 1909 so I would have thought that, on that theory alone, your razor would date to shortly after that. However, drawing on my business experience, I can not get comfortable with the possibility that, having acquired a lease on what Marshall described as one of the best factories in the district and shipped in the machinery by mid 1908, KCG would have countenanced the facility sitting idle for 6 months while orders piled up. I think that the entirely reasonable explanation is that the lease was for the purpose of allowing production to proceed while the purchase option was taken up and the new or extended premises were built. I think that when the new buildings opened the new owners (The English Company) took the opportunity to stamp their authority on new production with a new marking protocol. Such a re-jigging would not be a trivial or cheap exercise and I can think of no other commercially sound reason why they should have done so.

Interesting suggestion by Adam regarding the ABC razors. My feeling is that ABC would have supplied the handles at least, and while the heads that are marked with the
diamond with a horizontal line may possibly have been made in Britain, I think it unlikely as one would think that they would have used the British serial numbers. What do you think Porter?

Cheers, George
 
Here is my chart:

$SR_Chart.jpg

I wonder if we have any members who work as fitters and turners or in some sort of tool manufacture. They could advise us of the tolerances aspects between different machines?

Cheers, George
 
R

romsitsa

Hello George,

I'll be a bit off topic with the ABC sets. Mine has a G serial dating it to 1918 based US date codes, but general consensus is production ceased earlier.
The handle of mine is shorter than a US one, comb thicker, locating pins shorter, thread different. This is why I think the British ABC sets were manufactured somewhere else.

On topic:
Thank you for the chart. While barrel leghts could vary slightly, the different length of the non slip patterns is very interesting. I imagine these were made with a turning patterned roller pressed onto the blank shaf, just like today. So a dofferent pattern length would mean a different rolle used.

Adam
 
I have to admit that I'm struggling a little with your logic here. It would seem to me that the simplest explanation is that the Sterling cases would have been supplied as an after market item by some enterprising silversmiths. Hence the Double Ring in a 1914 hallmarked box.

There's very little question in my mind that that double ring that you're talking about was matched up with that case well after the fact, so I would base nothing on that as an example.

What I meant earlier was that I would expect for there to be some amount of lag between the manufacture of the razor and the making of the case, but a year or more would seem excessive. The hallmarking of the case should happen very close to its manufacture, and it seems highly unlikely that we're talking about a guy hand-crafting these one at a time to order and keeping a stock of razors on hand on the off chance that someone wants one -- especially considering how prolific H. Matthews appears to have been. More likely these sets would have been made in batches, with razors and blades being bought specifically for the batch, suggesting that they should also have been reasonably recently manufactured, too -- where what's "reasonable" is certainly debatable.

In any case, the main reason I mentioned it is because of your suggestion that the change in stamping coincided with the transfer in ownership to the British company. Meaning, I'd presumed, that you would say that my razor should have been made before the Sep 30, 1908 sale. That's what seems like too big of a gap to me. But maybe I've misunderstood what you're saying there.

Even forgetting the case entirely, I doubt very highly that the Leicester plant was as productive as you seem to believe it was straight out of the gate. In order for them to have made even close to 79,000 razors in even their first full year of operation, let alone their first few months, they would had to have averaged more than 200 razors a day with no breaks -- over 250 if you assume a 6-day work week with no holidays. That seems like a pretty massive number, considering that the Canadian plant had only worked up to producing 300 razors a day by 1918, especially when it's pretty clear that the primary reason for establishing the plant in England was to protect the patent rights. Still, not impossible and the British business would certainly grow much larger than the Canadian one over the next several years, but it feels like quite a bit of a stretch to think they came straight out of the gate like that.

Your single ring is the earliest E series found so far. As an aside, I've often wondered what the starting number for series might have been. Has anyone sighted a razor with an alphanumeric followed by five blanks or zeroes and a 1, or did they start numbering at 100 (I have H000882)?

Honestly, I'm not really sure. Krumholz explicitly starts each series at 1 in his book, and I assume he had some form of primary source to suggest that, but I don't know. I've definitely seen three-digit numbers like yours, and I feel like I've seen a two-digit serial -- something during the WWI run, I think -- but it's a hard thing to search for to try and find again.

Whatever, E078912 is early and the consensus seems to be that there was an opening of a factory at Leicester in Jan 1909 so I would have thought that, on that theory alone, your razor would date to shortly after that. However, drawing on my business experience, I can not get comfortable with the possibility that, having acquired a lease on what Marshall described as one of the best factories in the district and shipped in the machinery by mid 1908, KCG would have countenanced the facility sitting idle for 6 months while orders piled up.

You're stretching things again a bit here. When they say that they'd received machinery from the Boston plant by mid 1908 that could just as easily mean that the shipment had arrived just prior to the September sale to the newly formed British company, with easily some months more to fit out the factory floor, staff it, and have it running at speed. But you're taking it to mean that by the literal middle of the calendar they were all set up and raring to go, with customers lined up in the street beating their doors down.

I'm just going to repeat what I've been saying throughout this thread: I'm not saying that they definitively were not producing razors in 1908, just that we don't yet have anything that to me definitively says they were. The whole "going concern" statement clearly applies to the business as a whole regardless of the state of the factory, and Marshall's account sounds much less like the transfer of a working factory than it does the Boston company giving the British company the necessary starting blocks to set off from. But anything there is open to interpretation. What we know for sure right now is that the legal obligation to "work the patent" within England started in 1909 and that they met that obligation.

I think that the entirely reasonable explanation is that the lease was for the purpose of allowing production to proceed while the purchase option was taken up and the new or extended premises were built. I think that when the new buildings opened the new owners (The English Company) took the opportunity to stamp their authority on new production with a new marking protocol. Such a re-jigging would not be a trivial or cheap exercise and I can think of no other commercially sound reason why they should have done so.

Just spitballing here, but what if they realized that their previous marking -- especially of the French-market razors, with the US patent date on the handle and the serial number on the guard plate was potentially going to cause confusion once the Boston plant's series came that high. Canada would have been the first place to hit that realization, having apparently started their standard run with "C" series numbers, and it does appear that they changed their numbering to drop the prefix and just go with straight numbers and the Canadian patent. And if they hit up against it in Canada they may have bubbled that same change throughout the rest of the organization.

With hindsight using letter prefixes for market designations was obviously a bad idea -- just look at the mess it's left us in -- but at the time with millions of serial numbers separating them they may not have even considered it.

Interesting suggestion by Adam regarding the ABC razors. My feeling is that ABC would have supplied the handles at least, and while the heads that are marked with the diamond with a horizontal line may possibly have been made in Britain, I think it unlikely as one would think that they would have used the British serial numbers. What do you think Porter?

With at least four of these examples now marked this way, I'm OK saying that those heads were likely Leicester production. It does seem to be the cleanest reasonable explanation, especially with two of the three cases having the added Brit Pat marking beside the usual dates marking and the third having the later style marking where patent numbers are given instead of dates.

As for why they wouldn't use the normal British series, looking at the Canadian production as a possible parallel they appear to have started their production using "C" numbers for standard razors and "PC" numbers for Pocket Editions. Maybe they started out using "E" for England, "F" for France, and "G" for Pocket Editions. That would account for the jump to "H" and the apparent lack of a real "G" series otherwise.
 
Thanks for your post Porter. I always value your input, particularly as it seems that we often have different points of view.

I imagined that aftermarket sterling boxes would have originated when, sometime after 1908, an English gentleman decided to replace the original box for his silver plated razor with a silver box. Being happy with the result he may have spread the word when his friends gathered to be rich together, resulting in an ever increasing order list for the silversmiths. With this scenario the lag could be any number of months or years.

With regard to the change of stamping, I am suggesting that this may have taken place on the opening of the new factory at Leicester in Jan 1909 rather than when ownership transferred to the English Company, and that your razor may have been made before Jan 1909. I have refrained from taking the liberty of entering your razor into the Wiki on the basis that you will enter it if that is your wish.

I am wondering if “going concern” has the same connotation in the US as the UK. America fought a war for its independence and abandoned many English traditions and practices whereas Australia adopted almost all of those practices. I can say from personal involvement with the practical application of that term to a legal process that it means that the Company is currently and fully engaged in all activities of the business and is expected to continue to do so indefinitely. This is a legal term and for it to apply the Leicester factory would have to have been producing.

The whole subject of letter prefixes is a can of worms. At the start of Gillette’s production there was only one silver plated razor design in production which later underwent a cosmetic change considered at the time to be too insignificant to mention. It was not until 1908 that other designs were emerging necessitating a rethink on the placement of the serial numbers. Serial numbers logically proceeded from numeric to letter prefixed numeric. The US patent was used from 1904 and in 1905 the razors for Canada were stamped "Pat. Mar.7.05". When Canada started production in 1906 with a “C” prefix did that stand for “Canada” or were they just preserving “A” and “B” for use in Boston? We have examples in the “A” and “B” series which have the British patent which we are speculating were produced in Boston for the European market, so why none from that time with the French or German patent?

There is a thread, the location of which escapes my memory, that examines the early “G” series razors from around 1907 and which cites a historical reference to the “G” standing for Gold plated. The thread concluded that while it started as meaning Gold it was later used to include special orders and other razors that didn’t fit the standard design or finish.
By 1908 Boston was into the “A” series it would be reasonable to expect that they would want to preserve “B” for their use. Curiously, they saw no problem with reusing the Canadian “C” in 1912. I take your point about the Canadian marking experience bubbling through the rest of the organisation but I would have thought that the bubbling might have been given due consideration prior to the fitting out of the European factories.

My theories on the European factories have attracted doubts on the basis of lack of evidence, so exactly what evidence is available from this time. There is advertising showing factories in England, France and Germany, including graphic representations of the actual buildings, and reports in the press of the construction of said factories. Both KCG and Marshall refer to factories on the continent. There was a court decision in Germany that concluded that Gillette was producing their product in that country. Arguments against this evidence seems to be that the advertising was an exaggeration, KCG was delusional, Marshall was referring only to blades and the German court decision suffered in translation. They may be so, but I respectfully decline to share those opinions.

In contrast, there is no historical evidence for the theory that the E, F and H series were designations for the destination markets of England, France and Germany for razors produced in Leicester. Nor does his practice have a precedent as it was not employed by Boston for their different markets. The simpler explanation is that they were the next letters after allowing “D” for Boston’s use and avoiding the reuse of “G”. Maybe "E" for England, "F" for France is just coincidence and "H" is just the next letter after the already used “G”. The anomalous aspect is that these series apparently ran in parallel. The simplest explanation for this was that Gillette’s normal practice and precedent was being employed in that the letter prefixes were initially issued for use by factories in different countries, as was done for Montreal. When control of the European operation transferred to the English Company the European factories became subsidiaries under their control and, according to evidence provided by Marshall, were subsequently relieved of the razor making task due to incompetence. My suggestion is that when the machinery was returned from the continent to Leicester it was used to make razors using their former prefixes but marked with the new protocol from whatever date they actually started using those machines at Leicester.

The point raised by Porter that my theory demands too much production in a short time from start-up is an interesting point that could be further investigated. I do recall that in an earlier post Mike was suggesting that there was too little production, but that was referring to a longer time period.

The origin of the augmented US patent with the “N” suffix is a complete mystery for which we have no evidence whatsoever at this time. Mike’s suggested possibility regarding the English patent offending the French has been adopted as the best guess at this stage but is still pure speculation and complicated by the fact that PAT.NOV.15.04.N appeared in the early E series as well as the F series. At the time Mike proposed another theory, that perhaps the N suffixed razors were actually made in Boston, which was strenuously opposed by both Porter and I, in hindsight perhaps prematurely. If we look at the first two E series entries in the current Wiki we see that they both have the PAT.NOV.15.04.N. E 92026 also has the Boston leading blank and both have the GinD stamp, as does E116205. In the anomalies listing on the Wiki we see E 45623 with the Boston leading blank, PAT.NOV.15.04.N and the GinD. If these razors were produced at Leicester for the French market why didn’t they have an “F” prefix? Looking further down in the Wiki we see that F021233 is the last razor in the F series with the British patent. F 59205 has the Boston leading blank and PAT.NOV.15.04.N, and all following F series razors currently in the Wiki have the PAT.NOV.15.04.N. If we briefly entertain the possibility that my theory may be correct, it would then seem that Paris stopped producing very quickly (which would fit Marshall’s comment regards Leicester's previous experience on the continent) and perhaps the F series was then produced in Boston? Perhaps Leicester’s early E series production was also being assisted by Boston? This would address Porter's reservations about early production in Leicester. I would welcome all opinions and criticisms of these speculations.

I should at this point once again make it clear that my theories are based on speculation derived from what I like to consider to be deductive reasoning using what little evidence is available, and I could be completely incorrect. I have the highest respect for Porter and Mike, but that doesn’t dissuade me from disagreeing with them on a semi-regular basis (I’m not actually arguing with them, just explaining why I am right…….. :laugh: kidding).

It is pleasing that this thread has resurfaced with fresh data and contributions from other members.

Cheers, George
 
Gentlemen, it is a pleasure to follow this thread and all the highly interesting discussions. Thanks to you all.

Thanks Juan. I've added your latest SR to the database. Does it have the English patent statement on the underside of the box?

Cheers, George
 
With hindsight using letter prefixes for market designations was obviously a bad idea -- just look at the mess it's left us in -- but at the time with millions of serial numbers separating them they may not have even considered it.

Porter, is it time to abandon this idea altogether? When we started the database you suggested that we include a column to designate where the razor was found. You originally speculated that the H series was designated for the German market but there has not been even one H series SR found in Germany. All H series SRs so far have been found in the UK. The only razors found in Germany are in the F series. The collected data does not seem to be supportive of your destination market theory, at least in the allocation of E for England, F for France and H for Germany. I am put in mind of this quote from Mencken:

$Mencken.jpg

It seems to me that Mike's suggestion that the PAT.NOV.15.04.N was right on the mark as the database is showing the early examples with this patent to be bearing the signature leading blank of the Boston factory.

Cheers, George
 
All H series SRs so far have been found in the UK.
It seems to me that Mike's suggestion that the PAT.NOV.15.04.N was right on the mark as the database is showing the early examples with this patent to be bearing the signature leading blank of the Boston factory.

Edits after edit time limit:
All H series SRs so far have been found in the UK except one, which was found in France.
It seems to me that Mike's suggestion that the PAT.NOV.15.04.N razors were made in Boston was right on the mark

Cheers, George
 
Question ... what about all the PAT.NOV.15.04N razors with patent info stamped on the inner barrel and serial numbers on the handle? If those were made in Boston, why would they change their marking protocol so drastically? Any ideas?
 
Question ... what about all the PAT.NOV.15.04N razors with patent info stamped on the inner barrel and serial numbers on the handle? If those were made in Boston, why would they change their marking protocol so drastically? Any ideas?

Hi Edgar,
Great to see you're still keeping an eye on this thread.

I would amend your question to why would any of the E, F and H series change their marking protocol so drastically. The answer is that we don't know. There has never been any primary evidence produced for Porter's theory which he himself originally stated was brainstorming and asked that a record be kept of where razors were found to re-inforce or weaken that theory. The empirical evidence in the database certainly doesn't support that theory so perhaps we have been chasing a red herring with it.

If we go back to basics:

1. There is a preponderance of evidence for there having been factories producing razors and blades in France and Germany which can be reviewed here:http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php/442832-Gillette-Single-Ring/page2. If this evidence is to be discredited then that process carries burden of proof using valid evidence to the contrary.

2. There was no precedent or readily apparent reason for a single factory to run 3 series in parallel.

3. There is no historical evidence for the letter designations representing destination markets and the empirical evidence does not support that theory.

4. The E,F and H series started with the marking protocol that would be subsequently adopted by Boston (for practical reasons) but then drastically changed for reasons to which we are not presently privy. The opening of the new factory at Leicester presents a possible milestone but that is speculation. What is noticeable is that after the change in marking protocol all the E and H series razors in the database bear the British patent and all the F series bear the PAT.NOV.15.04.N.

5. The PAT.NOV.15.04.N is a variation of the US patent and we don't know its significance. My latest speculation would be that it was used to designate razors made in Boston for the European market and using the same marking protocols as the razors produced in Europe which bore the British patent. There is a precedent for this in that A and B series razors were also made for the European market bearing the English patent. The "N" suffix would differentiate between razors made for the US and European markets.

I am currently rethinking my entire theory in the light of the empirical evidence gathered so far in the database (which is why we started it). What stands out is:

1. Most of the F series have the GinD and the E and H series have few.

2. The early examples of the
PAT.NOV.15.04.N all also have the leading blank signature. I am wondering if Boston was supplementing the early European production.

3. The database indicates that, for reasons unknown and at an unknown time, Boston may to have taken over the F series completely. Drawing on Marshall's comment regarding the English Companies' "previous" experience on the continent, and on Mike's suggestion that the French may have been outraged by the British patent being put on French manufactured goods, I am speculating that the razors in the F series that have a British patent may have been made in France before they were closed down and the F series subsequently produced in Boston, which could indicate that French production may have ceased before the transfer to the English Company in Sep 1908.

So, thinking caps on gentlemen, and lets do a little brainstorming.

Cheers, George


 
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I imagined that aftermarket sterling boxes would have originated when, sometime after 1908, an English gentleman decided to replace the original box for his silver plated razor with a silver box. Being happy with the result he may have spread the word when his friends gathered to be rich together, resulting in an ever increasing order list for the silversmiths. With this scenario the lag could be any number of months or years.

I highly doubt that high-end goods like this were sold as empty cases for someone to home their own razor and blades in. Looking at any of the other third-party offerings of similar quality -- like the W. Barrett & Son ivory sets or the Tiffany travel sets -- they were sold as complete sets, not accessories. Jewelers and high-end cutlers were a major retail channel for Gillette in those days.

With regard to the change of stamping, I am suggesting that this may have taken place on the opening of the new factory at Leicester in Jan 1909 rather than when ownership transferred to the English Company, and that your razor may have been made before Jan 1909.

Ah, the mystical "new factory"... OK, I did misunderstand you, then, because I thought you were saying that the stamping change was when the British company took over from the Boston company. To your earlier point, there has to have been some kind of reason for the change, as I agree with you that retooling their processes wouldn't have made sense just on a whim. From all other angles, though, it's such a completely inconsequential change that I can't imagine any possible way that it was a statement of, "Look what we can do now that we're in charge."

But back to the "new factory" idea. Maybe this thread has just gone on too long, but do we really have any evidence at all for a significant new construction like what you're talking about? It seems to me like it's just echoes of your now mostly abandoned idea that there were actually two separate facilities in Leicester.

I have refrained from taking the liberty of entering your razor into the Wiki on the basis that you will enter it if that is your wish.

I need to pull together more of my examples and enter them all. It's one of those rainy day projects that I hope to get around to someday. :blushing:

I am wondering if “going concern” has the same connotation in the US as the UK. America fought a war for its independence and abandoned many English traditions and practices whereas Australia adopted almost all of those practices. I can say from personal involvement with the practical application of that term to a legal process that it means that the Company is currently and fully engaged in all activities of the business and is expected to continue to do so indefinitely. This is a legal term and for it to apply the Leicester factory would have to have been producing.

If the factory was all that was being acquired then I might share your concern (or your going concern) here, but surely a business can be in a state of unfinished expansion and still be a "going concern." The larger book of business as a whole is what was being acquired, and was a going concern whether or not they were producing any goods themselves or simply reselling goods acquired from Boston.

To come at it from another way, how would you expect the brief characterization we have that describes the transfer from the Boston company to the new British one to be any different if the Leicester plant wasn't yet producing anything? Because I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm saying that I can't tell whether or not you're right.

Incidentally, I wonder if the difference between leasehold and freehold property doesn't come into play with some of the discrepancies in the accounts of the acquisition of the Leicester property. Is it possible that the property was never truly "owned" by Gillette, and that it was a leasehold property all along, where what Gillette bought was actually the remainder of some extended lease period from the actual landowner? If that's the kind of transaction that was involved, it wouldn't have been a terribly common arrangement for US sources reporting on it -- 100+ year leases aren't something we see a lot over here -- so it wouldn't surprise me to see it oversimplified as "a lease with an option to buy" or similar.

The US patent was used from 1904 and in 1905 the razors for Canada were stamped "Pat. Mar.7.05". When Canada started production in 1906 with a “C” prefix did that stand for “Canada” or were they just preserving “A” and “B” for use in Boston? We have examples in the “A” and “B” series which have the British patent which we are speculating were produced in Boston for the European market, so why none from that time with the French or German patent?

There seem to be pretty strong indications that the goods within the UK needed a very particular marking with the patent number -- otherwise why would they go through the bother of re-stamping the ABC cases that carried only dates with the Brit Pat number? Outside the UK, though, the US patent may have been preferred if there was no prohibition against its use. The notion of the Brit Pat being somehow "incendiary" in France just doesn't seem reasonable to me. But remember that many of the European patent dates were actually earlier than the US one, so if nothing else using the later date could give the impression of an extended protection period. The Canadian patent being a later date could have likewise made that more attractive there, but wouldn't have a feasible explanation for being used elsewhere, Gillette not being a Canadian company.

There is a thread, the location of which escapes my memory, that examines the early “G” series razors from around 1907 and which cites a historical reference to the “G” standing for Gold plated. The thread concluded that while it started as meaning Gold it was later used to include special orders and other razors that didn’t fit the standard design or finish.

I'm pretty sure I was in on the thread you're thinking of, but I don't remember anything like a historical reference for the "G" usage. As far as I know that was an idea that I put forward having seen a number of examples with "G" prefixed numbers that couldn't possibly have been in the normal series -- serials still stamped on the inner barrel for example. What's particularly confusing there is that Gillette's use of "G" doesn't appear to have used its own separate, sequential series and may instead have done something much more irritating, like just replacing the existing prefix with a "G" -- for example, without the "G" the serial number on this gold Single Ring would be perfectly logical for the way it's cased.

If someone did actually turn up anything like a reference that might indicate anything concrete there, though, that would be great.

There was a court decision in Germany that concluded that Gillette was producing their product in that country. Arguments against this evidence seems to be that the advertising was an exaggeration, KCG was delusional, Marshall was referring only to blades and the German court decision suffered in translation. They may be so, but I respectfully decline to share those opinions.

Feeling a mite theatrical, aren't we? I can nearly picture you on your fainting couch with the back of your hand to your forehead. :laugh: I don't feel enough like rehashing old points beyond saying that your characterization of them here is laughably one-sided.

I'm going to leave the rest regarding the series prefixes for a future reply. For now I'm off to bed.
 
Feeling a mite theatrical, aren't we? I can nearly picture you on your fainting couch with the back of your hand to your forehead. :laugh: I don't feel enough like rehashing old points beyond saying that your characterization of them here is laughably one-sided.

:biggrin1::biggrin1: Theatrical wasn't quite what I was going for. I could pull out the references and quotes but I think that time would be better spent on re-examining theories in the light of the database evidence.
Your picture is close except for the placement of my hand on my forehead. :laugh:

$Double face palm.jpg

Cheers, George
 
Ah, the mystical "new factory" Maybe this thread has just gone on too long, but do we really have any evidence at all for a significant new construction like what you're talking about? It seems to me like it's just echoes of your now mostly abandoned idea that there were actually two separate facilities in Leicester.
I think this thread is just getting started with new data and a possible clearing of red herrings. I think the fact that of factory opening in Leicester in Jan 1909 has been well established and I don't wish to try to re-establish old gains. We have addressed the error of my brief suggestion regarding two sites several times before. To absolutely clarify that subject, I am suggesting an initial lease of a factory site with a subsequent purchase of that site and construction of additional buildings which, on completion, were opened in Jan 1909.

If the factory was all that was being acquired then I might share your concern (or your going concern) here, but surely a business can be in a state of unfinished expansion and still be a "going concern."
Absolutely not!

Incidentally, I wonder if the difference between leasehold and freehold property doesn't come into play with some of the discrepancies in the accounts of the acquisition of the Leicester property. Is it possible that the property was never truly "owned" by Gillette, and that it was a leasehold property all along, where what Gillette bought was actually the remainder of some extended lease period from the actual landowner? If that's the kind of transaction that was involved, it wouldn't have been a terribly common arrangement for US sources reporting on it -- 100+ year leases aren't something we see a lot over here -- so it wouldn't surprise me to see it oversimplified as "a lease with an option to buy" or similar.

100 year leases are usually in the provenance of government and have nothing to do with 7 year leases. A lease with a option to buy binds the vendor but not the buyer and are common practice. Anyone that builds on short term leased land in Australia is considered to be "not the full quid" or "two sandwiches short of a picnic" (crazy).

When we started on this thread we knew very little about the subject. We have come far in developing our knowledge base and I am hoping that we can move forward from here with an examination of the relationship between historical evidence and the emperical evidence that is gradually emerging from the database. I also hope that we can refrain from attempts to discredit any correlations that may emerge due to their failure to conform to preconceived notions and speculations.

Cheers, George
 
Thanks Juan. I've added your latest SR to the database. Does it have the English patent statement on the underside of the box?

Cheers, George

No, it hasn't, George.

Thanks for adding the razor. I didn't dare to do it... especially being a newbie here...

I hope there will be more to add...
 
No, it hasn't, George.

Thanks for adding the razor. I didn't dare to do it... especially being a newbie here...

I hope there will be more to add...

You're very welcome Juan. My screen is showing your post count at over 6500 so I hadn't figured you as a newbie, but that may be a glitch. We were all newbies at one stage and I try to pay forward the kindnesses that were afforded me when I first joined. You are certainly making major contributions to this thread.

Cheers, George
 
Hi Edgar,
Great to see you're still keeping an eye on this thread.

I would amend your question to why would any of the E, F and H series change their marking protocol so drastically. The answer is that we don't know. There has never been any primary evidence produced for Porter's theory which he himself originally stated was brainstorming and asked that a record be kept of where razors were found to re-inforce or weaken that theory. The empirical evidence in the database certainly doesn't support that theory so perhaps we have been chasing a red herring with it.

If we go back to basics:

1. There is a preponderance of evidence for there having been factories producing razors and blades in France and Germany which can be reviewed here:http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php/442832-Gillette-Single-Ring/page2. If this evidence is to be discredited then that process carries burden of proof using valid evidence to the contrary.

2. There was no precedent or readily apparent reason for a single factory to run 3 series in parallel.

3. There is no historical evidence for the letter designations representing destination markets and the empirical evidence does not support that theory.

4. The E,F and H series started with the marking protocol that would be subsequently adopted by Boston (for practical reasons) but then drastically changed for reasons to which we are not presently privy. The opening of the new factory at Leicester presents a possible milestone but that is speculation. What is noticeable is that after the change in marking protocol all the E and H series razors in the database bear the British patent and all the F series bear the PAT.NOV.15.04.N.

5. The PAT.NOV.15.04.N is a variation of the US patent and we don't know its significance. My latest speculation would be that it was used to designate razors made in Boston for the European market and using the same marking protocols as the razors produced in Europe which bore the British patent. There is a precedent for this in that A and B series razors were also made for the European market bearing the English patent. The "N" suffix would differentiate between razors made for the US and European markets.

I am currently rethinking my entire theory in the light of the empirical evidence gathered so far in the database (which is why we started it). What stands out is:

1. Most of the F series have the GinD and the E and H series have few.

2. The early examples of the
PAT.NOV.15.04.N all also have the leading blank signature. I am wondering if Boston was supplementing the early European production.

3. The database indicates that, for reasons unknown and at an unknown time, Boston may to have taken over the F series completely. Drawing on Marshall's comment regarding the English Companies' "previous" experience on the continent, and on Mike's suggestion that the French may have been outraged by the British patent being put on French manufactured goods, I am speculating that the razors in the F series that have a British patent may have been made in France before they were closed down and the F series subsequently produced in Boston, which could indicate that French production may have ceased before the transfer to the English Company in Sep 1908.

So, thinking caps on gentlemen, and lets do a little brainstorming.

Cheers, George



Hi George,

Probably I should go back and read the last few pages again. But here's another question:

These two razors

E116149Guard Plate TopOuter BarrelBR.PAT.No.28763.02StargearchowLinkNOB
E116205Guard Plate TopOuter BarrelPAT.NOV.15.04.NOne under CapYesUseless shaverFranceLinkSL; MBB

The serial numbers are so close to each other that they could have been made the same day, yet the patent info is different? Would this, according to your theory, indicate simultaneous production of the E series in Boston and Europe?
 
Today I got another British SR in the post :001_cool: this will be my 6th British one :blushing:

The details before the pics..

Leather case with patch inside lid, patent info on bottom of case.
SN E216343 on outside of outer barrel.
BR.PAT.No 28763.02 on inner barrel.
Diamonds on the inside of the cap and guard.
Two metal blade banks match striker style.
Could this be added to the wiki by a more PC literate person than me please ?

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Today I got another British SR in the post :001_cool: this will be my 6th British one :blushing:

The details before the pics..

Leather case with patch inside lid, patent info on bottom of case.
SN E216343 on outside of outer barrel.
BR.PAT.No 28763.02 on inner barrel.
Diamonds on the inside of the cap and guard.
Two metal blade banks match striker style.
Could this be added to the wiki by a more PC literate person than me please ?

Congrats, Brian!

I added your razor to the wiki page. Can you please confirm all the info?

http://wiki.badgerandblade.com/Gillette_England_Dating_Information
 
R

romsitsa

While browsing the database I spotted the same serial numbers as Edgar.
What IF the patent information and serial numbers were stamped at different locations and at a different time?
What IF Boston produced some razors without date codes for the British factories (to boost production for eg.)?
Maybe they used the N suffix patent stamp to distinguish them from US razors?
Then these N suffixed razors were shipped to England, mixed in with the ones produced in England and only after this did the whole batch of razors receive the serial numbers?

Just a possibility.

Adam
 
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