"According to the Patent Act of Lloyd-George any patent for a patented good produced outside the UK could be revoked one year after the patent act passed, this was 28th August 1907. So after the 28th August 1908. any patented good produced excluseively outside the UK could potentially lose the British patent protection."
A sales and distribution company with no manufacturing capabilities of its own could clearly be sold as "a going concern" but the company that was being sold was also to include manufacturing so that part also had to be "going" to satisfy the government patent requirement.
The Working Clause coming into effect is a much stronger argument for Gillette starting some amount of production in the later part of 1908 than the whole "going concern" line. Still, even that only suggests the start of the period that Gillette's patents would have been at risk. However, I do think it's reasonable to guess that they probably had some amount of production happening in England during the year. Just what that was and how extensive it was is certainly unclear at this point.
From other instances, we know that Gillette was perfectly happy referring to relatively small operations as "factories." Certainly any operation actually in London proper that they'd have been calling a "factory" in 1908, as in that Christmas ad posted previously, wouldn't have been anything more serious than their first Paris "factory" -- a few blade sharpening machines working imported blanks and some packaging staff in a room or two of their offices at either the Minories or Holborn Viaduct. Alternatively, it could be that they just figured no one would know where Leicester was and just used London as the location with more cachet.
Then I brainstorm possiblities - did Boston supply Europe with machinery for the protocol that Boston was about to adopt (red) or did Boston supply the red series razors to Europe and supply them with machinery for the black series? If the former, then what prompted them to retool from red to black? Were Boston producing the "N" suffix razors and replacing the "A" with an "F" in the serial numbers as they did with the early "G" series?
The fundamental problem I have with the idea that Boston was providing any of the razors that you're suggesting is that they are all marked differently from any of Boston's other work, including sets we've seen that were imported into these same markets during this same time. The "black" series markings are wildly unlike anything out of Boston. Even the "red" series, which are the closest to anything like Boston's markings, bear more of a resemblance to Canada's. Boston's serial stamping on the guard plate was done on the lower part of the plate when looking at it upright. Even their repair numbers, which were stamped on the opposite side of the plate, were stamped "upside down" as the plate was rotated in their stamping machine. So moving the serial to the upper part of the plate was presumably not just a simple thing they would have done for some of their production.
But even if we remove any technical concerns, what reason would they have had for marking some razors they were exporting like their own and others completely differently? If the use of the US patent date is the only real thing that has you linking these with Boston, I would still hold back there. The UK requirements seem to always have needed both the number and date -- even in abbreviated form -- but that seems not to have been the case everywhere. If marking the local patent information wasn't required in a given market they may have preferred marking the later US date than the earlier local ones to give the impression of a longer protection period where it might not have been strictly in violation of any laws. And we still don't have even a guess as to the significance of the "N" at the end of the inscription.
In the interests of presenting a balanced view, I should say that there are also inconsistencies in the H series. Our current theories are that the H series was either made in Leicester for the German market (Porter) or the red examples were made in Berlin and the black examples made in Leicester for the German market (me).
That actually wasn't my suggestion. What I'd thrown out originally was "G" for Germany and "H" maybe for Austria-Hungary, which was a large (mostly) unified country at the time. I think it's pretty clear now that the "G" series was used for Pocket Editions and that any collision with earlier Boston-made "G" series gold razors is completely unrelated. Shifting the "H" series to Germany was other folks after the fact, and I've never really been comfortable with it.
Frankly, I don't know quite what to make of the "H" series. As you said, if any number of them were made in Berlin why have we seen none of them turn up in Germany at all? In fairness, we've seen relatively few other examples turn up in Germany either, so we may just be dealing with an insufficient sample.
A third inconsistency exists with Porter's theory in that H003530 has the GinD and was found in France. Why would Leicester be marking an H series razor for the German market with the GinD typically associated with the French market F series? It would be more consistent to attribute it to having been made in Berlin for the French market.
Making razors in Germany to meet local working requirements and then exporting them would seem to be pretty bizarre in and of itself. Not impossible, but the basis of both the German and British laws seems to have been meeting some minimum amount of domestic demand with domestic supply. If H003530 was really one of the first few thousand razors made in Berlin, does it not seem strange to you for it to have been exported?
Separately, we haven't really considered it, but what if the "G-in-D" mark was being applied to unmarked sets arriving in France rather at the point of manufacture? I know we've always talked about it as an import requirement, but our info there is fuzzy at best. It's possible that the mark was required at the point of sale of plated goods in France instead. Having the marks applied locally could explain it showing up on razors that may not have been specifically intended for import into France, and might also explain some of the inconsistency we see in those marks, too. It's nearly always on the head of the razor, but it's sometimes on the bottom of the case and very occasionally on the pommel of the handle, too.
Leave us not forget that Britain was sending convicts to America between 1718 and 1775 and only switched to sending them to Australia because of the War of Independence. So what we have here is perhaps a little pot/kettling??
Who knew we could just save ourselves the bloodshed and just wait for them to vote themselves out of the colonies?
Besides, with Ned Kelly wearing both the pot and the kettle there's not much left to work with.
A slight stretch, Kellys Directory of Leicester and Rutland lists Gillette Safety Razor Co. in Leicester. The preface of the book is dated August 1908.
As a parallel, first Canadian factory, mentioned in the first Gillette Blade magazine, was set up during 3-4 months.
Not a stretch at all. We've hit on that entry in Kelly's before (here's a current online source for the scans), and we've got other corroborating evidence on the Timeline that they were physically in the site at least by the middle of August that year.
One thing to keep in mind when considering a parallel to Canada, though, is that that first factory was exceedingly small. Not "Paris 1905" small, perhaps, but only 2000 square feet and trying to produce 35 razors a day, in their own words. Still, I don't think it's unreasonable to think that they wouldn't have needed much more than a few months to have some amount of production capability in place by the end of 1908.