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Rookie Enthusiast - DE Razors

I've always had a fascination for timeless, every day items. They don't make anything like they used to. 50 years from now I can't imagine anyone discussing over a drink their "vintage" Gillette ProGlide or how their Samsung "black stainless" beer fridge still dispenses ice. Times have changed but I'm glad to see the passion to carry on the ways are still alive. I've grown to love shaving with a DE razor is a ritual, not a routine.

Two weeks ago I didn't even own a DE razor. I randomly asked my wife's grandmother if she held on to any over the years. She keeps EVERYTHING. Lo and behold she came back with a near perfect Merkur Progress and a standard Gillette Fatboy (pictured below). Not a bad start to the collection, right?!? My wife's great grandfather was a president of a bank in Ottawa, IL so it's neat imagine the possibility that either of these could have been used every day towards the end of his career. The Gillette is a 1959 E1. Can anyone date the Merkur Progress? I've learned there's not many resources out there to help date their razors. My particular model has a + symbol on the dial which I believe began on their later models. The original bakelite ivory case might help with identifying as well. A week later I picked up the other two razors on Facebook Marketplace. 1958 (D4) Gillette Super Speed Red Tip and a 1931 Gillette Goodwill that I believe is their 160 model. Did I mention I paid $10 for both?!? They were in much need of a Dawn & brush cleanup but I'm very pleased on how they both turned out. Especially the knurling. The red tip had lost most of its color. It's mentioned that the closest color match is Krylon's International Harvester Red. I wasn't too concerned and found the closest match in my wife's nail polish drawer. No one has to know that it's painted with Cinna-Snap. HA! Anyway, I'm glad I've discovered the B&B community and I'm looking forward to reading/writing in the future.


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Messygoon

Abandoned By Gypsies.
Brilliant introductory post, and welcome aboard. The family heirloom Merkur and Gillette Fatboy look brand new. Cant wait to hear your thoughts about shaving with them. Nice job restoring the other two. I love that you used Cinna-snap red nail polish on the Red Tip.
 
Brilliant introductory post, and welcome aboard. The family heirloom Merkur and Gillette Fatboy look brand new. Cant wait to hear your thoughts about shaving with them. Nice job restoring the other two. I love that you used Cinna-snap red nail polish on the Red Tip.

Brilliant introductory post, and welcome aboard. The family heirloom Merkur and Gillette Fatboy look brand new. Cant wait to hear your thoughts about shaving with them. Nice job restoring the other two. I love that you used Cinna-snap red nail polish on the Red Tip.
Much appreciated. I noticed you're from St. Louis. I am too, small world.
 

nemo

Cheaper than ink
Nice little heirloom collection, very lucky guy you are!

Can anyone date the Merkur Progress? I've learned there's not many resources out there to help date their razors. My particular model has a + symbol on the dial which I believe began on their later models.


Somewhere in the early 90's I think, the logo on the underside of the head was put inside a small circle. Also on early models the knob is a little brighter and the numbers were filled in red paint.

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You are off to a good start! Vintage razors are great. And they shave really well too. And having razors from you ancestors is priceless. But there are some amazing razors being built right now too! Timeless, Wolfman, Charcoal Goods… to just name a couple. The difference is that back in the old days, the percentage of the adult male population using DE razors was huge. Big corporations like Gillette etc were built to feed the machine for blades and hardware, software, brushes. Now the DE market share is so minuscule that we are hardly a blip on the business radar. So we now have a niche market of artisans that are just killing it with highly engineer precision tools and products for our craft. You have a good selection of vintage stuff filled with mojo and historical significance… or incredibly well designed and engineered modern artisan products. Life is grand for wet shaving right now.
 
Welcome - you'll fit right in! Live in St. Louis a few years also (well, Belleville). Miss the restaurants, not the traffic.... :thumbup1:
 
You made a great point. Similar to beard care products in which I'm more familiar with. It's a niche market but the customer demand for high quality products is high. Sink or swim for the companies putting out these products. Lot of them only get one chance. Thank you for your input sir!
 
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