Rubberset model numbers - Post your numbers here

Discussion in 'Brush Making and Restorations' started by Mike H, Jan 7, 2015.

  1. Mike H

    Mike H Moderator Emeritus

    ​I was contacted by B&B member BladeShark who has amassed quite a bit of information about Rubberset brushes. This thread is for B&B members to add to the collective knowledge in order to build a database of Rubberset history and brushes.

    This thread format has been gratuitously copied from the Ever Ready Brush thread started by SavantStrike (thank you)

    Please read and digest all the information in this post so we don't end up with a ton of posts that have to be re written to include the data you didn't read about in this initial post :lol:. Then please start posting like mad with the following:

    -Information about Rubberset brushes you own/have seen
    -Pictures of said brushes if at all possible
    -Wild speculations about what all of the data being collected means
    -Personal stories about Rubberset Brushes
    Include all/some of the following information:
    -Model number (both digits and letters) i.e. 400-3
    -Handle design (note that this may not always mean material, but it does mean quality)
    -Type and grade of hair used
    -Knot size
    -Loft height
    -Handle height
    -Total height (Loft + Handle)
    -Some other information not yet known at the time of this post

    From the Wiki :

    The Rubberset company began making brushes around 1887 and began advertising around 1905 [1]. Early advertising featured various attempts to pull the bristles out of a brush, or otherwise destroy it.

    Last edited: Mar 20, 2015
  2. Mike H

    Mike H Moderator Emeritus

    Rubberset 400-3

    Knot diameter 25 mm
    Loft: 61 mm
    Overall: 142 mm
    Weight: 73 grams
    Handle: Aluminum
    Ferrule: Aluminum
    Hair: Boar

    Last edited: Jan 7, 2015
  3. BladeShark

    BladeShark Contributor

    Sweet NOS brush! Did you get the warrenty card with it? If so, what address was listed for the factory?

  4. That boxed, carded 400-3 is insane! Thanks for posting that.
  5. BladeShark

    BladeShark Contributor

    OK, let's start with some basic history of the company that made the Rubberset brush. This is an abridged 5 chapter story:

    1/ Andrew Albright, Sr.
    Andrew was a farmer who had a vision for covering horse harness trimmings with hard rubber. His idea was met with great skepticism as the popular and accepted covering based on longevity and durability was leather. Ultimately, after a lot of experimenting, he found a way and patented it in 1873. This same method would work to fix bristles permanently on shaving and paint brushes. Andrew Sr. died in 1905 a successful and wealthy man.

    2/ Andrew Albright Jr.
    He took over the company after his father's death and decided to focus on the brush division as an area for business growth even though the profit margin was very small. Sales volume would be the key to financial success. Like his father and namesake, he was a visionary and saw what the emerging automobile market was doing to the horse and buggy industries and could see a demand for consumer shaving brushes, not just barber ones, as home shaving became common place with the popularity of the brand new Gillette disposable safety razors. He organized a contest with his employees on what to call the brush division and the winner was "Rubberset". Two months after his father's death he started using this as a company name. It was still a division of the parent company "Rubber and Celluloid Harness Trimmings Company". He launched huge advertising campaigns that took years to recoup the investment. It paid off in multiples and was very bold for the day. He was President of the company until 1929. This is the beginning of the Great Depression and he lost the Presidency in a reorganization.

    3/ Elizabeth (Albright ) Spurr
    Andrew Sr's other child and Andrew Jr.'s older sister. She had been a VP since 1919. She ran the company from 1929 to 1934.

    4/ Bristol-Myers
    Two months before Elizabeth passed away she sold the company that her father had founded to Bristol-Myers. No doubt the success of the Rubberset toothbrush was a primary draw. The tooth brushes we take for granted today were state of the art at this time. Oral hygiene had taken a leap into the future.

    5/ Sherwin-Williams
    Bristol Myers sold the company to Sherwin-Williams in 1956. The patents for the Rubberset paint brushes, particularly rolling brushes, were cutting edge and likely were the primary draw. Sherwin-Williams still owns the company today and has phased out shaving brushes over the years. Sherwin-Williams changed the Rubberset logo in 1956 and a similar version is still used today. This logo is often used to date brushes made after 1956.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2015
  6. That is AWESOME information, BladeShark, thanks for posting it! My favorite shaving brush is the Rubberset 49 wooden handle. Anyone got specs on them? I know there were about three sizes of them.
  7. I still have a lot of work to do on the restores - I've tried every technique described on the forum but I'm having a hard time getting the lettering right, balancing enough sanding/polishing with the Micro Mesh against the depth of the letters so wiping off the excess paint doesn't take the lettering with it, for example. I'm also still working with TGN to get the best knots for each, but planning Silvertip for the 200-4, Finest 2-band for the 200-2 and a Best for the little wooden handle (with no identifying number). For now, I'm leaving the original boar in the 400-3 because it can only be original once.

    Oh, and I apparently need to buy a digital scale because everyone seems to want to know the weight on everything <grin>

    I don't see any reason to repeat MikeH's description for his absolutely stunning 400-3, for the others:

    Little Wooden Handle - simply says "RUBBERSET"
    Ferrule ID: 19mm
    Handle height (without knot): 71mm
    Handle: Wood, center drilled @ 3/16"
    Ferrule: Alberite
    Hair: originally boar
    Weight: 23g (without knot)

    Ferrule ID: 23.7mm
    Handle height: 79.8mm
    Handle: Bakelite, hollow
    Ferrule: Alberite
    Hair: originally boar
    Weight: 37g (without knot)

    Ferrule ID: 28.5mm
    Handle height: 86.4mm
    Handle: Bakelite, hollow
    Ferrule: Alberite
    Hair: originally boar
    Weight: 30g (without knot) and, yes, heavier than the smaller 200-2


    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 10, 2015
  8. I have that same little wooden brush in the middle of your photo above, with the same markings: just the single word "Rubberset." It's an outstanding little brush, and my second favorite next to my Rubberset 49.
  9. BladeShark

    BladeShark Contributor

    I love those brushes. I think these are the oldest ones they made. It was certainly before the Anthrax scare that had "Sterilized" put on all the handles.

  10. BladeShark

    BladeShark Contributor

    Here are some old advertisements for the 49 series. Cool info.

    $49 series_2.JPG
    $49 series_3 [1913].JPG
    $49-1_1 [1921].JPG
    $49-1_1 [1925].JPG
    $49-2_1 [1925].JPG

  11. i have one that's pretty much a clone, except that it just says "Sterilized U.S Standard" instead of "Rubberset".
  12. BladeShark

    BladeShark Contributor

    Rubberset's tag line used to be "The World's Standard". I wouldn't be surprised if clones tried to copy it with something similar. The use of "Sterilized" means after about 1921.

    Last edited: Jan 8, 2015
  13. BladeShark

    BladeShark Contributor

    Models 10s and 15s are unique shaving brushes in the Rubberset line. They contain fly fishing lures in clear Lucite. To truly appreciate what these represent you have to know a little about Rubberset company history and the family that made it.

    Fishing was very important to Andrew Albright, Sr., the founder of the company that became Rubberset. In the late 1890's Andrew bought a large plot of land in a foreclosure sale. In and of itself this wasn't an unusual thing except that this land was underwater. It was sitting under Swartswood lake in New Jersey.

    Andrew figured he now owned his very own personal lake to fish on as he pleased. On his lake was an island where he built a small village and a country home. It seemed idealic except that he didn't own all the land that adjoined the lake. Landowners on the lake shore as well as their visitors would launch boats and fish quite regularly.

    After several hostile confrontations Andrew decided he would allow people to fish on his lake for $1/day and would have anybody who didn't pay arrested. This eventually led to a court case that backed up his belief that if anyone was on his lake without his permission they were trespassing. Andrew fought for his lake right up until his death in 1905.

    The property passed on to his children Andrew Albright Jr. and his older sister Elizabeth (Albright) Spurr, each of which would later become the President of Rubberset.

    The court cases continued including attempts to seize the lake via eminent domain. The state of New Jersey eventually decided they would buy up certain properties containing lakes and make them freely available as state parks. First on their list was Swartswood lake. On June 30, 1915 the state took ownership of the Swartswood Lake after the heirs of Andrew Albright, Sr. agreed to sell it for $30,000. It became the second public park in New Jersey and the first lake in the state with guaranteed public access.

    Does the "S" in these model numbers stand for Swartswood? I don't know for sure, but to me it does.

    $10s 15s.jpg
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2015
  14. Mike H

    Mike H Moderator Emeritus

    Those are very cool BladeShark.
  15. Mike H

    Mike H Moderator Emeritus

    One of the problems with identifying Rubberset brushes, is that they often do not have a model number on them.

    Here is the original Rubberset 400...


    Here is mine

    Hair: Imported White Bristle (Boar)
    Knot: 22 mm
    Loft: ~ 45 mm (originally 53mm)
    Handle Height 67 mm
    Overall 120 mm
    Handle: Ebony Stained Wood
    Ferrule: Aluminum
    Last edited: May 23, 2015
  16. [​IMG]

    Rubberset Turnback Travel Brush
    Model number: ?
    Knot diameter: 20mm
    Loft: 50mm
    Handle (assembled): 74 mm
    Overall (assembled): 124mm
    Weight (handle only): 44 grams
    Handle: metal
    Hair: banded boar?
  17. [​IMG]

  18. Can't believe i forgot about it. I do have a "rubberset" brush.


  19. So the handle is really ebony and not black paint? Darn, knew I should have picked that one up on the 'bay!
  20. BladeShark

    BladeShark Contributor

    I don't believe so. The ad says "Ebonized Handle", which to me means painted black as opposed to made with ebony wood. At the bottom of the handle it looks brown where the paint has worn.


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