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Safety Razor of the Month, December 2013 - Rotbart

As many of us are getting ready for the man in the red suit and putting red caps on our avatars, let's talk a bit about red beards -- specifically Rotbart razors. I'll prime the pump with this photo of the then brand new Tempelhof factory in Berlin that opened at the very end of 1937.

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I'll post some more photos of the interior of the factory from that brochure once I get it out again, but I know you all have some nice examples of different models and sets, so let's see them!
 

nemo

Cheaper than ink
Here's one of my oldest, most likely from well before the pictured factory opened. It's a Gillette old type copy with hardly any remaining plating. Usually the tin-litho boxes are in much worse shape, essentially I bought this wreck for the box. Rotbart is engraved in script (not all caps) on the handle, Mond-Extra is in a small shield.

 
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Porter, that´s a great idea! First I must make some photos of my Rotbart sets. Where is Jake?
I love this broshure. The draft for this broshure is a Photo album. I´ve seen it in the office from the plant director of Berlin. It has more pictures, but the broshure has more informations.
 
I had one that looks exactly like Nemo's, but I gave it away. Now my only Rotbart is the same model as the one in this picture, except mine looks like it has spent 10 years soaking in salt water.

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nemo

Cheaper than ink
... my only Rotbart is the same model as the one in this picture, except mine looks like it has spent 10 years soaking in salt water.

I love the No.15, it's one of my all-time favorite head designs and are fabulous shavers. Unfortunately many had some problems during their long storage and show some signs of corrosion. I don't mind it on the handle but when the top cap plating gets eaten away it is sad to see.




 
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I love this broshure. The draft for this broshure is a Photo album. I´ve seen it in the office from the plant director of Berlin. It has more pictures, but the broshure has more informations.

I picked up a copy in an auction a year or so back, and it's very cool. Here are a few more photos that I'd taken with my phone's camera. I'll need to find some time to get it out and scan it properly. The first is of part of the main factory floor, and the second shows workers at the automated blade packing machines on the left and one of the factory's washing and changing rooms on the right.

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Mine's in pretty rough shape. An ancient blade had fused the thing together. It took patience, elbow grease and Liquid Wrench, but I got it out with no damage. Next step is a final cleaning. As it's "razor-of-the-month" I'll have to get to it.
Here it is:

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Also, Doug, I'd be very interested in seeing the script on the handle of your example-
 
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I had one that looks exactly like Nemo's, but I gave it away. Now my only Rotbart is the same model as the one in this picture, except mine looks like it has spent 10 years soaking in salt water.

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I've a Rotbart No. 15 much like Dr. Awkward's - It's new old stock (NOS) and the head is shiney and smooth apart from in between the ridges of the bottom plate. I love everything about it; the weight, the size, the design, the black/grey handle....it just didn't seem smooth to shave with. I put this down to the matted surfaces between the ridges. How can I smooth these out? Any particular method/polish anyone could recommend? I'd love to get this thing roadworthy. (Yeh, I'm a noob at razor maintenance and restoration!!)
 
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I didn't even realize it was the razor of the month when I picked mine up the Monday after Thanksgiving==right at the start of December. My question is how does this Pre War German Razor end up in a little antique store in the Missouri Ozarks?

Pre and Post-clean

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I've a Rotbart No. 15 much like Dr. Awkward's - It's new old stock (NOS) and the head is shiney and smooth apart from in between the ridges of the bottom plate. I love everything about it; the weight, the size, the design, the black/grey handle....it just didn't seem smooth to shave with. I put this down to the matted surfaces between the ridges. How can I smooth these out? Any particular method/polish anyone could recommend? I'd love to get this thing roadworthy. (Yeh, I'm a noob at razor maintenance and restoration!!)

You would be surprised how much can be accomplished by an overnight soak in warm water, mild dish soap, and then a scrub down with a soft toothbrush. I do not know what is in the tooth ridges of your #15, but a good soak might loosen it up. Also, try Scrubbing Bubbles. I do not advocate letting it sit for too long in the Bubbles. Five minutes should do the trick. Then, more scrubbing with the soft toothbrush.
My #15 is the opposite of yours. It looks a little rough, but it shaves well.
 
I only have 2 Rotbarts now, sold one some while ago and can't figure out why!
Great shavers and truly german craftmanship.
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Here's one Sam replated for me. I happen to have used it with my last blade. It's put up for now, but will return! I love the shave.
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Here is another interesting set: a Mond Extra Pocket Set from Büchner Werke AG (takeover from Otto Roth AG at 1925 --> new brand is Rotbart Mond Extra).

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