Some VC2's are also Gillette manufactured. The merger took place in 1930, and VC2's were manufactured both before and after that date. But all VC3 and VC4 models were made after.VC3 (wing tabs) and VC4 models (runner guard) would be Gillette manufacture.
Thanks for the clarification. I only own a VC1, which I appreciate being able to use a GEM with, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time before I succumb to the temptation of the others.Some VC2's are also Gillette manufactured. The merger took place in 1930, and VC2's were manufactured both before and after that date. But all VC3 and VC4 models were made after.
And just to be clear, the VC3 and VC4 both have wing tabs and solid runners on the back as strop guides (the A, B, and VB models had a roller on the back to guide the strop). The distinguishing feature between the VC3 and VC4 is that the VC3 was open comb, and the VC4 had a safety bar guard.
VC3 on the left; VC4 on the right. Notice how they changed the pin locations so their VALET blades would work for either, but other blade manufactures would have to change the punches in their blades.
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Thanks Adam!I have seen a few listed as being made by Gillette. I haven't had the pleasure of holding one in my hands. I think you are correct on it being from a time when Gillette bought them out. That razor is a show piece! Take good care of it.
Fantastic info on this genre of razors, thanks!Here is a comparison of the VB and VC models. That's a VB2 on the left and a VC2 on the right. Notice the fronts are designed the same with the side-hinged blade retainer.
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But here are the same two razors from the back, again with the VB2 on the left and VC2 on the right. Notice the VB2 has a roller for the strop, whereas the VC2 has a solid runner:
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It's easier to see the roller vs. runner from the side as in the next photo. Same razors, VB2 on the left and VC2 on the right:
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One of these days I'm going to get around to a photo typology of each of the types of Auto Strops.
Does that apply to all models, or just the VB2/VC2?Notice the VB2 has a roller for the strop, whereas the VC2 has a solid runner
There's not a lot of definitive info on the differences between all the AutoStrop models other than the Stropper website, but that site is a pain to glean information from.One of these days I'm going to get around to a photo typology of each of the types of Auto Strops.
These are complex little machines, and the features are really hard to describe or understand without pictures. All AutoStrops have rollers. The Models A and B varieties have rollers on the back in place of a solid runner, as shown in the photo above. I'm not sure what you are describing with side blade restraints (VC3 and VC4 both had tabs on the sides), and most models have blade stops on the comb. So yeah, photos would help. If you post photos of your three razors, I'm sure we could figure them out.Does that apply to all models, or just the VB2/VC2?
I have three models that take the despined GEM blades, all with a roller. Two have blade restraints attached at the side of the comb and one has the blade stops at the end of the comb curling back towards the front. I thought the side blade restraints were B1 and the end stops were C1, but since they all have rollers, they may all be B1s. The side restraint razors are AutoStrops (not Valets) and the end stop razor is a Valet AutoStrop. I know, pics would help ;-)
Well said, Bob.The VB1/VC1 have the same relationship as the VB2/VC2, just a different blade holder. The VB1 has roller strop guides, as do the early (before the Valet designation was used) Auto-Strops.
The VB1 and VB2 were the high end models. Sets containing these razors typically sold for $5 or more, while a VC1 or VC2 set could usually be had for $1.
A Safety Razor Compendium by Robert K. Waits had a chapter on the Auto-Strops that is most informative. In fact, the the VC1, VC2, etc. model designations were actually coined by Mr. Waits - they are not official. The VB1 and VB2, as well as the pre-Valet B1 and B2 were all designated by Auto-Strop simply as "Model B" which is confusing, to put it mildly.
On the middle one, does the swinging door say "AutoStrop" like the one on the left or "AutoStrop Razor"? The former would be Model B1; the latter would be B2.Middle: AutoStrop, blade restraints on side of base plate, roller guard, hollow handle, Made in Canada. My guess is Model B1
Sorry, I just noticed the flap fell down. It says AutoStrop just like the one on the left.On the middle one, does the swinging door say "AutoStrop" like the one on the left or "AutoStrop Razor"? The former would be Model B1; the latter would be B2.