What's new

Typical # stones owned by town barbers in 18 to 19 c.

I am not a straight razor user, but a recent thread on modern razor honing has got me wondering.

We are blessed today with a plethora of stones, films and pastes all just a few computer clicks away.

I’m curious at how many stones a good town or village barber in the late 18th/early 19th century owned? Did they rely more on strops? Would they provide sharpening services to men who would owned their own razors?
I would say two. I use two in my shop (one often, one only rarely), and anything that would take more than that would probably involve regrinding which of course would be sent out .

photos for reference (early 20th c.)

-Brian the Barber


  • Screenshot_20240519-181347.png
    697.8 KB · Views: 33
  • Screenshot_20240519-181432.png
    124.1 KB · Views: 32
What type are they?
until last week, I used an IRL for my shaving razors (Portland Razor Co. stainless), and a Swaty with oil for my various 2/8 and 3/8 old haircutting razors or if I needed to really work the shaving razors.

pasted strop (chrom-ox/green paste) every morning, ILR once a week

this week I got a Norton combination hone, so I expect to use the 4k side instead of the Swaty most of the time, and going from the 8k to the ILR I expect to be much quicker than using the ILR only, but we'll see!

Swaty with oil has the advantage of being small and quick enough to bring back a cutting edge on my haircutter if I suddenly realize I need to touch it up even with the customer in the chair (less than 90 seconds really)

When straights were the only razors, there were more pro grinders and sharpeners for service too. Maintaining an edge can keep one shaving a long time until it needs some work.
Top Bottom