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What I found today and almost missed it!

The family and I were headed home after a big ZERO at a large antique mall and I decided to stop and get the times for another shop on the way home (I had passed it up on the way to town) thinking they were already closed since it was 5:45 PM. Turns out they were open till 6PM and I had fifteen minutes! I quickly scouted the locked cabinets and found several things, including a Signature Single Ring. I thought it was a regular Single Ring and didn't realized it was a Signature till my daughter and I was cleaning up the haul. I have only heard of these before (only because of Achim's gallery) and I started to wonder -- what is the story on these? Has anybody ever come up with anything firm on why, when and how many Gillette made? This one is a serial number A389083 which makes it a 1908.





I know nothing about the whole signature thing, but I do LOVE finding razors at Antiques Stores, and Id say you found an Awesome Razor! Good Work:thumbup:
Thanks guys. I didn't even see this coming! Apparently these are very rare. I know of two others owned by Intrigued and Highball. Does anybody else have one?
I have looked very closely at this thing with a magnifying glass. I don't see even a hint of crack in the barrel. This is the only Gillette I have that has a hollow barrel that doesn't have any cracks! I have never seen a handle that doesn't have at least a hint of a crack. If nothing else, that sure is something!


Bigfoot & Bagel aficionado.
Thanks guys. I didn't even see this coming! Apparently these are very rare. I know of two others owned by Intrigued and Highball. Does anybody else have one?

Sandcounty has/had one. The serial number on his is A401182. That plus the one pictured in Waits make 5 that I know of.

Now that you have one I see you caught the bug too. Some of it symptoms include a head full of unanswered questions: Why a signature only on some of the 1908 Single Rings? Why none on the Single Rings before or after 1908? I was thinking that maybe they were some kind of presentation set, but your case is different then mine so now that doesn't seem as likely to me. :confused1
It seems to have been a custom set. The inside lid of the case, along with the scripted 'Gillette' has the name "W.S. Brown" and, apparently, his address at 898 Wood St, Pittsburgh, PA. A custom set might have warranted the 'special' engraving of King C. Gillette's name on it. Maybe that's all the signed razors were, just special presentation sets.

Not positive here but check some of these links when you have time. It seems W. S. Brown may have been some type of mercantile at that time.

Here is a link from SRP about a WS Brown straight

Another Straight

And oddly a shipment of 10 colt pistols to a WS Brown Pitts PA(see the first 3 pics)

And another Pistol

And Houdinis Throwing Knives
http://www.knifethrower.com/houdini throwing knives.html

Granted I'm sure there was more than one WS Brown but at least circumstantually it seems they/he was a busy person.

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Here is something else I found...


Allegheny County PA Archives History - Letters .....W.S. Brown, Hunting And Fishing, Pa. March 28, 1892
Copyright. All rights reserved.

File contributed for use in USGenWeb Archives by:
Barbara W. Brown [email protected] July 8, 2008, 7:54 am


Statement: W.S. Brown, manufacturer and dealer in rifles, guns, revolvers,
fishing tackle, fine cutlery a specialty. Hammocks, seins and nets, society
goods, Joseph Rogers & Son's and Westholm's finest cutlery, machinists' tools,
etc. 520 and 522 Wood Street, Pittsburgh.

This file has been created by a form at http://www.genrecords.org/pafiles/

File size: 0.8 Kb

Even though the address's are not the same my bet is a move at some point. It would be interesting if the othe owners of these razors can chime in if there box has writing. Maybe WS Brown order them for his store this way, otherwise this may have been a present from swmbo.

I shall keep hunting...

That was my guess about the W.S Brown. It was common for the retailers to have their names stamped somewhere on the box or packaging at this time
I believe your 898 is a 523. Here is a letter from 1907 to WS Brown Co at 523 Wood St Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. Given that your razor almost exactly fits that date...

View attachment 160772

Woo Hoo!! I feel like I solved a small mystery tonight. Sorry it took so many posts:blushing:. Enjoy the info!

Very cool Mako! Great research! Here I was sleeping and all. I messaged the owner of that document about purchasing it. It would be nice to be able to put with the razor to give it a tiny bit of back-story.

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