What's new

When safety razors were common

I'm 60, born in 1951. When I started shaving, around the 7th or 8th grade, my dad gave me his old DE, a bottle of Old Spice, a bottle of Seaforth, and an old brush. I remember going to the store to select my Foamy and some blades. My Dad had converted to electric, and used an electric shaver for the rest of his life. I had two older sisters who I shared a bathroom with, and they had a couple of Shick injectors. I never tried them, and thank goodness, they left my stuff alone. A couple of years into shaving, I remember buying a new Gillette Adjustable from the drugstore--and cut myself to shreds. I had to learn to use that thing, but still often cut myself. My next adventure was the Techmatic band razor, and i remember being enthralled with the advance in technology. For me, it really was better--safer anyway. From that point, I can remember purchasing every new Gillette system as they came out--from the Track II on--thinking how they continually technically improved shaving. I started using disposables several years ago, my latest being some 4 or 5 blade Schick thingy that I thought was the cat's meow. Over the past 15 years I have experimented with brush and soap, and even tried DE's a couple of times, but really caught the bug just a few months ago. Now shaving is fun, and the razors, brushes, soaps, and gear are taking up two shelves in the linen closet.
 

nemo

Moderator Emeritus
What was it like when wetshaving was king?
Nothing against your title or user name but it certainly wasn't called "wetshaving". It was shaving. Period.

I remember that I hated going to the Rexall to buy new blades for my Krona, I usually got Schicks and they pulled like crazy.
 
I'm 60, born in 1951.
Me too! When I was growing up, my dad (who's still with us at 97) was one of the few fathers I knew who still used a brush. While we were more than "comfortable" his choices were informed by cost. He had come of age during the depression and that experience colored most of his decisions. He is an engineer who computed everything out to the 4th decimal point and I'm sure decided that foam was too expensive. When I started shaving Gillette had only recently introduced the stainless steel blade in response to Wilkinson's success. At that time electrics had about 1/3 of the market (my dad didn't use one because he said you couldn't get a decent shave from it) and Gillette owned 90% of the blade market. The whole selling point of the stainless blade was that it was supposed to last longer. Well I started with the old carbon "Blue" blades because dad said the SS didn't last long enough to justify their cost, which was more than twice the price of the Blues. If I remember correctly he also thought you got a better shave with the Blue. Both my brother and I have used brushes our whole lives although we've also both had romances with the cart while dad never bought one. He has a lady who helps shave him now and he even converted her to a DE at some point.

An early poster commented on the grooming of that era and it's absolutely true that men simply did not go out unshaven. The stubble look was unthinkable as was skipping a day. Dad would shave before going off to the local hardware store on a Saturday morning. Of course this was a time when tee-shirts were underwear and a polo-type shirt was to wear on the golf course or tennis court but certainly not as casual wear. My dad's family had been in the machine tool business (lost in the depression) and he was very finicky about manufacturing tolerances and design integrity. He had no use for Gillette's adjustables or TTOs generally feeling they were inferior to a traditional 3-piece. My guess is that some of his feelings were driven by cost and the fact that there wasn't much that could go wrong with a 3-piece unless you ran it over with your car. He knew a huge amount about plating and felt they did it as cheaply as possible. In those days there were no big chain stores so what we bought was from the local drug store. I vaguely remember advertisements for injectors in the early 60s but don't recall anyone using them. Of course, I never bought any shaving stuff myself and simply used what what my parents provided. I think I was off at college before I bought anything independently. By then we were in the Hippy era and many guys grew beards although I stayed clean-shaven since my beard grew out straggly like Bob Dylan. While I'm Jewish my Father was Catholic so celebrated Christmas. When I was 16 I got my first Old Spice gift set which had a mug, soap & aftershave. I was supposed to become a man at my Bar Mitzvah but this was really the sign that dad felt I had reached the milestone.
 
This is a really interesting thread. I'm 33 and I recall some of the stuff u guys talk about, especially the one phone with a 50 foot phone cord in the kitchen, and the watches behind the counter at pharmacies. My grandpa taught me to use a straight razor when I was 14-15ish. He was a master with that thing, me not so much!!! I did get better tho, the sold my soul to lord Gillette. My very first gillette razor that I had was a sensor, it came I the mail along with my selective service package, (I don't think that was a happy coincidence they came together either) just sayin.......

I will be keeping an eye on this thread, it's already had some really good reads!!
 
I was born in '64 and started shaving in '78 with one of my dad's old Gillette TTOs. Disposables had come out a couple of years before that, but my dad thought they were cheap. He did use canned foam, but occasionally would bust out a brush and soap and make a big show of it to entertain us.

I remember going with him to a local hardware store that had a display case on the counter with razors and blades.

When I went to Basic in '82 I had my trusty old Gillette with me and I was practically laughed out of the barracks because even then they were considered old-fashioned. I quietly put it away a while later and joined the cartridge mob. I only rejoined the DE fray a few weeks ago.

Man, I wish I could find that old Gillette.
 
When DE's were common you had little choice

Gillette SS
Gillette Adjustable
Schick injector or TTO
If you lived in a big city you may find the above with fancy finishes, Merkur and Hoffritz

Blades were Gillette, Personna, Wilkinson and Schick.

Soaps were Colgate, Old Spice, Williams and canned foam.

Brushes were mainly boars unless you went mail order or lived in a big metro area

Aftershaves were pretty varied, much more than today

Overall today, with the internet, it is the Golden age of shaving. Many may lament the passing of Gillette DE, but I don't think they are the grail that people make them out to be. A bigger loss to be is the disco of the Schick injector which was a better razor.

Overall the only thing I miss is the Schick and the variety of aftershaves you could pick up.

As a wetshaver, the 80's and 90's were beyond dismal
 
So.... for the sake of future generations of internet niche-interest websites.... what are your thoughts on your toothbrush? Do you think about how amazing it is to have so many options on the shelves of every store you go into? Do you anxiously await the new models coming out?
 
I'm 58, born in '53.
My Dad has been an electric razor user since I can remember. For my 13th Christmas, I received my first razor. IIRC, it was a Remington electric, something similar to this:
$remington.jpg
It tore up my neck something fierce. I starting working in a grocery store, bagging and carrying out groceries and saw this:
$AZ0930.jpg
I bought one of them and a can of foam and never looked back at electrics again.
I went through the typical Trac II, Atra, stuff. In the early '80s I had a brief fling with Old Spice shave soap in mugs with a brush but stayed with the cartridge razors. When I found Edge Gel, I dropped the soap (stupid me).
I used the Mach 3 since first reading an ad in Playboy for one until the Fusion came out. The Fusion was my razor of choice until this past November when I went back to wet shaving and transitioned to the DE safety razors.
I have had a Dovo straight razor, mug, soap, and cheap boar brush for a number of years but used them infrequently. That was driven by reading "One Second After".
 
Born in '49; tried wetshaving in '65 or so; didn't know what I was doing and did it poorly.

Can't recall the de razor I tried. My father used an electric, so I went that route until 2009 when I tried de a second time. With the help of this site and mantic, the second time went better!

That Remington looks familiar.
 
So.... for the sake of future generations of internet niche-interest websites.... what are your thoughts on your toothbrush? Do you think about how amazing it is to have so many options on the shelves of every store you go into? Do you anxiously await the new models coming out?
Honestly?

I was as happy as a clam (okay, where's that thread about sayings lost with time?) to find that SRD carries the Kent toothbrushes in "Hard"
I lamented the "hard" bristle brush's passing at the insistence of the ADA, and it seems that at times even the "Medium" brushes can be hard to find in stock.
Of course, the ADA wants us to use soft bristles because they love getting that $200-per-quadrant "deep cleaning" that Delta doesn't cover.
Funny how "calculus scaling" used to be a part of routine cleaning. Now the "routine cleaning" is nothing more than an x-ray and polishing.

Personally? I'm 49. I have ONE filling. No caps, no bridges, nothing more.
I go to the dentist about once every 5-10 years. Every time I go, he thinks he's going to have some fun, and then can't believe what he sees on the x-rays, so I'll have a "deep cleaning" done and that's it.

I don't floss, but I do brush with the hardest bristle brush I can find. I'll augment that with a weekly use of a scaler to catch the tartar that the brush didn't keep clean.

Credit? Fluoride treatments when I was a kid? Mom took me to the dentist every 6 months and he'd give me the fluoride to swish with.
I believe we had fluoridated water, but that didn't happen until my late teens.
No... I'll give some credit to the regular care when I was a kid, but I'll give most of the credit to genetics. Dad is 88 and still has most of his teeth and very little dental work.
Mom? When she passes on, I'm going to retire on the contents of her jawbone :biggrin:
 
So.... for the sake of future generations of internet niche-interest websites.... what are your thoughts on your toothbrush? Do you think about how amazing it is to have so many options on the shelves of every store you go into? Do you anxiously await the new models coming out?
As a youngster, since experiencing $20,000 worth of dental work in the coarse of 3 years, (mind u, none of the "caines" numb me either), and since purchasing my first sonicare brush, i haven't had as much as a minor cavity!! :) So, yes, I highly anticipate the new models coming out...(especially being part of the 2012 sabbatical, I need to feed an AD, mine as well make it a TBAD;) I don't know how this translates to your original question, but I just thought I would share my experience, as I now preach about sonicares to whomever will listen.
 
Nothing against your title or user name but it certainly wasn't called "wetshaving". It was shaving. Period.
+1 Generally, there wasn't a wide variety of products to choose from. You had the latest offerings from Gillette, Schick, and ASR in both razors and blades. You could get soap from Old Spice, Williams, and Colgate. In the early 50s, most creams like Palmolive, Gillette, and Burma Shave still came in a tube. Mid to late 50s canned shaving foam was introduced. From a convenience standpoint, that began the death of shave soaps and traditional creams.

Us working stiffs on Chicago's south side didn't bother to shave BBS. By the time we finished our shifts, we all had 5 o'clock shadow, but so what? If we had to go out that evening, we shaved again when we got home.
 
I was born in '63 but didn't start shaving till '79. When I started it noxema and I think the Atra. I also used the bic disposables (I think it was bic). I do remember my father shaving with a slim (I used to always change the settings). He also used a brush (which I now have, a simpson '59). I think he used a soap in a bowl. But a also remember him just using a bar of soap, Ivory I think, to build his lather. He did always face lather, which is what I do now.
I remember the Timex watches in the drug store, I used to love to look at them. As well as the AS gift sets around Christmas time.
 
Top