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Why Did Shaving Sticks Vanish in the US?

Shaving sticks were popular at one time. Pears Shaving Sticks were mentioned by Kipling once, and the first top line Gillette travel sets had a canister for the brush and shaving stick. But while I remember shaving soap on the shelves along with canned foam, I don't remember shaving sticks. That implies popularity rapidly diminished in the US. Does anyone know why?
 
Just a guess. I have. Speich stick and have had for years. It’s too much of a fuss and bother to use. It smells great and lathers great, but it’s a fuss. I have a Case trapper in my cabinet just to shave soap off and into my scuttle, but I’m never motivated enough to do it.


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My guess is shaving sticks diminished in popularity because there was more money to be made in selling the ubiquitous canned foam. Also canned goo doesn't require the additional expense to the consumer of using a shaving brush. Canned foam is perfect for today's throwaway oriented society.
 
Just a guess. I have. Speich stick and have had for years. It’s too much of a fuss and bother to use. It smells great and lathers great, but it’s a fuss. I have a Case trapper in my cabinet just to shave soap off and into my scuttle, but I’m never motivated enough to do it.


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Interesting. I find using a shave stick about the simplest most foolproof way to shave.
 
I could be wrong but the shaving mug seemed to stick around for a while after shave sticks were gone. So maybe the ease of lathering in a mug and leaving your brush in the mug for the next day without the need to clean anything up made the difference. I love shave sticks though. Sometimes I'll use full pucks like a stick.
 
I could be wrong but the shaving mug seemed to stick around for a while after shave sticks were gone. So maybe the ease of lathering in a mug and leaving your brush in the mug for the next day without the need to clean anything up made the difference. I love shave sticks though. Sometimes I'll use full pucks like a stick.
I know quite a few people who shave with canned foam, but have an Old Spice mug with a never-used puck of (depending on when they bought it) Old Spice, Colgate, or Williams. Its a knick-knack kind of thing.

Shaving sticks, OTOH, aren't really in the same boat.
 
Interesting. I find using a shave stick about the simplest most foolproof way to shave.
My grandfather used a tube of “Palmolive” I think. Put a bead on his chin and worked it with a brush. Putting it straight on with a stick seems awkward to me. Maybe I’ll try that tomorrow. I use a straight, so it likes a wet lather.


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Shaving sticks were popular at one time. Pears Shaving Sticks were mentioned by Kipling once, and the first top line Gillette travel sets had a canister for the brush and shaving stick. But while I remember shaving soap on the shelves along with canned foam, I don't remember shaving sticks. That implies popularity rapidly diminished in the US. Does anyone know why?
Pacific Shave Company makes a shave stick for travel. The ingredients are similar to melt-and-pour soaps. It's mostly humectant and surfactant based, no real soap... similar to Van Der Hagen.

Also, Nivea sells a body shaving stick that is reasonably priced. It would probably work fine for shaving your face.

You actually don't absolutely need a brush with a shave stick... people can and do lather soap with their hands, especially women shavers. It won't make a heavy lather but with this melt and pour style soap, that isn't necessarily important.
 
My grandfather used a tube of “Palmolive” I think. Put a bead on his chin and worked it with a brush. Putting it straight on with a stick seems awkward to me. Maybe I’ll try that tomorrow. I use a straight, so it likes a wet lather.


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I just used the Palmolive stick today and it worked wonderfully. It does feel a bit dry on the skin with all the soap but once you work it in, it explodes into wonderful lather.
 
I just used the Palmolive stick today and it worked wonderfully. It does feel a bit dry on the skin with all the soap but once you work it in, it explodes into wonderful lather.
I have a Palmolive stick at home ready for use. One day, eventually, I'll get to it. Maybe.
 
My regrettably shaky memory tells me that I don't recall seeing shaving sticks in the 1960s. In fact, I have memories from the early '60s to the mid '90s of cans, tubes, and pucks, but no sticks. By the mid '90s the tubes had disappeared, too. I recently saw (and bought) the Nivea stick, which works really well, but then it disappeared, as well.
I have spent a good part of the last two years playing around with sticks and synth brushes (and scraping the deodorant out of tiny little twist-up tubes some airlines used to provide and refilling them with Palmolive and Wilkinson sticks).
Hobbies...

Tom
 
At one time I had an antique shave stick holder, Williams or Colgate, I forget which.

On a related note, for years I would go to the gym before work and shave with a Palmolive, Arko, Speick or Williams stick. I always enjoyed wonderful shaves and had a few interesting conversations about the shave brush drying on my desk.
 

sarimento1

Contributor
Shaving sticks were popular at one time. Pears Shaving Sticks were mentioned by Kipling once, and the first top line Gillette travel sets had a canister for the brush and shaving stick. But while I remember shaving soap on the shelves along with canned foam, I don't remember shaving sticks. That implies popularity rapidly diminished in the US. Does anyone know why?
Sir Messer, are you located in the USA?
 
I think it all went quickly to creams because of ease of use. I agree that soap in a cup outlasted sticks because as a unit it was pretty convenient, and less messy than holding a stick.

I love sticks, though. I wish I could get some vintage sticks.
 
I think it all went quickly to creams because of ease of use. I agree that soap in a cup outlasted sticks because as a unit it was pretty convenient, and less messy than holding a stick.

I love sticks, though. I wish I could get some vintage sticks.
I usually mash up shave sticks and put them in a ramacan with a lid. Some are very good soaps, as far as old-school soaps go, as they typically are somewhat soft and easy to load.

Between tubes and pucks I don't think shave sticks had much of a chance. I've seen a few in old movies, though.
 

johnwick

Contributor
Within the last year, Mike’s started doing shave sticks. To my knowledge, he’s the only soap artisan states side doing so.
 

Grundi

Contributor
I see several different US made shave sticks on the market - Mike's (like @johnwick mentioned), Taconic, Ogallala, DownEast Shaving, Pacific Shaving, Ginger's Garden, and a bunch on Etsy (I'm sure that there are several others, too). I went poking around and many of these makers offer some really great scents. (Adding our neighbor to the North, IB/RR has come out with a nice selection).
 
Mystic Water is also US-based and does shaving sticks and they're great. I know a lot of folks have issues getting enough soaps loaded off the puck, and I always recommend their sticks as a great solution to that problem.
 
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