Wardonia was a brand of British double edge razors, manufactured by cutlery-makers Thomas Ward & Sons, Ltd. whose Bakelite razors and innovative travel sets were popular throughout the British Commonwealth from the 1930's to the 1960's. Wardonia's most famous product was a three-piece Bakelite razor that took a special "barrel-hole" style of razor blade rather than the more common slotted blade, like those used by market leader Gillette.
Though Wardonia was very successful during the '40's and '50's, by the early 1970's the introduction of Wilkinson's "bonded cartridge" razor and Gillette's cartridge razors, signaled a major change in grooming habits among Men on both sides of the Atlantic. Though Wardonia produced a few metal razors during this time, by the last decade of their existence Ward mainly sold their Barrel-Hole and Barrel-Hole Slotted razor blades for existing Wardonia razors and their popular "Derby", "Devon" and the "Traveller" cased sets. As a result of the change in grooming tastes and the end of the era of the safety razor, Thomas Ward & Sons Ltd ceased trading in July 1984. Their historic factory sold, Ward continued on, concentrating on cutlery, plate, scissors and penknives until 2000, when Mr. T W Ward son of the founder decided to retire, spelling the end of the venerable company.
In the early years Wardonia produced a vast number of different sets, with very British sounding names such as the "Sandhurst", "Oxford", "Cambridge", "Golden Arrow" and the "Derby" to name but a few.
Razors: The basic Wardonia razor was a white or brown hard plastic three-piece razor with a metal cap. Because of the arrangement of the cap the razor only took a special style of double-edged blade, known as a "barrel-hole" blade. These razors were simple and renowned for their toughness--the fact that their razors could be safely boiled was a major part of Wardonia advertising for many years. These razors were made in a large array of sets and kits, from cardboard boxed student razors to deluxe sets in both plastic and more traditional cases.
Blades: In addition to the eponymous barrel-hole blades Thomas Ward also produced several other brands of double-edge razor blades, all of which were of the more common and accessible slot type. Notable among these was the St. Leger brand, which Ward sold not only in England but also in France, and "The Derby" not to be confused with the modern Turkish-made Derby brand. At one time or another Ward also sold under the Wardonia name both single-edge blades and the "auto-blade" style blades, a notched single-edge blade used in the Valet safety razor.
Shaving Brushes: ?