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Well I am starting this blog to record my return to an older type of shaving . Like most of us I at present use the ubiquitous supermarket disposable razors , and have done so for , well I don't really know how long . When did these disposable and cartridge type of razors come about ? I guess I have been shaving regularly since I was around 16 which ,as I was born in 1953 , make it around 1969 when I started . I have a memory a very faint one I admit , to having a razor that twisted to open and receive a double edge blade of the kind that came in little rectangular boxes . I remember that the  blades came wrapped in paper and the used blades were posted into a slot in the back of the box . Now that is all I actually remember of these things and as soon as the more modern types , disposables came out I started using them. Well you would wouldn't you how many teenagers want to do things as their Fathers do most of us wanted to look modern I guess , well I did anyway .

So where is all this rambling leading to , I am glad you asked !  As I am getting somewhat better at sharpening knives My poor weak mind seems to be taken with the idea of buying a straight razor from an antiques centre ,something from the 1880's to around the demise of the Old Queen , in 1901 I think . I admit that I only knew the date of Queen Victoria's death from watching my favourite John Wayne film The Shootist . So the thought of going from a modern razor to an inexpertly sharpened cutthroat  is for me a daunting prospect and unusually good sense has prevailed and instead of leaping straight back to the end of the nineteenth century perhaps the 1950's may be a better place to start .

I have now checked out a few video's on YouTube and have found that the razors that I remember from my youth are indeed called DE or double edge . In fact this whole retro shaving lark is alive and kicking without me knowing anything about it . Youtube is awash with helpful young fellows scraping the whiskers off their finely honed chins with razors that they certainly don't remember from the first time round . Mind you I have learned an awful lot more about shaving than my Father ever taught me ,I guess it must have been him that showed me the ropes though I don't remember the lesson .

So I now have an Edwin Jagger DE89 razor and am waiting for those fine folks at Amazon to deliver the rest of the not inconsiderable amount of gear that it seems I must have . A styptic pencil ,what a word from the dawn of history , anyway I have forgotten to order one so in the short term things may get bloody !! The razor looks nice and I am thinking that it is probably of a lot higher quality than I would have had in the late sixties. I would likely have had an old one of my Dad's to start .

I hope to return to this blog in the future , blood loss allowing , and record my return journey to the shavings of my youth and hopefully back in time to the days of the Old Queen and a wonderful straight razor . Got to get through my lack of a styptic pencil first , can't imagine what a young girl in the chemist will think if I ask for one of those .

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Tags: ., DE, Ramblings, Razors, Shaving, Time, Travel

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Comment by John Bamford on February 6, 2016 at 1:18

I had temporarily forgotten your good advice Kees my friend , but am now ready for her !!!

Comment by John Bamford on February 6, 2016 at 1:16

Apparently so Jan , in the old day's people mostly paid a couple of pounds for a brush and used and abused it till there was only a couple of hairs left and then bought another .

Not now though shaving has become a leisure activity and enthusiasts have taken over ,so now we need a little stand for the brush . Might be something to do with the fact that a good badger brush can now cost up to £200 , mine didn't Her Indoors would pummel my head if I paid anything like that !

The stand is to allow the brush to dry with the bristles facing down so that moisture doesn't sit in the base where they are glued in 

Comment by Jan Carter on February 5, 2016 at 19:25

The brush needs to have a special stand?

Comment by Kees ( KC ) Mension on February 5, 2016 at 15:27

remember what i told you about her shoes john !!!  LOL

Comment by John Bamford on February 5, 2016 at 9:46

Well I have now seen the future and it is .., well the past really . First shave this morning with the new old kit , it went well . I watched lot's of videos on Youtube too many videos so that I couldn't remember what I may have learned . So I just grabbed the razor and soap this morning and got on with it . My reasoning was that I started out with this sort of kit the best part of fifty years ago and at that age I new nothing and must have managed okay . If anything had gone wrong I would have remembered it , wouldn't I !!

Great shave it's easy and there is nothing to it how to find the right angle , don't they go on about angles on the videos . It's easy to find the right angle cos it makes a ZZZ sound as the whiskers come off . Don't use pressure and there is no particular sensation apart from the lovely clean feeling of a close shave .

Forgotten to order a brush rest thingy to put the brush on to thoroughly dry between shaves , so have whittled on today out of a Alder burl . Will put a picture on when it's dry enough to sand and finish , it only came off a tree very recently ! 

Once all the equipment is bought then it makes shaving quite cheap at least compared to using five bladed super wizzo shaves . Just bought 30 blades for £8 ,say $12 , that's over six months worth of razor blades .

Not that I am trying to economise , Sue thinks I don't do economy " did you really need another sharpening stone " was said a couple of day's ago ! Well of course I did It is a Finnish one a Wastikivi   believe it or not , I mean who doesn't want a Wastikivi .

I may need to collect a few different shaving soaps as well .

Comment by Jan Carter on February 4, 2016 at 19:05


This is the same type razor my father used until the day he passed.  At one time during his travels to see various different kids and grandkids he bought a disposable, boy did he curse that little thing!  Let us know how this goes?

Comment by John Bamford on February 4, 2016 at 11:31

I think that I have gathered the equipment needed for my first proper shave for a long time .

Comment by J.J. Smith III on February 3, 2016 at 15:57

My first one looked like this one.  Haven't seen it since around 1980.

Comment by John Bamford on February 3, 2016 at 15:15

And for the record Queen Victoria died on January 22nd 1901, or so it say's when it's Googled .

Comment by John Bamford on February 3, 2016 at 15:12

Yes JJ they are really not that good these multi bladed things . I have stuck at three blades and refused to go any further ,I wonder how many blades these things will end up with ? 

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