Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Shaving in the 20th century

Sunbeam Shavemaster Model "R" electric razor, possibly a demonstration model, c.1937-1945
Courtesy of the Katikati Heritage Collection
Included within the Katikati Heritage Museum's collection are a huge number of household/domestic items.  This early men's Sunbeam Shavemaster electric dry razor from the 1940s (the first Sunbeam electric razor was released in 1937) appears to be a demonstration model, complete with instructional display.

Advertisement for Sunbeam Shavemaster, Life magazine, 23 October 1944
Magazine advertisements of the period, such as the one above from an October 1944 issue of Life, in particular targeted soldiers on service abroad.

Puma cut-throat razor
Courtesy of the Katikati Heritage Collection
Leather sharpening strops
Courtesy of the Katikati Heritage Collection
The standard alternative for those without either the means to purchase such a luxury, or access to an electrical socket, was of course the standard cut-throat razor, sharpened at frequent intervals on a leather strop.  This particular type was manufactured in Solingen, Germany by Puma-Werk, "knifemakers to the world since 1769."

Philips Ladyshave electric razor, c. 1980s
Courtesy of the Katikati Heritage Collection
Philips still produce Ladyshave electric razors, the first models using this brand having been released by at least the late 1950s, but this version appears to be from a couple of decades later.

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