October 03, 2007

...to the shores of Tripoli

Rooney small style 1 brush
Truefitt & Hill Luxury Shaving Soap
6/8 Clauss USMC razor
Illinois #127 strop
Pinaud Clubman aftershave

These razors show up surprisingly often on ebay, much more often than razors from the other service branches.  So far, all of the USMC razors I've seen have been made by Clauss and are of a common model and size, but they seem to be from two major production runs.  I've got one from each batch - the earlier version is plain carbon steel and my example is heavily tarnished and has clearly seen some hard use.  The later version is chrome-plated carbon steel and mine looks to be mint.  I'm guessing the unplated one was made  for the Spanish-American war and the chrome plated one is early 20th century, probably WWI production.  Both the salt air from shipboard life and the humidity in the Philippines would have been hard on an unprotected razor, and explains why the notoriously thrifty Corps would have sprung for the expense of chrome plating on their second batch.

These razors are stoutly built and surprisingly heavy for their size (about 30% heavier than similar razors in my collection).  It wouldn't surprise me if the Marines had included some combat ability in the specifications.


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