September 17, 2007

DePew Day

Rooney small style 1 brush
Penhaligon Blenheim Bouquet shaving soap
Hand American strop
5/8 DePew's "Perfect Razor"
Pinaud Clubman aftershave

This razor is a real oddity among straight razors, and is thus fairly collectible.  Mr. DePew was clearly proud of his design - he went to the trouble of both patenting it and stamping this on the razor ("DePew's Patent June 6 1882").  Unfortunately this doesn't really explain why there were never any other razors like it in an era where patents were routinely ignored.  The overall length of the razor is similar to other razors of the day, but this razor has a very short blade (about 1" shorter than other razors), a very short shank, and a very long tail (commonly called a "monkey tail").  The short shank only affords room for your thumb and forefinger to grasp the shank, so the other three fingers must rest on the extended tail.  The extended tail thoughtfully provides room for them to fit, but since the razor is controlled from the shank and not the tail they don't do any good back there.  The "Perfect Razor" winds up being a fairly precarious razor to use in practice.

Strangely enough, it shares the short blade and monkey tail design with the ultra-modern Japanese straight razor, the Feather "Artist Club" - though that razor uses a normal-length shank that allows a more natural hold.


Compare with the modern Feather:

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