However it is generally (though definitely not universally!) agreed that it’s engineering probably peaked around 1955 (some extend that to about 1960).That said, I think there are two models of vintage DE razors that deserve at least a little love from me for the beginner: the Gillette Super Speed’s manufactured from the late 1940’s through the mid 1950’s, and the Shick Krona.
Rotating the end of the handle clamped the guard , the blade, and the cap together in a neat sandwich.
A slight twist of the handle could expose more or less of the blade edge as the cap sqeezed the flexible blade against the guard.
After that I think engineers began to “over tweak” the design and the accountants began to get more involved in the production process.
Many consider these mid-1950’s razors to be not only solidly built but exceptionally smooth shavers. A letter and a number: the letter corresponds to a year and the number corresponds to the calendar quarter of that year.
In the rush to acquire the very best razor to experience the best of shaves, some seek out the classic Gillette Fatboy razor.
The Fatboy is in much demand and prices reflect that demand.
The illustration below is from a 1905 Gillette advertisement.
The threaded stem on the cap engaged the inner handle.
I will grant you that for the most part they’re built very well and there are tons of them still around, easily found in internet auction sites, antique stores, and grand parent’s bathrooms.
But–speaking for myself–there are just too many unknowns about the true mechanical condition of a vintage razor for me to be confortable with recommending them to someone just getting into traditional shaving with a DE.
Other more interesting curiosities soon caught my attention and I forgot about the blade puzzle.