Straight razors, also known as cut-throats, like A.E. Ward’s pictured below, were the most common form of shaving before the 20th century.
Pictured in this collection: the box for a DE-Fi 34 Razor by the Wester Brothers of New York; a razor inscribed with Joseph Rogers & Sons, Cutters to their Majesty, No. 6 Norfold Street, Sheffield; the Griffon Straight Razor made in Germany along with its original yellow box; and a German Imperial Razor with its original box and blade that read XTRA HOLLOW GROUND, FULLY WARRENTED, the box cap also has a sticker showing where it was purchased - R. HELLIWELL'S (917?) S. MAIN ST. LOS ANGELES. The personalized shaving mug was probably a gift from A.E. Ward’s association with the Freemasons.
For further reading about straight razors and a brief history of their development from 1500 through 1820, go to The Invisible Edge. The site also has a Jargon Buster page illustrating the anatomy of the razor, terms, specifications, and its condition.
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