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  1. #1
    Crimson King
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    Default Joseph Elliots American Razor

    I just picked up a great old razor on the bay. It was actually a part of a fairly large collection and this one may end up on the chopping block as it probably should go to somebody who will actually display it rather than hone and shave with it (it seems like a shame to be honing the eagle away...) I may have to drop it into an old set of bone scales from a GEO.W IXL that came with the lot and a cracked blade. At least it would retain the proper period scales as these are really nice, but have been tie wired in the distant past (I would bet nearly a century ago...)

    Anyhow, on my search for some info about the razor I have run across something interesting about these American razors... they appear to have been made by a number of different cuttlers around the mid 1800s. So far I have found pictures showing what appears to be Wade and Butchers with a slightly different designed blade but very similar engraved eagle and the words American razor on it. I was looking over the link to a magazine article published in 1923 with a picture that looks almost exactly like this one (the same double scallop, marking and very similar eagle engraving) but it is marked George Westenholm IXL razor. That razor is identified in the article as being from 1847- so I will assume that this Joseph Elliot is around the same vintage.

    This really has me wondering if somebody was importing these after the war with their own engraving and the words American razor on them but having them produced by different cutlers? Perhaps all of the major makers just saw a new patriotic market open up to them and decided to etch their version of the American eagle on the blade and ship them over? I just find it very interesting how closely one razor resembles another...

    Anyhow, the pic of the W+Bs came from this page, last picture. STRAZORS.com - all about classic razors - Wade & Butcher, Sheffield.
    The magazine article was an old link from SRP and is still active for download here. The razor in question is pictured as exhibit Y and the bit about them is a page above the picture...
    http://www.anwealde.com/razors/bothlummus.pdf

    I suppose I am posting in part to just say... Look at this really cool piece of history. The other part of me figures that at some point there will be somebody using the search function for one of these American Razors and hopefully something in this post will be useful. Or, even better yet- perhaps somebody will read this and contribute something to my knowledge base and I will learn a little more about the history of these etched blades...
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    Last edited by dolf; 09-27-2012 at 09:41 AM.

  2. #2
    Thread derailment specialist. Wullie's Avatar
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    Default

    I have a W&B "American Razor" that is pretty close to your Elliot. I'm in the process of refitting mine with some vintage scales, The etch on mine is somewhat weak and the picture doesn't show the eagle well. The scalloped spine is pretty much the same as yours.
    Member Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club, participant SE Asia War Games 1972-1973. The oath I swore has no statute of limitation.

  3. #3
    Senior Member blabbermouth kalerolf's Avatar
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    Default Re: Joseph Elliots American Razor

    Ok thats looks awsome,im a bit jalors now.

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