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  1. #1
    The Hurdy Gurdy Man thebigspendur's Avatar
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    Default The good old days

    I seem to remember many years ago when they came out with the first stainless DE blades I think it was the English Company Wilkinsen and they used to advertise you could get at least 10 shaves with each blade. It seems you can only get a couple now so what happened?
    Every day without fail one should consider himself as dead-Tsunetomo

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    what Dad calls me nun2sharp's Avatar
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    Planned obsolesence is a thing of the past. Outright cheap and shoddy is the order of the day.

  3. #3
    Don
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebigspendur View Post
    I seem to remember many years ago when they came out with the first stainless DE blades I think it was the English Company Wilkinsen and they used to advertise you could get at least 10 shaves with each blade. It seems you can only get a couple now so what happened?
    Profit Margins that is what happened

  4. #4
    straight shaver geoffreyt's Avatar
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    Many blades became MUCH thinner.

  5. #5
    Senior Member squatman's Avatar
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    I would think that it has to do with the economies of scale of production, in that there are far fewer DE shavers around than there were back in the day. As a result less blades are made with the same or higher costs of production, thus blades are more expensive to manufacture. Many of the old blade manufacturers have either gone out of business, quit producing DEs, or have sold the rights to their names to foreign companies. In some cases quality has remained good and in other cases, quality has been sacrificed to price.

  6. #6
    Senior Member blabbermouth ChrisL's Avatar
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    Funny, I was thinking about the near universal decline of product quality just last week. It's startling to me that so many products regardless of their use at best pale in comparison to when they were made in the "good old days" and at worst are almost worthless crap.

    I fear such a dramatic change in product quality will have a very real and negative impact on the ability of humanity to continue to advance. I see us going backward in many ways.

    Chris L
    "Blues fallin' down like hail." Robert Johnson
    "Aw, Pretty Boy, can't you show me nuthin but surrender?" Patti Smith

  7. #7
    Senior Member squatman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisL View Post
    Funny, I was thinking about the near universal decline of product quality just last week. It's startling to me that so many products regardless of their use at best pale in comparison to when they were made in the "good old days" and at worst are almost worthless crap.

    I fear such a dramatic change in product quality will have a very real and negative impact on the ability of humanity to continue to advance. I see us going backward in many ways.

    Chris L
    Chris,
    I know what you mean--just look at how few quality straight razor manufacturers there are now compared to even the 60s and 70s. The Internet has made it possible for a lot of things like DEs and str8s to remain viable as it has lowered the cost of distribution and increased the market reach world-wide at a much lower cost.

    One of the things I miss is the interaction with the local proprietor of the old brick and mortar store for items like razors, hats, men's clothes, etc. Here in Montana, due to a low population, we have lost a lot of really nice specialty type shops.
    Last edited by squatman; 03-03-2011 at 10:31 PM.

  8. #8
    The Assyrian Obie's Avatar
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    Default The good old days

    Gentlemen:

    Sadly, and painfully, I admit reality: Corporate zombies with an insatiable hunger for profit convinced men that a vibrating plastic razor with five blades was the answer to everything.

    Regards,

    Obie

  9. #9
    Senior Member squatman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obie View Post
    Gentlemen:

    Sadly, and painfully, I admit reality: Corporate zombies with an insatiable hunger for profit convinced men that a vibrating plastic razor with five blades was the answer to everything.

    Regards,

    Obie

    Obie,
    +1. I'm not against a corporation making money for their stockholders, but I can tell you that there is absolutely no shave like a good DE or a straight razor shave. I just started with the str8s and I only have two of them, but from what I see on these forums, some of the best str8s are the older restored ones, which really speaks to their great quality. And I also think that a lot of the older things and traditions still hold up well today, whether it's razors, music, a great pipe, etc., but I digress.

    Everybody wants things fast these days. Most guys won't have the patience to learn to shave with anything other than those vibrating plastic multi-blade things, sad to say.

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  11. #10
    Senior Member Arrowhead's Avatar
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    Much to my regret, the current Wilkinson Sword blade is an entirely different animal to the ones I used for twenty-odd years. Production in the UK (at Cramlington, if memory serves) ceased in the early 2000s, and the new Wilks are made in Germany. Judging by the way they shave, I strongly suspect that they come out of the same factory as Merkurs, seriously.

    There are a couple of wildcards too: Wilkinson Economie in a navy blue pack (borderline acceptable and cheap), and Indian made Wilkinsons which I haven't tried , but apparently are not at all bad by modern standards.

    The old UK blades can still be had from time to time, but they're getting very hard to find. Out of the way independent chemists shops sometimes have the odd pack tucked away in a forgotten corner. I managed to pick up a hundred or so on holiday the other year in the Hebrides.

    An informant tells me that Wilkinson have not entirely disappeared from the UK manufacturing scene, and they still do some intermittent trade. In swords.

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