I am presenting the Wester Safety Razor - circa 1911-1916?
I haven't a lot of information on this razor, but I picked it up from our very own Hoosier Trooper and thought it should be my first razor post here at the improved site! It is a fabulous shaver and holds a modern SE very well. It was built for wedges, but as a wafer shaver it rocks!
It seems that Wester Bros was a company founded in New York in approx 1902 by Charles and Max Wester, the sons of August Wester, who was an owner at the time of the renowned German cutlery company, Wester & Butz (founded in 1832). The two sons essentially came at an opportune time in the razor/cutlery business, opened their doors in New York, and had an excellent supply of wares from dad. So very likely, this particular razor was sold in the early 1910s right in the heart of the Big Apple.
The Rapide was a German razor which the Wester Bros essentially copied once the US 1894 patent for the Rapide expired in 1911. This model of Wester Bros razor was most certainly put into competion with the Rapide, and the other 'copies' by Henckels, Wostenholm and other makers looking to take advantage of the expired patent.
Last Edit: Feb 5, 2012 1:33:11 GMT -6 by RocketMan
I'll tell ya, I'm a softy with old folks. If it had of been his car and he needed it again after a miracle cure from cancer, or his walker cuz he could finally afford shoes again - I would be the first to return his stuff. But, My Gawd Man - it is the sweetest little razor don't ya think? He can always learn to knit a goatee or something!!
Is that brass-looking clip spring loaded, or how does it work?
If you notice a section of the shaft under the head is threaded and a female threaded disk/wheel is in place. As the disk threads up or down, the curvature of the retaining clip moves the clip either up and forwards, or down and away from the blade base. Really, and if I can use this phrase here, an elegant design don't ya think?
So, you turn the disk to tighten or loosen the clip. It is probably the nature of this design element that allows to accommodate modern SE blades so well - they tighten in like a charm!
Well - it is in the top list of shavers for me. It is really a sweet tool to use. The knurling on this is so well done that it is just a treat to grip. The head presents the blade really well - shaving around the nostrils, which can be a bugger with some of the others, is a snap with this one. She drives just fine!!!
Sorry to bump this thread to the top after a year, but in my search for a wedge blade stropping handle, I ran across a complete travel set of a wester bros razor, blades and handle. I'm going to give it a try this morning, and I'll be sure to post lots of pics and my results as well.
I'm glad you did bump it. I missed this thread when it first posted. I've never seen a razor like this before and really, really, really like it. I think I'll start to go on the hunt for one. Please let us know how yours shaves!
Wow!! I'm so glad this got bumped aswell....Man, this is a super design....the way you can tighten up that spring or lossen it if you ever decide to go the stropped wedge blade route....Its just too cool for school...and so modern looking!....This is something...
So Tom...what was the guy you got it from like....did he know alot about razors?
"Music is my mistress and she plays second fiddle to no one.".....Duke Ellington
"Because I prefer the clean sweep of the tempered steel as it glides...."...Cary Grant describing why he prefers a Schick Injector's Shave.
So right after I posted this, I discovered that, sadly, the blade catch was broken off on the Wester Bros. I'll still post up the pics this evening when I get back, but there will be no "field test" unfortunately.
Here is a pic of the travel set I got on the 'bay.
Unpacked, here's what fits in that little box:
As can be seen here, the blade stop on the left is missing, and the blade moves around a bit.
This picture is the Wester Bros side-by side with my 2 Henckels. A Rapide, and a Wotan. THe Rapide is in Gold, and the Wotan, Silver.
Unlike the Henckels razors, that the Wester seems to be a copy of, this particular Wester has a removable head and handle.
One thing that was immediately apparent on this particular razor, was just how much of a "copy" it felt like. Compared to the Rapide or Wotan, the handle feels much lighter, and feels - I hate to use the word - "cheap."
The specimen that the OP posted on the thread looked to be of a much higher quality than this one.
If anyone is up for a restoration, and is willing to give this razor some love and get it back into rotation, PM me, and I'll be happy to send it your way. I bought it for the stropping handle, and that's what I ended up with.
wchnu: WHOOP!!! Williams rocks!!
Jan 23, 2015 11:46:50 GMT -6
birdlives: Williams rocked my shave again this morning. I don't get it when I hear cats; on other sites; complain about lathering Williams. Looks like the easiest game in town to me. And not just the amount of lather but the Quality of lather as well...};^))
Jan 25, 2015 0:30:46 GMT -6
RocketMan: Williams does get much applause for the job it does reconditioning strops.
Jan 26, 2015 5:34:00 GMT -6
birdlives: There was some talk across the street about the shortage of vintage shaving gear in the Wild around Seattle. I was thinking maybe some of our friends from across the Border might be sweeping down here and thinning out the herd. What do you guys think RM?!!
Feb 8, 2015 7:37:30 GMT -6
birdlives: There was mention of a certain Rocket Dude.....and someone; Not Me;; said "That Rocket Dood, is pretty slick" or sneaky or something to that affect.....ha,ha,ha....};^)) Can It Be? All I Know is there isn't 1 1909 Ever Ready "New" still wild in the PNW....
Feb 8, 2015 7:42:54 GMT -6
Feb 17, 2015 13:19:19 GMT -6
birdlives: I Knew It, I Knew It!!!
Feb 18, 2015 2:22:56 GMT -6
wchnu: a real hunter always up for the stalk
Mar 12, 2015 20:57:19 GMT -6
prometeo: Williams... It 's the best !!![br]
Mar 13, 2015 19:55:30 GMT -6
wchnu: Indeed it is.. and not just for the price. I think it out works a lot of the more expensive soaps
Mar 16, 2015 13:02:44 GMT -6
birdlives: I concur with the Fuzz-ster....Williams is priceless.....What price can you put on a great shave? You Dig! And he's right about a real hunter aswell...and some cats have fine tuned the hunt to "The Pretator"' status. I'm staying out there, and alert..;)
Mar 17, 2015 2:03:35 GMT -6
wchnu: Colgate is a solid soap too. Nothing special about the scent but a great soap.
Mar 22, 2015 15:28:01 GMT -6
birdlives: I concur your Fuzzyness....Solid Man!!
Mar 23, 2015 13:05:26 GMT -6
chickenmumbo: Hope you all got in your March 24 /1914 Ever Ready anniversary shaves .
Mar 25, 2015 1:05:57 GMT -6
wchnu: missed the 24th. I can not keep up with things like that
Mar 26, 2015 14:51:48 GMT -6
birdlives: The Fuzz-meister sets the bar...He's trancended mundane celebratories that entertain those with too much time on their hands...Don't give it a second thought your Fuzzyness....I shaved twice to cover for anyone who missed...lol...
Mar 28, 2015 3:38:23 GMT -6
RocketMan: Or he sits the bar.... : ). ER birthday shave was great.....thnx for the reminder BL....you are on to something with the 1909 birthday in April...I'm going to celebrate that one too! (And I got mine from England not WA fyi so look hard!)
Mar 29, 2015 0:46:06 GMT -6
stilgar: I just bought my first pair of razors Ever-ready 1912 + 20 blades GEM on Connaught
Mar 29, 2015 15:03:17 GMT -6
birdlives: Your on! I'll shave with the 1909's baby sibling; the ER 1924; on April 13th for the 1909's 100th Birthday....Thats the original patent Anniversary for all the ER Shovel-heads....
Mar 30, 2015 2:19:51 GMT -6