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: yea. They do not make them like those guys any more..
Oct 31, 2014 21:12:17 GMT -6
birdlives: We got a pretty strong ensemble around here....imagine if we did TOST film....who whould play what characters...ha,ha....what would the premise be? We know this would bee one film with some classic shaving scenes...ha,ha...
Nov 2, 2014 1:42:42 GMT -6
wchnu: Ahhh a movie. Some kind of Bogart or such. Maybe along the lines of McQ or Bullit.
Nov 2, 2014 19:16:12 GMT -6
coolbus18: Casablanca meets The Wild Bunch at OK Corral at High Noon with the Good, The Bad, and the Ugly to Hang "Em High with True Grit. Phew one helluva title but we'd all get to do a lot of characters. Or Stagecoach meets The Seven Samurai.
Nov 3, 2014 0:18:00 GMT -6
birdlives: I know theres gonna be some "Killer" shave scenes in this one....Ha,ha!
Nov 3, 2014 2:08:00 GMT -6
wchnu: It would be about a evil villain selling cart razors to the kids on the playground.
Nov 7, 2014 12:59:45 GMT -6
RocketMan: well carts do attract junkies!!!
Nov 7, 2014 19:05:17 GMT -6
birdlives: Even Worse, an Evil Villain stealing TOST member's SE razors while they are traveling and leaving new cartridge razors and blades in their places, so we have to use carts til we get home....arrrgggg! No forget it...might induce recurring nightmares.
Nov 8, 2014 0:29:49 GMT -6
birdlives: How 'bout a Hard Boiled Film Noir Private Detective with a Damaskeene on his back...and has to search the back streets and alleyways looking to cop his GEM Carbon blades in a time (?)and place (?)where their sale is controlled by....(you fill in the blank)
Nov 9, 2014 4:49:43 GMT -6
wchnu: as long as I get a trench coat and fedora.....
Nov 13, 2014 13:48:22 GMT -6
coolbus18: but of course! along with shoulder holster and a 1911 and a pack of butts and a Zippo.
Nov 13, 2014 18:23:58 GMT -6
RocketMan: How about a Planer of the Apes movie? Out in the wild the hairiest ape discovers a Rolls with spare blades. Then history begins to unfold.
Nov 15, 2014 12:03:35 GMT -6
birdlives: maybe a time warp. Fuzzy Spade Visits the Planet of the Apes Caper. PI's in Trench and fedora, double shoulder holsters, 1912 on oneside and a ER boar on the other. Cake of Williams in vest pocket & Pinaud Clubman in a hip flask....hmmm
Nov 15, 2014 15:45:51 GMT -6
RocketMan: I dunno. Fuzzy Spade wearing a trench coat running after freshly shaved naked apes. Could be misinterpreted. : )
Nov 16, 2014 1:11:13 GMT -6
birdlives: Yeah, you're right RM....might just look like a normal Friday Night.....};^) Doh!! I don't mean for OUR Fuzzy, but for the hard boiled Detective Fuzzy Spade.....lol!
Nov 16, 2014 1:42:04 GMT -6
birdlives: I think the Fuzz-meister was on to something with the Fedoras and such....Film Noir.....Shave Noir......How 'bout......."Toster Squad".......or ......."G-em Men"......Against the Grain....Clubman Confidential........OK......What You Got ??
Nov 20, 2014 23:38:20 GMT -6
RocketMan: Fuzzy Spade in....'On the Edge'.....'Blade of Death'....'The Big Frame'....'Facing Sudsy Malone'....'The Injector'....'Tales of The Ugly Mug'....'William's Tell'....'Addicted to Weekly Soaps'....'Ever Ready'....
Nov 21, 2014 19:32:08 GMT -6
RocketMan: The Great Fuzzy Spade - Famous lines:....'Frankly my dear, I don't give a shave'....'Keep your friends close, but your stubble closer'.....'Say hello to my little razor'....'Hasta la Vista DE'....'Here's lookin at you Fuzzy'..'Open the razor bay doors HAL'
Nov 21, 2014 19:57:59 GMT -6