Back When We Actually Made Things

Things that weren’t made to be thrown away after one or two uses.

I couldn’t even tell you when the last time it was when I used a razor on my face but I can remember my grandfather scraping his every fucking day with the old double edged safety razor.

A cup, a brush, some shaving soap and the obligatory sheet of toilet paper to staunch the blood from the inevitable nicks and cuts he got from it.

Every, Day.

He grew up during the Depression and anyone who has or had relatives from that time period knows they even recycled the word FRUGAL until it wore out too.

Grandma even had a complete matching set of salad bowls that all said COOL WHIP on the side. I ain’t joking.

I bet Grandpa would have liked to have had one of these gizmos, I’m actually kind of surprised he didn’t now that I think about it.


13 thoughts on “Back When We Actually Made Things

  1. Man! A razorblade sharpener!! How cool‘s that?!?!!
    My dad told me that when he was a youngster during the time of the Third Reich they had really miserable razorblades.
    He said the steel used for making them was crap.
    He also told me how much he rejoiced when he was given a pack of American razorblades by one of the GIs occupying his town when the war finally ended; he then learned what a sharp razorblade that kept on going was like!
    (He also told me how he – being an interpreter – was part of a banquet where he ate bananas and pineapples for the first time in his life. And how desperate he felt after throwing it all up afterwards because his starved body couldn’t keep it in. But that’s another story…)


  2. That is cool, my dad used a straight and a double edge razors and I am thinking of start using one as all the damn disposable ones are getting pretty damn expensive. Being the cheap bastard that I am I could use that sharpener. I wonder if they still make them?


  3. I have one that belonged to grandfather or great grand father , It has a leather disk that spins like a record ,the blade holder flips after several revolutions of the hand crank. Our forefathers were indeed frugal and ingenious.


  4. In another life, a partner and I had a shop in northern California where we re-built starters and alternators. We would routinely get units in from farm equipment that was manufactured 40’s and 50’s. I loved that stuff. Heavy steel and cast iron made to last, not throw away, It was made to be maintained, repaired, and put back in service. In my youth, I actually learned to start and operate a Cat similar to the one in this video—


  5. Years ago I switched to a double edged safety razor. The price of disposables was simply too exorbitant for me. Took a little to actually re-learn how to shave. Never going back. They work so much better and last lots longer. Not to mention a couple of bucks for razors lasts a year.


  6. My father was in the US Navy (Korea). He was taught to shave every day. And he did, all his life. When he landed in the hospital dying of Pancreatic Cancer, he was too weak to shave himself. I think that killed him more than the cancer did. Be thankful if you were able to shave today. RIP dad.


  7. Few years back consumer guru Clark Howard did a ‘sperment with DE razor blades to see how long he could make one last. It was still delivering decent shaves at a year. His research turned up that it isn’t cutting whiskers that dulls them, it’s the corrosion on the cutting edge from shaving cream/soap, skin oils and staying moist that does it. He cleaned and dried the blade after each use. I tried that for a couple months and found it worked, but good double edge blades bought in bulk are so cheap it isn’t worth the effort.


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