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Swivel Blade Straight Razor

Patent US637124

Invention Razor, &c

Filed Friday, 16th December 1898

Published Tuesday, 14th November 1899

Inventor Alexander G. Johnson

Language English

CPC Classification:   

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A PDF version of the original patent can be found here.

No. 637,124.Patented Nov. 14, 1899.
United States Patent Office.

Alexander G. Johnson, of New York, N. Y. Razor, &c.
SPECIFICATION forming part of Letters Patent No. 637,124, dated November 14, 1899. Application filed December 16, 1898. Serial No. 699,472. (No model.)

To all whom it may concern:

Be it known that I, Alexander G. Johnson, a citizen of the United States, residing in the city, county, and State of New York, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Razors and the Like, of which the following is a specification.

This invention relates to razors and similar instruments, and aims to provide certain improvements especially applicable to razors.

In the usual construction of razor as heretofore employed the blade has been pivoted at right angles to its length to swing open and closed from and toward a handle open at both front and back, and the user has retained the blade in any desired open position by a lock or by grasping the tang with the thumb and first finger and holding the handle with the other fingers.

In using a razor the handle sometimes interferes with the desired movement of the blade and much awkwardness and difficulty are encountered in shaving certain portions of the face. To avoid such interferences as far as possible, it has been common for users of razors to tilt the handle on its pivotal connection with the blade to various angles relatively to the latter. To correct this, it has been attempted to provide a razor in which the blade can be moved to various positions at right angles to the direction in which the blade moves in opening or closing the razor and in which the blade may be held in one of several positions without the aid of the fingers.

My invention aims to provide certain improvements especially applicable to such razors.

To this end, in carrying out the preferred form of my present improvements as applied to a razor having a swivel connection between the blade and handle extending on an axis preferably parallel with the plane through which the blade moves in opening and closing the razor, so that the blade can be swung on this axis to occupy any desired position or positions laterally of the handle, I provide improved means for locking this swivel, so that the blade may be used as the ordinary razor-blade, and I provide a wide handle having a closed back and the usual knife-spring and a tang having steps or faces reciprocal to this spring and adapted to hold the blade in any one of several open positions or in the closed position, so that the razor may be used with certainty that it will retain its adjustment and may be closed and carried with safety.

In the accompanying drawings, which show one adaptation of my present improvements, Figure 1 is a side elevation of a razor constructed according to the preferred form of my invention, the blade being shown closed. Fig. 2 is a side elevation thereof, partly in section, the blade being shown open and in the usual position in full lines and tilted to other positions in dotted lines. Fig. 3 is a front edge view, the blade in these three views being locked against side swinging. Fig. 4 is a side elevation, partly in section, showing the blade unlocked and swung to the side. Fig. 5 is a front edge view of the razor as shown in Fig. 4, the blade being shown in one position in full lines and in another in dotted lines. Fig. 6 is a back edge view of the razor when the blade is locked, as shown in Fig. 3.

Referring to the drawings, I will now describe in detail the preferred form of my present invention.

Let A represent the handle, B the blade, C the tang, and D the pivot, of a razor, which in respect to these parts may be of any usual or desirable construction, the blade swinging from and toward the handle on the pivotal pin D, which pin extends across the handle and tang from one side to the other at right angles to the lateral plane of the handle and blade.

According to the construction of razor shown the blade and handle are so connected in any suitable manner that the handle can be swung sidewise or turned relatively to the ‘blade in other than the direction of its usual opening and closing movements. This may be variously accomplished; but I prefer to attain it by subdividing the tang into two ends a b, the former constituting a rigid part of the tang and the latter a rigid part of the blade, and swiveling them together, as by the swivel-screw E, which has an axis extending parallel with and in a plane extending from the front to the rear of the blade, so that the blade can swing sidewise relatively to the tang and handle. The swivel-axis E is shown as at right angles to the pivotal pin D and as remote therefrom, being sufficiently beyond the handle so that the user can grasp the blade between the thumb and forefinger near the swivel and hold the tang and handle with the other fingers when it is desired to hold the blade at any angle sidewise relatively to the handle. The swivel-joint, as shown, is formed by a headed screw traversing a hole c in the blade and screwing into a hole d in the tang.

My invention provides means for locking the blade in position relatively to the handle, for which purpose I prefer the construction of lock shown at F, which consists of a movable lock carried by one part and adapted to overlap both parts to prevent relative movement around the swivel-axis E. The lock is preferably a clamp of U-shaped cross-section, as shown in Figs. 3 and 4, hinged on a stud G to the tang C and swinging forward and backward thereon from a forward position, in which it disengages the blade, to a rearward position, in which it engages and locks the blade. The lock shown has side wings e, which embrace the parallel side faces f of the tang and blade for locking the parts. The stud G connects these wings at one end, and at the other end they are connected by a cross-piece g. A projection h at one side of the one wing e is shown as provided to facilitate moving the lock, and the wings, cross-piece, and projection, as shown, are formed in a single integral piece. When in the locked position, the cross-piece rests on the point i of the handle, as an extra precaution against too great inward movement of the blade when the blade is closed, and when the blade is open the lock constitutes, essentially, a part of the shank and is included in the grasp of the user, being preferably constructed to elastically grip the blade or tang with sufficient frictional resistance to prevent accidental unlocking. When the lock is swung to the unlocked position, its cross-piece moves into a notch j in the tang, so that the lock is well out of the way to permit side swinging and convenient holding of the blade.

Another feature of improvement consists in forming the tang with locking-faces H and I and preferably, also, J and K and the handle with the usual knife-spring L engaging these faces, and thereby holding the blade in the one of several positions to which it may be set. The faces H and I correspond, respectively, to the usual faces on the tang end of a knife-blade for locking it in the closed and open positions. Face J is an additional face for locking the blade in the extreme open position and face K an additional face for locking it in the partly-open position, positions which are desirable to the use of a razor.

In use the razor may be honed and used as an ordinary razor by locking the swivel connection E, or it may be used both as ordinarily and as a side-swinging razor by unlocking this connection.

By side swinging the user can avoid interference of the blade in shaving, and by setting the razor at different open positions he can rely on its retaining the desired position by reason of the spring and the corresponding face on the shank.

When not in use, the razor can be safely carried in the pocket without danger of opening of the blade.

The razor can be honed, stropped, and cleaned as conveniently as can ordinary razors.

It will be seen that my invention provides improvements which can be readily and advantageously used, and it will be understood that I do not limit myself to any particular details of construction, arrangement, and combination of parts and features shown as constituting the preferred form of the invention, since my improvements can be employed in whole or in part, according to such modifications as circumstances or the judgment of those skilled in the art may dictate, without departing from the spirit of my invention.

What I claim is—

1. In razors and the like, the combination with a handle, of a blade carried thereby, a swivel connection between the parts permitting swinging of the blade sidewise relatively to the handle, and a hinged lock swinging toward the blade to lock it relatively to the handle.

2. In razors and the like, the combination with a blade, of a separate tang therefor, said blade hinged to said tang and swinging relatively thereto, and a lock hinged to one of said parts and swinging thereon toward and from the other for locking them together.

3. In razors and the like, the combination with a blade, of a separate tang therefor, said blade pivoted to said tang and swinging transversely thereof, and a swinging lock for fastening said parts rigidly together.

4. In razors and the like, the combination with a handle A, of the blade B, tang C, pivot D between the tang and handle, and swivel connection E between the tang and blade, and a swinging lock hinged to the tang and engaging the blade to lock it.

5. In a razor, the combination with a handle and a spring, of a blade having a tang, having a plurality of spring-faces, and a pivotal connection between said tang and handle, whereby the blade can be held in successive positions by the spring, a pivotal connection between the blade and tang permitting swinging of the blade transversely of the tang, and a swing-lock hinged to one of said parts and locking the blade in position.

In witness whereof I have hereunto signed my name in the presence of two subscribing witnesses.

Alexander G. Johnson.


George H. Fraser,

Fred White.