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Thread: Gilchrist. Not the composer; his dad. Not the painter; his granddad.

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    Default Gilchrist. Not the composer; his dad. Not the painter; his granddad.

    This club has been a long time coming for me. William Gilchrist has been my favorite hobbyhorse for about 4 years now, and I've amassed... A few of his razors.

    A detailed history will have to wait for another time. It's long, very interesting, and deep.

    Suffice to say William Wallace Gilchrist was a British citizen living in America who imported fancy goods before the Civil War, and may have made some of this own before burning down the barn where he worked.

    In the beginning, there was the Ramapo Razor Company out of Ramapo, NJ. Gilchrist had a workshop there, near the river, where he manufactured steel pen nibs. In February of 1853, his barn burned down. Later that year, he won an award for his razors.

    Razors like this:







    This is, hands down, my favorite razor design to shave with, and this razor shaves wonderfully. I've never seen a Sheffield razor with that exact blade design, and there are almost no Sheffield razors that I haven't seen more than one example of.

    Note that it has a model number No. 56.

    Now comes one of the great questions. Did the Ramapo Razor company really come first?
    -Zak Jarvis. Writer. Artist. Bon vivant.

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    Default W. Gilchrist

    Or did Gilchrist-branded razors come first?

    Ones like this:





    or this:





    (This one has been reground hollow and rescaled in celluloid. The indignity!)
    -Zak Jarvis. Writer. Artist. Bon vivant.

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    Default Wm. Gilchrist / Jersey City

    The next stage is the Jersey City stamped razors, like this one:







    A fairly unusual blade design, but I've seen others similar here and there.
    -Zak Jarvis. Writer. Artist. Bon vivant.

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    Default Elliot Mark, W. Gilchrist / Jersey City

    And then comes this oddity, which makes me think that the W. Gilchrist razors come after the Ramapo razors.





    That is indeed the Joseph Elliot corporate mark next to Gilchrist's name. Seems pretty odd, doesn't it?
    -Zak Jarvis. Writer. Artist. Bon vivant.

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Voidmonster View Post
    The next stage is the Jersey City stamped razors, like this one:







    A fairly unusual blade design, but I've seen others similar here and there.
    Wow amazing razor, I swear I just saw a wade and butcher with a similar design. Beautiful shape to it.
    Voidmonster and xiaotuzi like this.
    Nothing is fool proof, to a sufficiently talented fool...

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    Default Wm. Gilchrist / Razor Steel no. 6





    That is Wade & Butcher's 'Bow Razor' mark. I have seen, but do not own, a Gilchrist razor with the W&B arrow & cross mark.

    This is where things get doubly interesting, and where I'd like help.

    First of all, Robert Wade (W&B's main salesman in America and son of founder Robert Wade), was a personal friend of Gilchrist. The sort of friend you call on when you're being accused of treason, in fact.

    Second, this marks the beginning of Gilchrist razors in my collection with model numbers (if we don't count the Ramapo razors, which I'm entirely unsure about whether we should or not).

    I'd like all of you other collectors out there to find your Gilchrist & Ramapo razors and share pictures of them here with their model numbers. There are huge gaps in my collection, and having more of them might help figure out where the Ramapo razors fit into the grand scheme of things.
    -Zak Jarvis. Writer. Artist. Bon vivant.

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    Default Wm. Gilchrist / Razor Steel no. 9





    Another frameback, and quite close numerically to the last one.

    All the rest I have are 'Razor Steel' with a model number.

    Onwards!
    -Zak Jarvis. Writer. Artist. Bon vivant.

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    Default Wm. Gilchrist / Razor Steel no. 12







    Number 12, and another uncommon old Sheffield blade pattern, though this one turns up from time to time, it's often been reground and just has mysterious runnels down the blade length. Well, this is what those originally looked like. I have no idea what it was called. It has elements of a half-rattler, but then there's that channel which is... ?

    They get weirder.
    -Zak Jarvis. Writer. Artist. Bon vivant.

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    Default Wm. Gilchrist / Razor Steel no. 14

    No. 14







    The most distinctive of all the Gilchrist razors I've got. The blade shape and tang features are the same as W&B's Ottoman Egyptian, but it's got that half-rattler / half semi-hollowed thing going on too.
    -Zak Jarvis. Writer. Artist. Bon vivant.

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    Default Wm. Gilchrist / Razor Steel no. 39

    No. 39, a pair.











    A BIG jump in model numbers there. Oh how I wish these were in better shape, as the scales are badly eaten up and the box has definitely seen better days too, but it is in good enough condition to see how lovely it was. (Other Gilchrist boxes are indigo blue, well before Levi's came onto the scene).
    -Zak Jarvis. Writer. Artist. Bon vivant.

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