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Thread: Autographed Signed Torrey Razor

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    Default Autographed Signed Torrey Razor

    Hello,

    I picked up a new to me Torrey Razor at an estate auction last night. The top does not have the typical "Torrey Razor Company" it just says "Torrey" Under that is has a signature. The first letter appears to be a sweeping J and I'm not sure on the rest but might be an R? Has anyone seen one of these before? I would appreciate any information you can give me.

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    It's Nice To Be Nice JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    Welcome to SRP. J.R. Torrey was an American razor mfg in Massachusetts. I don't remember how long they were in business, somewhere from the mid to late 1800s to the early to mid 1900s. They made a good razor, with what IME is hard steel. They hone up to be good shavers though, again, only IME, they can be a lot of work due to the hardness. If you intend to put it into service check out our beginner's guide in the SRP Library and unless you know how to hone razors, our member services in the SRP classifieds.

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    Senior Member eod7's Avatar
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    The thing beneath the name is a whip.
    gooser likes this.
    One time, in band camp, I shaved with a Gold Dollar razor.

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    So was the whip a normal part of these razors? I haven't seen any with it. Any idea on the age of this one since it does not have the more familiar full name of the company?

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    Quote Originally Posted by eod7 View Post
    The thing beneath the name is a whip.
    a buggy whip.

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    Quote Originally Posted by texasnorton View Post
    So was the whip a normal part of these razors? I haven't seen any with it. Any idea on the age of this one since it does not have the more familiar full name of the company?
    I believe 1895 to 1917 is the range for the Whip Line
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    One time, in band camp, I shaved with a Gold Dollar razor.

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    Senior Member eod7's Avatar
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    * If this information is incorrect, it will set off Manah's RazorSense and he will show up and correct me. Just watch.
    saitou likes this.
    One time, in band camp, I shaved with a Gold Dollar razor.

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    I'm not sure who that is but we'll see. LOL Thanks for the information either way.

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    Historically Inquisitive Martin103's Avatar
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    Welcome to SRP Texasnorton,thats a fine looking razor, The Bullwhip was Torrey's first trademark, by looking at your razor, the style and the horn scales, without a wedge, are sure evidence of early Torrey. The Turner & Cowlishaw razor i restored had pretty much the same scales. and that razor was just before John Turner joined J.R. Torrey to run the razor division at Torrey in 1880.
    Turner & Cowlishaw, Meriden Conn, Restoration & History

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    Here is some information that I thought was interesting from another thread. Also someone had said the whip line first appeared in catalogs in 1895.

    I know I read some sort of history of Torrey and his company at some point, but I can't remember where I found it (though I am 99% sure it was on SRP or from someone on SRP; perhaps a link to an ebook/google books?)
    Dylan, I have a cool (but long out of print) book called "The Razor Anthology" published in 1995 as a series of razor-related articles from Knife World magazine. I picked it up at an online used book store. It has articles devoted to the history of many razor makers, one of them Torrey. Maybe this was the article you're referring to. The quality of the articles varies from excellent to terrible, but the Torrey one is good. This notes below are gleaned from that article.

    Torrey started as a strop business in 1858, and they imported razors from England and Sweden.
    In 1880, a Sheffield immigrant named Joseph Turner joined J. R. Torrey, and they started making their own razors.
    The earliest marking for the Torrey razors is three straight lines on the shank that read "THE TORREY RAZOR CO. / WORCESTER, MASS / USA".
    The article notes an 1895 Torrey catalog in which the "usual" Torrey marking appears, which it describes as "THE J.R. TORREY CO." in an arc over a "U.S." and an arrow trademark with "WORCESTER, MASS" under the trademark.
    The Torrey razors marked with the whip are called the "Whip Line," and were a low-priced line of razors which also began production around 1895. The blades were made of the same steel as the finer grades of razors, they just weren't highly finished. Some of them weren't even hollow ground, but plain ground. They simply have the name "TORREY" in an arc over the whip, which is curled around itself.
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