An original Gillette adjustable safety razor patent

The engineering drawings here are just fantastic. This is patent number 2,952,911 filed on March 19 1956 and issued on September 20 1960, a gap of four and a half years. The inventors are Meyer J Shnitzler and Michael Douglas Benedict Jr.  As you can see the adjuster in the drawings went from 1 to 5 and in the production Fat Boy, Toggle, Slim etc it went from 1 to 9. Also the adjuster in the drawings is near the bottom of the handle just above the twist to open (TTO) knob whilst on production items it was moved to just under the head.

Gillette built a very small number of prototypes as per the patent drawing. These now are extremely valuable. There is one in the photograph above.

Another complication here is that Gillette actually had two different adjustment mechanisms. The one in the Toggle adjustable moved the guard bars. The one in the Fat Boy bent the blade to differing degrees. This patent says: “This results flows from the fact that the relative positions of the guard member is controlled by the adjusting knob”. So it looks like it isn’t the Fat Boy mechanism.


  1. Fascinating post and made me break out my Toggle for this morning’s shaving. I’ve looked for the 195 (is that the right model for the adjustable with the adjustment at the bottom of the handle?) but haven’t been lucky enough to find one.

    Do you know whether the adjustment method of the slim-handle adjustable follows the Fat Boy or the Toggle method?

  2. I think that the Slim and the Super Adjustable used the Fat Boy mechanism and vary the blade bend.

  3. A true work of art!!


    1. I am sorry but I know little of these old razors.

  5. I ‘d like to answer this last post. There is several place where you can find these old shavers.

    1. Online stores like ‘Above the tie’ who provide a variety of restored razors and shaving supplies.

    2. Ebay is a good place to look but most of them are dirty, you’ll have to clean before . There is a lot of tutorials about razor cleaning, all over the net. There is also seller who have shave ready razors, of course.

    3.Yardsales, trying to find razors in the wild is always interesting.

    4.Antique shop, not my cup of tea… Most likely they will try to sell you dirty razors for outrageous prices, claiming that the green corrosion is a valuable patina lolll Of course there is places where you’ll get them for decent prices.

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