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View Full Version : Trying to date this Carl Monkhouse



mzarra
03-07-2011, 11:15 PM
https://img.skitch.com/20110308-k8uf389d9smdttnac64krxgc87.jpg

I picked up this item a little while ago to practice restoration on.

I am curious how to go about dating this razor.

johnmrson
03-08-2011, 03:37 PM
Unfortunately straights are really hard to date. The design hasn't really changed in a lot of years. The only way is if you know if a particular maker was in business for a certain time ie John Barber or if you know the years that a particular model were made.

It's very different to DE's unfortunately.

dakotaev
03-08-2011, 06:19 PM
I am curious how to go about dating this razor.

Start by buying it a drink, maybe some romantic music...
:lol:

Greybeard
03-09-2011, 03:58 AM
As johnmrson said it's hard to date straight razors and especially Carl Monkhouse. Carl Monkhouse started business in Solingen, Germany sometime around 1912. He and the company moved to Allegheny, NY, in 1937. If your blade says Solingen that might, at first, indicate that it was made before 1937. However Monkhouse also used imported Solingen, some Sheffield and some American steel in manufacturing their products. They also imported some products and relabeled them. Some Monkhouse scissors are labeled Sheffield, England, even though the company was in Allegheny. Some of their razors were labeled as made in Ellicottville, NY. I'm not sure when they stopped making razors, but it was definitely after 1955.
All Carl Monkhouse (and C-Mon) razors are excellent.
Carl Monkhouse III now runs Carl Monkhouse, Cutlery Associates and Reblade Manufacturing (a sharpening service), still in Allegheny. They make absolutely superb scissors.

mzarra
03-09-2011, 10:24 AM
Thank you, that was extremely useful and gives me a rough idea. The tang is indeed stamped with Solingen, Germany.

I am also quite curious as to the material of the scales. I am relatively new to straight razors and am not familiar with all of the materials used in the various periods.

Greybeard
03-09-2011, 11:57 AM
I am also quite curious as to the material of the scales. I am relatively new to straight razors and am not familiar with all of the materials used in the various periods.

Plastic (acrylic), wood, bone, bakelite, celluloid, horn and ivory are the most common materials. Tortoise shell, mother of pearl, aluminum and stainless steel have also been used. Celluloid is a very late 19th century invention, Bakelite early 20th century and plastic acrylic (for scales) closer to mid 20th century.
Those particular scales on your razor are celluloid in what's known as a "cracked ice" pattern.

mzarra
03-09-2011, 04:51 PM
Plastic (acrylic), wood, bone, bakelite, celluloid, horn and ivory are the most common materials. Tortoise shell, mother of pearl, aluminum and stainless steel have also been used. Celluloid is a very late 19th century invention, Bakelite early 20th century and plastic acrylic (for scales) closer to mid 20th century.
Those particular scales on your razor are celluloid in what's known as a "cracked ice" pattern.

You are a wealth of information, thank you again.

Would it be fair to say then if these were the original scales that it would further help date this razor? Did Celluloid fall into disuse in general or is it still commonly used?

Greybeard
03-09-2011, 07:16 PM
You are a wealth of information, thank you again.

Would it be fair to say then if these were the original scales that it would further help date this razor? Did Celluloid fall into disuse in general or is it still commonly used?

You're welcome.
Those are the original scales. Unfortunately that's not going to help narrow down the date that much.
Celluloid was used for scales from around 1890 to 1950. It was most prevalent from around 1900 to 1940. It has been basically replaced first by bakelite and then acrylic since around 1950 due to the fact that it's flammable and is subject to decomposition (google celluloid rot).
If I had to hazard a guess, and it's just a guess, I would date your razor between 1920 to 1936.

mzarra
03-10-2011, 11:49 AM
Thank you, this has been very enlightening.

Now to see how good of an edge it can hold :)

Bayamontate
03-10-2011, 11:53 AM
If I had to guess, I'd say circa 1930 as well.

shakin_jake
07-04-2011, 03:42 AM
I acquired a C-Mon recently.... I google searched for information and this thread was part of the search results. Here's a pic of mine for posterity-
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5066/5892608509_5a3c52a40d_b.jpg
One thing I found interesting about the schales, they are almost identical to the schales on my Dubl Duck Goldedge, which leads me to believe whoever made the schales for C-Mon built the same schales for Dubl Duck, during that time period.

Would be interesting to hear a back story on my schale assumption, them being built by a 3rd party, presumably in Solingen, as that's where the Dubl Duck Goldedge I have was built, according to the blade tang:001_005:


Best,


Jake
Reddick Fla.

Kentos
07-04-2011, 11:08 AM
Start by buying it a drink, maybe some romantic music...
:lol:

I think you should always ask permission first

Greybeard
07-04-2011, 12:19 PM
I acquired a C-Mon recently.... I google searched for information and this thread was part of the search results. Here's a pic of mine for posterity-
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5066/5892608509_5a3c52a40d_b.jpg
One thing I found interesting about the schales, they are almost identical to the schales on my Dubl Duck Goldedge, which leads me to believe whoever made the schales for C-Mon built the same schales for Dubl Duck, during that time period.

Would be interesting to hear a back story on my schale assumption, them being built by a 3rd party, presumably in Solingen, as that's where the Dubl Duck Goldedge I have was built, according to the blade tang:001_005:


Best,


Jake
Reddick Fla.


Beautiful razor.
Hard to verify your assumption, but it seems quite logical and probable. Dubl Duck imported razors from Germany that were manufactured and re-labeled for them. The celluloid material was probably made by one or more third party manufacturers somewhere in Germany for all the German razor makers. It could then have been cut, shaped and decorated by the razor maker to fit the blade. Some razor makers may have bought pre-cut scales and then finished them.

Cracked ice celluloid was made worldwide. It seems to have been used as a scale material mostly by German manufacturers but more than a few American manufacturers used it as well. The scales could have been imported from Germany, but there are cracked ice scales on American razors that are a unique style to American razors. This leads me to believe that there were cracked ice scales made in the US as well.
The Brits also manufactured celluloid but preferred natural scale materials and a more conservative appearance. The French manufactured cracked ice celluloid but used it mostly for jewellery and personal care items.

shakin_jake
07-08-2011, 03:00 AM
In took a few pics of my C-Mon next to my Goldedge the other day and loaded them onto flickr...
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6049/5903814673_4884d04755_b.jpg
other side-
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6010/5903809733_734328ee3b_b.jpg
the goldedge has some gold wash on the tang/monkey tail, presumeably from the factory, what's left of it. And, if you're wondering why the razors have been continually posed against that sweating white pail...it seems that whenever I have been taking these pics, we have a bucket of frozen dog food left on the stove to thaw. Not that anyone has asked but, we feed our dog's Aunt Jenni's...mostly raw organic meat. Sorry, but I digress

Getting back to the razors, it's uncanny how similar the scales are to one another


Best,


Jake
Reddick Fla.

blind777barber
12-16-2014, 12:10 AM
As johnmrson said it's hard to date straight razors and especially Carl Monkhouse. Carl Monkhouse started business in Solingen, Germany sometime around 1912. He and the company moved to Allegheny, NY, in 1937. If your blade says Solingen that might, at first, indicate that it was made before 1937. However Monkhouse also used imported Solingen, some Sheffield and some American steel in manufacturing their products. They also imported some products and relabeled them. Some Monkhouse scissors are labeled Sheffield, England, even though the company was in Allegheny. Some of their razors were labeled as made in Ellicottville, NY. I'm not sure when they stopped making razors, but it was definitely after 1955.
All Carl Monkhouse (and C-Mon) razors are excellent.
Carl Monkhouse III now runs Carl Monkhouse, Cutlery Associates and Reblade Manufacturing (a sharpening service), still in Allegheny. They make absolutely superb scissors.

Greybeard, you seem to have a wealth of information. Any idea how PJM Spear razors tie into the PJM and the Carl Monkhouse partnership?
I Have a PJM Spear No 10. Trying to get more info. I am wondering when it was made, and who made it etc. The usual. Thanks
Pics:
http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php/437029-Peter-J-Michels-Spear-No-10