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Thread: Military Shaving History

  1. #1
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    Question Military Shaving History

    Anyone have pics they can post or descriptions of the issued equipment given to our veterans while serving, that is shaving related. Basically, what razors, soaps/creams, brush, or shaving mug was issued?
    R. Lee Ermey for President 2012!!!

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    I'm really be interested in this as well. I love watching war movies and seeing them use a DE or a straight

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    Default 1964

    Quote Originally Posted by rosborne View Post
    Anyone have pics they can post or descriptions of the issued equipment given to our veterans while serving, that is shaving related. Basically, what razors, soaps/creams, brush, or shaving mug was issued?
    When I went to Army basic training at Fort Ord, CA in July 1964, I was issued a Schick injector razor, a shaving brush of some sort and a shaving stick.

    At the time I used a Gillette Fat Boy and canned goo. I tried the Schick and found it much inferior to my Gillette, so I only used the Schick for display. I used the brush to clean my rifle. I didn't know what a shave stick was for and no one ever told me how to use it. I thought it had something to do with shaving bumps that black men sometimes get. Not being black, I had no further interest in it.
    My mileage does vary.

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    When I went to Army Basic Training in 1990 I was forced to purchase Gillette Mach 3 cartridges and Edge Shave Gel. Well not really forced, it was what I was already using, but there was no alternative. We had to buy that specific brand. The Black guys got out of this requirement and were able to get some kind of powder and a sharp piece of plastic for scraping the powder off their face. I had a buddy of mine try explaining it to me but I didn't really understand the concept.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zatx Woopyoax View Post
    When I went to Army Basic Training in 1990 I was forced to purchase Gillette Mach 3 cartridges and Edge Shave Gel. Well not really forced, it was what I was already using, but there was no alternative. We had to buy that specific brand. The Black guys got out of this requirement and were able to get some kind of powder and a sharp piece of plastic for scraping the powder off their face. I had a buddy of mine try explaining it to me but I didn't really understand the concept.
    Short version: Nair for the face.
    -- Richard, Czar of Cheddar

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    Thanks for the feed back gentlemen.

    I'm more interested in OLD issue shaving gear knowledge. Vietnam, Korea, WW1, WW2. even Spanish American if you know anything about it.

    Anyone know if they issued Rubberset shave brushes during WW2? Was it Williams soap?

    By the way, I know about the powder stuff. I remember a dark green Marine just down from me at boot camp. When he broke out in shave bumps, they gave him the powder and a plastic spoon.
    R. Lee Ermey for President 2012!!!

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    I was given a Gillette DE razor and a can of Gillette Foamy in Navy boot camp in 1963, but don't remember what model Gillette razor.

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    This claims to be a WW1 razor:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=360194794198

    (auction ended)

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    Several companies issued razor sets for use by servicemen.

    There was the black Bakelite set in WWII and/or the Korean War. Basically a black plastic box just large enough to hold the razor handle (Bakelite), razor head, and a few blades.

    In WWI, Khaki sets were issued by Gillette and a couple of other companies - both in pouches and in clamshell cases. I have a couple of the Gillette civilian ones. Ones issued specifically for the armed services were marked "Property of the U.S. Army/Navy/Etc."

    Gillette also issued a several "officers sets" that were quite nice.
    Brent

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    In WWII, Gillette issued a "Camouflage" blade, it was just a blade in military brown color.

    Last edited by chrisf8657; 04-18-2013 at 12:50 PM.
    ~~Chris~~ - '59 Gillette Ball End Tech, Feather Blade, Mike's Lavender, EJ Aloe Vera AS

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    Quote Originally Posted by rosborne View Post

    Anyone know if they issued Rubberset shave brushes during WW2? Was it Williams soap?

    .
    Apparently front line troops were issued a brushless shaving cream. Ernie Pyle notes that it was used for just about everything except shaving in an article about the Anzio beachead in his book "Brave Men". He reported that it was used for sunburn, windburn, minor cuts and bruises, trenchfoot, and as shampoo by nurses. If you're interested I'll see if I can find the exact quote.

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    What a great thread. Very interesting
    SEMPER GUMBY
    KCCO

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    Nice thread. I am interested in this as well. I am trying to get my brother-in-law into DE shaving. He is military and uses an electric.

    Kirk

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    I was in basic from July-October of 2009. There was an older guy who had some plastic DE's that got them taken away right when we got there... too much of a risk for suicide or something. I just used a Mach III and some shave gel.

    I can understand why banning DE's in basic is good because they can be used to attempt suicide or cut someone; but... what would have stopped recruits from this behavior when DE's, SE's, or Injectors were all they had?

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    I have a Canadian Army issue shave kit from 1963, shaves amazingly. I wish I had been into wetshaving when I was younger so I could have asked my Granddad about it, all I remember him shaving with was his ancient Philips electric razor.
    Justin -- AOM || BOTOC
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    Here is a whole host of stuff about Gillette razors, blades, etc. that even have pictures from the wars:

    http://www.mr-razor.com
    ~~Chris~~ - '59 Gillette Ball End Tech, Feather Blade, Mike's Lavender, EJ Aloe Vera AS

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    AF 1966-70: Brought PAL adjustable to basic, had to turn it over to "Sam", never saw it again. Issued Schick Injectors, taken from us, and had to purchase Gillette Techs which I still think are inferior to Injectors; acquired an Injector which I used until separated. Still think Injectors especially the older models have been the best safety razors I have used.

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    i was issued a orange plastic Bic disposable and a can of foam, and the strict instructions that they were NOT to be used, as they would be passed on to the next intake of recruits!!!, we had to wet shave every morning with our own gear,which was invariably mach 3 and goo, as that was all the NAFFI stocked!!

  19. #19

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    I remember as a conscript we shaved electric with small battery-powered shavers as in the field we found wet shaving too annoying. I'll never forget that morning in the woods when we had sound-discipline and absolute silence: you could hear the whole wood buzzing with electric shavers!
    "He who has lost freedom has nothing left to lose." -- Unknown.

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    The "J" series Gillette old types were military issue. I seem to recall reading somewhere that Arko shaving sticks were issued, but won't swear to that. I have several Khaki sets from WWI, and a couple of Tech sets from WWII. Khaki sets came in a folding canvas and a hard khaki box. There was also a metal silver case with an Eagle on it from WWI, and a very nice Officers set with a Bulldog Old Type, a shave stick & a brush tube. I have had no luck finding actual military issue sets from Korea or Vietnam. There are modern sets being issued for Afghanistan, I have found pictures of them and the supply number, but haven't been able to get one from my military contact. Yet
    Single Malt Scotch and Extra Sharp Cheddar. Lifes perfect! Johnnie, BOTOC

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