OK, so I have been thinking about posting this question for a long time...
Before the days of cart razors, before the days of canned goo, working men like my great grandfathers shaved.
(A little background) I am 27 years old and relatively new to wet shaving. I like all the nice creams and nice aftershaves. I like taking the time to get in a good shave. I have converted my brother and my father and my brother-in-law. They all love it as much as I do. We all get together and go to the Knoxville Cigar Company and smoke a good cigar and pick out new shaving things to feed our addictions.
Last week we were sitting around at the Cigar Company smoking and talking about how the way we wet shave today differed from the way our great grandfathers shaved. I wonder if they enjoyed a good shave as much as I do now. I would think it safe to say they didn't reach for a tub of GFT and a $200 silvertip each morning. I never worry about food on the table when I buy a tube of cream or find that bottle of Dominica at the Orvis store down the road. I wonder if they had to choose between that new ever-ready brush in the display stand on the counter or food for their family.
There's no doubt I love wet shaving and I also love the nostalgia of it all. To some extent I do feel like I am getting closer to my roots and doing things the way my forefathers did. On the other hand I feel like it's a lie when I tell people that I shave like my great grandfathers. I have said multiple times to people that "If it's good enough for my ancestors it's good enough for me." Am I a liar for saying that? They probably used whatever they could get their hands on and I snub my nose at the cheap canned goo you can get at Kroger.
So, how do you think working men really shaved? What did they use? What was available? For all those people on b&b who want to get closer to their roots, I challenge you to find out how your great grandfather or grandfather shaved and shave the way they did for a week.