The history behind the straight razor

An old barber from india

Männers have been closely associated with the historical culture of shaving for thousands of years. Anyone who now thinks that the times of the disposable razors did not come until the 20th century is seriously mistaken. More than 30,000 BC ago there was a so-called “Flint“ – sharp object that worked well in a targeted manner but quickly became blunt. With this tool it was possible to press notches into the skin, which were then treated with pigments. The first tattoos were created. First pictures of men without beards are available from the epochs of the first Egyptian dynasties. The compulsive hygiene requirements of the Egyptians presupposed the complete removal of the body hair. As a symbol of youth, purity, beauty and as an unmistakable sign of higher status, shaving became increasingly important.

The scalp was shaved regardless of gender, but to protect themselves from the sun's rays, they wore a kind of wig. But soon they realized that they could do nothing against infections, headaches and diseases and began to remove all hair from the body meticulously. The razors of that time were made of pure gold or copper. Already at this time there was the perfect care after shaving: fragrant Öle. They embalmed the skin, cared for the surface and perfumed the wearers. The socio-cultural significance of shaving and the valuable possession of a razor gained historical significance. The history of the beard developed considerably later, but also for social reasons.

Both his length, form and way of carrying immediately gave the observer reliable information about his social status, profession or origin. Later he also became a symbol of religions. The Römer, on the other hand, sharpened their razors to perfection and saw shaving as a metaphor of youthfulness. The Germans and the Franks, on the other hand, had a somewhat ambivalent relationship to their body hair, for it was the custom to shave off the beard from a defeated king or prince, which was tantamount to a total humiliation and unmistakable shame. Later it was the philosophers whose beard became a symbol of wisdom, but in the late Middle Ages hardly any Männer wore a beard.

Today's straight razor

A second barber from india

In the 17th century, it was ultimately technical progress that gave the razor its shape, which is essentially the same today. The necessary "bel of the barber" developed into a popular care programme for masculine communal experiences. Until today Männer meet gladly in Barbershops, the Ger?tschaften of the hairdresser gave way however to newer technical achievements.

Due the wet shave is in the meantime only a variant of the daily face care for men and it is carried out by the modern man himself.  The history of the shave is basically identical with the development of the razor. In the early days of man, shaving scrapers made of various materials such as shells, shark shaves and various stones with more or less blunt blades served this traditional ritual.

Bärte and rulers switched between the countries and there were always times when Bärte were even forbidden and those when you could not see a shaved face. Razors have now consisted for three centuries of the blade, the fishing rod and the handle, which is framed in two bowls. The life span and the results achieved by the razors have also increased considerably. A big advantage of shaving itself. 

Solingen straight razors

The terms Solingen & German cutlery are widely regarded as inextricably linked. Due to the traditional branch of industry, the city gained international importance and is still used today for its unique blade production. The high level of craftsmanship was modified with constant innovations and technical advances well into our century.

With skill and skill, the masters of their trade create unique product qualities and clearly contribute to the positive sales development.

For more than 700 years, blades have been manufactured in Solingen, a history that no other city in the world can boast. Long before Solingen even acquired its city rights, its importance as a place of heavy production was an essential one.

Alte Tradition des Messer-Schleifens in Solingen

All razors from Solingen are subject to strict controls, then as now, in order to meet the high demands of national and international buyers. There are individual control stages in all production steps. On delivery, the shaving test is also checked. It is necessary that the razor passes several hair split test and passes them successfully. First after these stages the razor is delivered to the customer.

While at the beginning of the 20th century one was still busy trying to ban machine progress, more and more small manufactories succeeded in using the possibility of faster production and significantly increasing sales.

Based on this new development and the rising level of inequalities with new generations of grinding machines to compensate, the market situation changed dramatically.

With more than 5,500 employees and a turnover of over 500 million euros, Solingen, the city of blades, contributes to an enormous production volume. But the city has not lost the charm of the past centuries with its unique razors. Small manufacturers with big names and large companies with exclusively mechanical production lines work side by side here. But above all, day after day they produce another quality product that has spread Solingen's good reputation all over the world.

The daily ritual of masculine habits requires the right madness for today's modern man to turn shaving into a real experience. Männer are fans and friends of the traditional wet shave and celebrate this act with classic shaving soap or shaving cream and a human hair brush.

Razor blades from Solingen offer the unique chance to experience how the perfect shave starts and how you can completely avoid shaving burn.

Credits: Photos by Adam Sherez, Manki Kim and John T on Unsplash