parts f e1 f g c x x Fig1 x Fig1 d k h f c e a i f Fig2 Fig2 d k h c g e f i e1 a b Fig4 Fig4 d k c h g e e1 f a b Fig5 Fig5 e e1 c g Fig3 Fig3 c g e2 n f a2 b Fig7 Fig7 c g e2 f n a2 Fig8 Fig8 d2 k h c g e2 f a2 h k d2 b Fig6 Fig6

Zinn Automatic Razor - The British Saga


InventionImprovement in Safety Razors

FiledTuesday, 21st November 1905

PublishedThursday, 19th July 1906

InventorWalter J. Smart


Other countriesUS881033

The Zinns claimed this patent as their own invention, but we know from the US patent that Walter J. Smart was the inventor. Also interesting are the differences between the original and amended versions. Only the amended version is shown, with additions highlighted.

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A PDF version of the original patent can be found here.

Amended Specification.
Reprinted as amended in accordance with the decision of the Comptroller-General, dated the 18th day of December 1906.
N° 24,010 A.D. 1905
Date of Application, 21st Nov., 1905—Accepted, 19th July 1906 COMPLETE SPECIFICATION (AMENDED). “Improvement in Safety Razors”

We, Mary Zinn of 54. West 96th Street, New York City; Martin Zinn of 121 St. Nicholas Avenue, New York City, and Arthur Simon Zinn of 218. West 139th Street, New York City, United States of America, Manufacturers; do hereby declare the nature of this invention and in what manner the same is to be performed to be particularly described and ascertained in and by the following statement.

This invention relates to safety razors of the kind described in the Specification of Letters Patent No. 28763, A.D. 1902, granted to King Camp Gillette, which permit of the use of a narrow thin blade which is supported throughout its entire length and which being comparatively inexpensive may be thrown away after use without, appreciable sacrifice, and the troublesome operation of setting or stropping a razor each time it is used obviated. An object of the invention is to provide a razor of this character where in the blade may be easily inserted in its holder and withdrawn therefrom and which will be held accurately in place.

The invention will be described with reference to the accompanying drawings wherein Figure 1 is an inverted plan view of a clamp within which the razor blade is secured, and Figure 2 is a plan view of the razor itself. Figure 3 is a section on x—x Figure 1. Figure 4 is a side elevation of the razor, and Figure 5 is a vertical section thereof. Figure 6 is a side elevation shewing a modification, while Figures 7 and 8 show a further modification in side elevation and plan respectively.

Referring to Figures 1 to 5 a is a hollow frame provided with a handle b and means for holding a narrow blade c in proximity to the comb or guard d, the said guard being constituted by the edge of the frame which is transversely slotted as shewn. The blade is held by a clamp composed of a pair of jaws e and e1, said clamp being held closed by one or more springs f which cause the jaws to swing or close about pivot g.

In the drawings the jaws or clamp sections are shown as provided with lugs or bent parts forming bearings for the pivots g, but these pivots can be formed on one section and caused to extend into lugs or bearing parts on the opposite section if desired. These lugs may act as a gauge so that when the blade is inserted it will be prevented from entering too far into the clamp by abutting against the lugs, these lugs or stops also preventing the blade from slipping backward or out of position when the razor is in use.

The clips h, the spring-pressed piece i, and the blade stops k may be of the construction usual in safety razors.

The clamp or holder shown separately in Figure 1 can be readily removed from the frame by swinging hack the spring-pressed piece i and thereupon the blade may be withdrawn from the frame by separating the jaws to release the blade which may be replaced by another and the clamp with the new blade again introduced into the holder.

The position of the cutting edge of the blade when the latter is in place and the inclination of the guard-surface between the extreme edge of the guard and the edge of the blade, are such as to cause the proper action of the blade and the guard in the well known manner during the operation of shaving. The actual construction of the clamp may of course be varied.

The frame constructed as described forms a receptacle for the lather collected during the operation of shaving.

In place of a pair of clamp members or jaws, a single member or jaw can be employed as seen in Figures 6 wherein the spring-pressed jaw e2 is hinged directly in the frame a2.

To enable the blade to be inserted from the front instead of the back, the comb d2 provided with stops k is arranged to move or swing forward out of the way while the blade is being mounted or dismounted as shown in Figure 6.

For the purpose of concealing and protecting the spring or springs f I provide each of the said springs with a shield as indicated at n (Figures 7and 8) which may be carried by or fixed to the jaw e2 and be adapted to pass through a slot in the frame. These shields may be made of sheet metal bent to concave or partly tubular shape.

It will be noted that in all the constructions illustrated there is a blade which may be adjusted by sliding it in one direction or the other over the surface of the guard in a line extending between the front and rear of the latter, and the spring clamp bearing upon it across its entire length holding it in the adjusted position. The facility for doing this is of importance as it permits of the parts of the razor being readily assembled and it moreover enables the distance of the blade-edge relatively to the extreme edge of the guard (when, for instance it is desired to effect an ordinary, medium “close” or “close” shave) to be readily adjusted.

Furthermore the razor in all cases includes a clamping member which preferably has a length (measured in line with the cutting edge of the blade) which is substantially equal to the length of the blade, a feature of practical utility, since with the thin and narrow blades, such as the razor is designed to employ, it is practically necessary to support the blade throughout its length, failing which it would tend to spring away from the guard at such portions of the blade as are not backed by a clamping pressure, and thus interfere with the proper action of the blade.

It will be observed that there is a re-action member or abutment in cooperative relation with the clamping member, whether such reaction member or abutment be in the form of an opposing jaw, such as e1, or is constituted by the frame itself when the blade is pressed against it in the single jaw construction.

Having now particularly described and ascertained the nature of the said invention and in what manner the same is to be performed, we declare that what we claim is.

1. In a safety razor the combination with the guard of a blade slidable to position over the surface of the guard in a line extending between the front and rear thereof, a movable clamping member consisting of a pair of jaws one of which jaws is adapted to contact with one face of the blade substantially throughout its entire length, the other jaw forming a reaction member or abutment with which the opposite face of the blade is adapted to contact, and means for maintaining the clamping member and blade in operative position, substantially as described.

2. A Safety razor comprising a guard, a blade, a clamping lever pivoted to turn about, an axis substantially parallel to the cutting edge of the assembled blade, a reaction member or abutment, and a spring for forcibly pressing the clamping lever against said blade and the latter thereby against said reaction member, substantially as described.

3. A safety razor wherein the frame or support is curved to form a receptacle for the lather and slotted at its free edge to constitute a guard, substantially as described.

4. In a safety razor such as claimed, a shield partially enclosing the spring, substantially as described.

Dated this 21st day of November 1905

A. M. & WM. CLARK,

Chartered Patent Agents.

53. Chancery Lane. London.