Straight razor is older but better way to shave


I read Sheila Hagar’s article on the resurgence of the use of straight razors with great interest.

I’ve been using straight razors for the last four years. My son took up the art at the age of 17. I had sent my great-grandfather’s Wade & Butcher to a friend to have the blade polished up and new scales (handles) made as the original horn was delaminating. My son was the first man to use that razor since at least 1934 as that’s the year his great-great-grandfather passed away!

I contacted Ms. Hagar about her article and learned that she also had her great-grandfather’s straight razor but she said it was in very bad condition. I asked her for pictures and she gladly obliged. To say that it had some problems would be an understatement, but I offered to see what I could do to clean it up some and hone it for her.

My research found this information about the razor:


Chicago, Illinois

ca. 1883 — 1897

The ca. are the years the company was in business so the razor is at least 116 years old!

Two days later I presented the razor to her, cleaned, polished and truly shave ready. The look of joy on her face couldn’t be purchased for love or money! To hear her exclaim; “It’s beautiful” was music to my ears.

To top it all off, she has a son who would like to learn the art and would be using his great-great-grandfather’s razor to do so!

I hope he enjoys learning an older-but-better way of shaving!

Roy A. Davis

Walla Walla


chicoli 2 years, 1 month ago

Thank you Sheila and Roy for bringing pleasant memories of my childhood, and wonderfull, renewed nostalgias: "Keep quiet, your grandpa is shaving with a "Filarmonica". For a 5-6 year old it was inconceivable that a "philharmonic" could fit in the bathroom. Obviously there was no music...well, maybe there was for him.

There was my grandpa in almost a trance, shaving with a Spanish made straight razor, Filarmonica, made in Barcelona, Spain in 1920, with "Don Paco" engraved on it. Filarmonicas had been discontinued, and for the last 20-25 years.

I was fascinated by the ritual, and the meticulous sharpening with a leather strop as a "grand finale". To this day I wonder who, from his 13 children, (certainly one of the 7 already gone boys) kept that sentimental family heirloom. I wonder if one of this days I'll find it at a flee market or at an antique shop! It will be music to my more than one ways!


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