Wednesday, May 22, 2013

We used to make things in this country. #103: Durham Duplex Razor Company Limited, Toronto, Ontario


The Durham Razor Company was founded in New York in the late 1800's, introducing the then revolutionary Durham Duplex safety razor system.  In contrast to the traditional "cut throat" razor, the Duplex double edge blade could be re-sharpened on the strop many times, and then replaced without having to throw away the handle.  A British subsidiary was established in Sheffield in 1913 and at some point a Canadian subsidiary was also created in Toronto.  The firm did well until Gillette's disposable razor came along, and in the 1950's the company diversified while continuing to produce blades for soldiers who preferred the original razor.  The British company was purchased in 1974 by Edward Turner and Son Ltd, and the name simplified to Durham Duplex.  It now specializes in machine knives and industrial blades but still produced the original Duplex blade to meet the demand from "some old soldiers for their faithful safety razor."

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