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Tracking Down Razor Patents
U.S. Patent Indexes:  1899 -1940

How to Track Down a Razor Patent When You Only Have the Date

If your razor or packaging has a U.S. patent number you can easily find the patent at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office web site. If  it is a foreign patent number you may be able to locate it at the International patent site. Unfortunately, U.S. patents prior to 1976 cannot be searched other than by patent number or current classification. Although the class for Razors is CCL/30/32, when I entered this in the classification search window I got a list of only 404 patents issued since 1790, since many razor patents are in other subclasses.

If you only have a patent date, we offer some help here. First, and this is required if your patent is prior to 1899, you can check the list of 1000 patents that I have posted as an Acrobat PDF file.  This list can be searched using the Acrobat Find function (the binocular icon). For patents for 1899 through 1940 that you cannot locate in the 1000-patent list, read on.

Indexes for the patents were published in the Patent Gazette of the USP&TMO but are not presently available on the USP&TMO site for years prior to 1976. Patents were indexed yearly by Patentee, Subject, and Patent Holder. Razors and related items were usually indexed using a subject beginning with Razor. Starting in the late 1930's razor-related patents also began appearing under subjects starting with Shaving, as shaving devices, etc. Linked to the years in the boxes below are the portions of the U.S. Patent Indexes for subjects starting with Razor and also, after 1937 for subjects starting with Shaving (and some Sharpeners). These are posted as PDF images from scanned xerographic copies of the original index page. Since the PDFs are images rather than text they range from 100 to 350 kB. I tried to make the file size as small as possible while retaining legibility. Some of the copies were better than others, but all are 99+ percent legible.

Supposed the patent date you found is Nov. 15, 1904 (or 11-15-04).  Click on 1904, view the PDF file and look for patents issued on that date. There were two, both by K.C. Gillette. With the patent numbers in hand you can go to the USP&TMO web site, enter the number and view and download the patents.  Suppose the date is 11-12-04. Patents are issued on each Tuesday of the month, and you will not find that date listed for 1904. There are two possibilities, either the date is incorrect or it is not a U.S. Patent. Assuming the 11-12 portion is correct you can look at other nearby years to see in which years patents were issued on Nov. 12 (one possibility is 1907). Also check similar-looking  numbers, an 8 could be a 3 or a 6, a 1 could be a 7 or even a 4.

If the patent date is valid and there are no patents that seem to relate to the item you have, perhaps the patent was not indexed under the subjects that I selected to copy.

Click on date to view or download PDF file. 1907 was a big year for razor patents so there are two files, 1907A and 1907B.

Good luck on your search!

Links to Razor Patent Indexes by Year
1899
1900-01
1902-03
1904
1905
1906
1907A
1908
1909
1910
 
1907B
     
1911
1912
1913
1914
1915
1916
1917
1918
1919
1920
1921
1922
1923
1924
1925
1926
1927
1928
1929
1930
1931
1932
1933
1934
1935
1936
1937
1938
1939
1940
© RKW - May 2003