The Stahly “Live Blade” Razor
The Stahly “Live Blade” razor was invented by P. G. Stahly from Indiana. What made this razor unique is that the razor head vibrate. While there were other razors with a vibrating head produced, the Stahly is probably the best-known. Production of the razor started in the 1940s and ended in the 1970s.
The Stahly was among the fist DE razors to offer a vibrating head. The reason for the vibrating head was to reduce the blade’s tendency to catch dry spots and skin irregularities. Stahly made no claims that the vibration of the razor head made the hairs stand up, as some of the competitors did. This claim has since been proven false. The reason for this was to reduce irritation and provide a smoother shave. The razor did not use batteries, or plug into an outlet. Instead, there is a knob on the bottom of the handle that contains a watch-type torsion spring that could be wound up immediately before the shave. This spring powered the small crankshaft that causes the head to vibrate. The vibrations would last for about three minutes before needing to be wound again.
There were several models made between 1946 and the late 1970s, mostly differing in finish and the case in which they came. All models take a standard DE blade. Due to the spring and internal mechanical components in the razor, the head is lighter than the handle, therefore the razor seems a little handle heavy.