May I cut in? Antique warrior Nick DiMola finds 1940s Gold tone razor blades in residential estate clean out!
As I was flipping through the 1940s newspapers I had found on an interior demolition job in St. Albans, Queens (see my post from December), I came across an ad for some Star Razors for sale — four for 10 cents, or 12 for 25 cents. I knew I had something like them, because these 1940s newspapers might as well be a guidebook to all of the antiques I find on my garbage disposal jobs, rubbish removal jobs, estate cleanouts and interior demolition jobs. Naturally, I immediately ran to my office and found these Gold tone razors.
I found them in a residential interior demolition job in Maspeth, Queens, in 2005. The building (65-63 Grand Ave. in Queens) had originally been a Wielback’s Grocery nearly a decade ago. It then became Griff’s Hardware. By the time I got to it, the first floor was a laundromat that had been completely shut down, and the second floor had a few apartments. Now, it’s an HSBC Bank.
The DiMola Bros crew had to demolish selective parts of the building, including the apartments on the second floor and the basement. When we went to rip out the wooden shelves on the basement level, I found these razorblades on the ground, among garbage and endless water damage. They must have been placed on one of the wooden shelves back when the building was Griff’s Hardware. They had probably fallen behind and gotten lost throughout the many transformations of this building.
The blades are not attached to anything, so you can easily cut yourself if you’re not careful. Back in the 1940s, when these blades were used, medicine cabinets used to have slots, specifically designed to hold these types of blades for bathroom razor disposal. (I like to call them “razor dumping graveyards.”)
When a person was finished using the blade, he would throw it into this slot between the medicine cabinet and the wall — instead of throwing it away. People did not throw out old razorblades because they — or people handling their garbage — could accidentally cut themselves.
Finding the razorblades made for a successful cleanout job. The funniest part was, the person who hired me had no idea why I wanted to take the blades. Didn’t he know I have my own museum!?