No-one likes general adverts, and ours hadn't been updated for ages, so we're having a clear-out and a change round to make the new ones useful to you. These new adverts bring in a small amount to help pay for the board and keep it free for you to use, so please do use them whenever you can, Let our links help you find great books on glass or a new piece for your collection. Thank you for supporting the Board.

Author Topic: A Lillicrap's Hone  (Read 16545 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Anne E.B.

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 1879
    • U.K.
A Lillicrap's Hone
« on: January 18, 2006, 08:37:06 PM »
'Lillicrap's Hone' - something to do with shaving.  Is it used to actually sharpen a razor or just to rest one on?  Any ideas as to how old it might be, and how it was used?  I'm intrigued!   It too glows under a UV light.

Thank you as always :P

Anne E.B.
Anne E.B

Support the Glass Message Board by finding a book via book-seek.com


Offline Bernard C

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 3199
  • Milton Keynes based British glass dealer
Re: A Lillicrap's Hone
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2006, 09:45:46 PM »
Anne —

Lillicrap's Hone dates from 1930 to about 1942.

Lillicrap's Hone was invented by Joseph Richard Lillicrap, of "Staincross", Atkinson Road, Urmston, Lancaster (Lancashire). Urmston is an old village west of Manchester on the northern bank of the River Mersey, then the county boundary with Cheshire, which expanded into a middle class residential suburb from 1872 upon the opening of the Liverpool to Manchester Railway. Further expansion came about upon the opening in 1911 of nearby Trafford Park, then the largest industrial estate in Europe. Atkinson Road is just a couple of minutes walk from Urmston station. Before my research Joseph Richard Lillicrap does not appear to have been recognised in Urmston as an historical celebrity.

In 1904 King Camp Gillette finally patented his safety razor, invented in 1895. As the blades blunted quickly, various gadgets appeared over the years that were claimed to resharpen and extend the life of the blades. With many of these it was rather more claim than reality (source: Notley, Popular Glass of the 19th & 20th Centuries, Miller's, 2000). Lillicrap's Hone was a simple and effective solution to this problem, not producing an edge of quite the sharpness of a new blade, but certainly one that would provide a close clean shave — I know as I tried it myself some years ago.

An interesting aspect of the information / instruction leaflet is that it states: The Hone is made in Uranium Glass with a specially prepared surface. The implication is that uranium glass has properties that make it particularly appropriate for its use as a hone. Whether this was marketing hype or based upon some particular quality of the glass, such as its hardness, is not clear. However, it is still the only example I have ever seen of any claim for the special properties of uranium glass.

Lillicrap's Hone seems to have sold well, both in the UK and overseas, and is fairly easy to find in well-used condition with the odd chip or two, particularly to the vulnerable corners and the raised lettering around the bottom edge. Clean, little used examples are rather more difficult to find. This may be explained by two wartime events. One of these was the extension of the CC41 (Civilian Clothing 1941 or Utility) regulations around autumn 1942 to cover ornamental / coloured glass. The other was the Government's confiscation of British glassworks' stock of uranium oxide around the same time. Lillicrap's Hone probably fell foul of both the Utility regulations and the absence of uranium. New razor blades were almost unobtainable by civilians during the war, so it was very much a case of Lillicrap's Hone, a cut-throat razor or grow a beard. Unwanted examples of Lillicrap's Hone would have been sought out and pressed into use, hence the relative scarcity of boxed unused examples. Also, without Lillicrap's Hone, the British government may have had to make beards fashionable and acceptable. So it is perhaps fair to claim that Joseph Richard Lillicrap literally Changed the Face of Britain.

Lillicrap's Hone was press moulded in uranium green or "vaseline" glass by Wood Bros. Glass Co., Ltd. of Barnsley, Yorkshire (est. 1828). It is quite fascinating as the underside is covered by a comprehensive list of world patents with their numbers. The British numbers are: "PATENT No 346057" and "RGD No 756250", and there are also patent numbers for France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, India, and South Africa. The design was registered between 3rd July 1930 (756075) and 9th July 1930 (756269), which fits well with the launch date of July 1930 from the information / instruction leaflet. The cardboard box was printed with an illustration and all the details in green on a sunburst Art Deco background. The single sheet information and instruction leaflet was printed on both sides. The hone fluoresces vigorously under a pocket UV tester.

Wood Brothers produced a version for the USA that had a quite different inscription, with no mention of the European and British Empire patents, probably as a British design registration number was almost an open invitation for American glassworks to plagiarize.    As Wood Bros was well known in America for laboratory equipment, this much simpler inscription featured their company name in large letters.

Please would all readers respect my copyright on this information, and do not re-use any of it without prior permission, which will include a requirement for both acknowledgement and inclusion of my copyright notice.    You are welcome to cite this GMB topic at will, without restriction, acknowledgement or notification, although notification by email would be appreciated.   Link to it by using the URL http://www.glassmessages.com/index.php/topic,3950.0.html

Bernard C.  8)
Happy New Year to All Glass Makers, Historians, Dealers, and Collectors

Text and Images Copyright 200415 Bernard Cavalot

Support the Glass Message Board by finding glass through glass-seek.com


Offline Anne E.B.

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 1879
    • U.K.
Re: A Lillicrap's Hone
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2006, 11:15:16 PM »
Thank you  Bernard - that's absolutely fascinating :P

It hasn't actually travelled far from where the inventor lived.  Urmston is just some six miles or so down the road from where I live.  I'm amazed that it was used for sharpening razor blades.  Although there are a couple of small chips to two of the corners, the 'curve' is really quite smooth and seems unworn. 

I don't think I'll have need of this, so will be giving it to my son :lol:   I'm sure he'll be delighted to have an object with such a fascinating history, and one with a local link too.


Anne E.B.
Anne E.B

Support the Glass Message Board by finding a book via book-seek.com


Offline Bernard C

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 3199
  • Milton Keynes based British glass dealer
Re: A Lillicrap's Hone
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2006, 11:44:37 PM »
I am guilty of forgetting that GMB members might take me seriously, so re-read my complete post, and found it a little scrappy.    So, I have taken the liberty of making a few minor corrections, mostly to the layout and punctuation.

As you will appreciate, this is ongoing research, and there is still much more to discover about Joseph Lillicrap and his hone.   I have yet to see the American version, although I did once see a photograph of one on eBay.   Not a whisper yet of American, French, or German packaging and instruction leaflets.   Nor of any advertising in the trade press.   Nor of Mr. Lillicrap's other biographical details.   One flight of fancy I had was that Wood Bros may have made a giant, shop-window display model.   You never know!

Bernard C.  8)
Happy New Year to All Glass Makers, Historians, Dealers, and Collectors

Text and Images Copyright 200415 Bernard Cavalot

Support the Glass Message Board by finding glass through glass-seek.com


Offline chopin-liszt

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 11503
    • Scotland
Re: A Lillicrap's Hone
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2006, 09:58:19 PM »
Thank you for this, Bernard. It's really interesting to get the historical context of these sorts of things. Makes me view them in a different light!

I can remember my Dad having a leather strop for sharpening his razorblades. :roll:


Cheers, Sue (M)

"Cherish those that seek the truth;
 Beware of them who find it."
Grimm.

Support the Glass Message Board by finding a book via book-seek.com


Offline Lustrousstone

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 12720
  • Gender: Female
    • Warrington, UK
    • My Gallery
Re: A Lillicrap's Hone
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2006, 10:02:36 PM »
I now have two Lillicraps hones, both a little battered, and interestingly they are slightly different, although neither is the American version. One is slightly larger than the other and the text is in a slightly different font (if you can have fonts in glass!).


Support the Glass Message Board by finding glass through glass-seek.com


Offline Bernard C

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 3199
  • Milton Keynes based British glass dealer
Re: A Lillicrap's Hone
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2006, 07:29:59 AM »
Christine — What a wonderful and unexpected discovery.

The implications are interesting, as it indicates to me that at some point in production one press working flat out could not keep up with the demand, so a second mould had to be cut, to allow two teams to work on it.

I think this is more likely than the first mould wearing out, but that could be an alternative explanation.

A third possibility is that the first mould was damaged.

Is there any difference in the wording, such as an additional patent?    If so, that could be a fourth explanation.

I think you are perfectly correct in using the term font.   I have come to the conclusion that a mouldmaker's hand tools were his own personal property, and that different sets of alphanumeric hardened steel punches were owned by different mouldmakers.   So, for example, Sowerby had two mouldmakers in the '30s to '50s period, one with a large serifed font of punches, the other with a small unserifed font.   There is a photograph of a Sowerby mouldmaker, probably one of these two, on page 18 of Simon Cottle's book on the glassworks.    Only a few years ago we were able to confirm that what looked like a Fostoria American cube sugar/preserve pot was manufactured by Davidson as a result of a perfect match with known Davidson examples of the font, spacing and layout of the punched inscription, although, of course, it did not provide evidence of which of the two companies made the original unmarked mould.   This technique is a powerful tool in the quest for accurate attribution.    It's rather like recognising handwriting; after a while you find yourself automatically looking for and checking it.

Bernard C.  8)
Happy New Year to All Glass Makers, Historians, Dealers, and Collectors

Text and Images Copyright 200415 Bernard Cavalot

Support the Glass Message Board by finding a book via book-seek.com


Offline Lustrousstone

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 12720
  • Gender: Female
    • Warrington, UK
    • My Gallery
Re: A Lillicrap's Hone
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2006, 07:39:35 PM »
OK the text is the same, the various fonts are different and the serif typefaces are probably the same. The moulds are definitel different.

Support the Glass Message Board by finding glass through glass-seek.com


Offline Bernard C

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 3199
  • Milton Keynes based British glass dealer
Re: A Lillicrap's Hone
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2006, 02:37:01 AM »
Quote from: "On 25th January I"
... I hope that I can justify ... by coming up with some new facts on Joseph and his invention some time in the near future. ...

Pamela, Anne & Sue — I hope this is near enough!

On 13th March Janet and I visited Barnsley Council's Elsecar Heritage Centre, partly to browse around their little antiques centre, and partly to see their bottle museum, which includes a tiny Wood Bros display (about two thirds of one shelf in total).

The bottle museum is small, but packed with wonderful examples of bottles and other packaging.   The two best exhibits were a comprehensive display of fakes and forgeries, many alarmingly convincing, and a superb advertising oil lamp.

The Wood Bros display was just Lillicrap's hone and feeding bottles for babies and invalids.   Next to the babies' feeding bottles was a carded display of bottle teats, made by William Freeman of Staincross, a small village about three miles north of the centre of Barnsley.   Coincidence?   No.    But it does show that Joseph Lillicrap was rather more intimately involved with Wood Bros and Barnsley than I had previously suspected.  As always, one new discovery raises many more questions.

The Lillicrap's hone display was just a hone, the box, and two Wood Bros advertisements.   One was from 1936, and claims over 500,000 sold — "Worth a guinea, price 1/-".   The second is interesting as it features an amusing cartoon of a bestubbled soldier being told off by his sergeant, and dates from February 1941.   Here the hone is "min. price 1/6d inc. purchase tax".   Both advertisements are sophisticated and effective motivators, the output of a highly professional marketing team, and, with minor modifications, would be perfectly acceptable today.

Christine — Re your discovery of more than one version, I think the amazing numbers made make the possibility of moulds just wearing out much more likely.

Finally, two aspects of visiting Elsecar.

From M1 junction 36 there are some brown "Elsecar Heritage" signs, but not at all intersections.   Make sure you have a good map.   There are almost no signs pointing the direction back to the motorway.   You find yourself crossing the M1, but that's all.    Joining the motorway is rather more difficult.  As you meander around the highways and byways of South Yorkshire you get to see some lovely countryside, often more than once.    "Are you sure you know where we are going?"   "That pub looks familiar."    "Are we going home today?"   "Lots of sheep in South Yorkshire."    "... and stone."   "We've got to go to Gatwick tomorrow morning."   "That's the THIRD time we've passed that pub."

Take your own bubblewrap and bags.   The antiques centre had run out of both on the day we were there.  :!:

Bernard C.  8)
Happy New Year to All Glass Makers, Historians, Dealers, and Collectors

Text and Images Copyright 200415 Bernard Cavalot

Support the Glass Message Board by finding a book via book-seek.com


Offline Anne E.B.

  • Members
  • **
  • Posts: 1879
    • U.K.
Re: A Lillicrap's Hone
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2006, 10:05:04 AM »
My goodness, you get around Bernard.  The Alan Wicker of the glass world :P   Next time I travel to Hull, I'll try and make a point of visiting Barnsley.  It shouldn't be too far from the M62. (May be I'll take a survival kit - just in case I can't find that pub) :lol: . Interesting stuff about Lillicrap being linked to Wood Bros. and Barnsley.

By the way, I spent some time seeing if I could find anything out about Lillicrap.  Urmston is only about 4 miles away from where I live, so I thought I'd find something in the Manchester local history section of the library.  Absolutely ZILCH!  He doesn't seem to be recognised (as far as I could make out) as one of 'Manchester's' famous Sons.  Of course Urmston was swallowed up by the Manchester connurbation some time ago, but you would think that there would be a mention of him somewhere.

Bernard, if you would like the Lillicrap's hone that I have you are welcome to have it and I will send it to you.  My son doesn't want it after all.  I suspect because its uranium glass :roll:  Email me if you do.  I don't think I'll ever have personal need for it (at least I hope not) :lol:
Anne E.B

Support the Glass Message Board by finding glass through glass-seek.com


 

SMF spam blocked by CleanTalk
Look for glass on
ebay.co.uk
Visit the Glass Encyclopedia
link to glass encyclopedia
Look for glass on
ebay.com (us)
Visit the Online Glass Museum
link to glass museum


This website is provided by Angela Bowey, PO Box 113, Paihia 0247, New Zealand