Man finds mysterious slot in back of bathroom medicine cabinet

While renovating his bathroom, an online user found a narrow slit carved into the back of his retro-style medicine cabinet, which acted as a gateway to 850 rusted blades hiding behind the walls.

“It was like finding a time capsule,” writes the netizen who was thrilled with his discovery, that chronicled the grooming habits of a man who lived in the home decades before.

Keep reading to learn how this mysterious finding offers insight into how our ancestors lived!

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More than a century ago, men who wanted a cleanly shaven face went to a barbershop, where a professional used a straight-edged razor to make his skin baby soft.

In 1903, Gillette simplified the grooming process by introducing the double-edged safety razor, which allowed men to shave at home and be “the best a man can get.”

But disposal of these sharp blades was extremely tricky.

The blades were unsafe for people handling the garbage and – since trash was often burned with the ashes spread outside a home – there was also the risk that used blades would end up in people’s gardens.

The solution

According to Reader’s Digest, razor blade banks were built into the back wall of a medicine cabinet, allowing the shaver to slide the blade into a repository for safe disposal.

“Old medicine cabinets were installed directly inside the interior walls,” reports Reader’s Digest. “These old units had a slot in the back that was used to discard used blades, which would allow them to fall into the wall cavity between framing studs, and collect on top of the bottom-plate stud.”

By providing a designated slot for razor blade disposal, these containers held used blades safely, which minimized the risk of accidental injuries.

And once the sharp objects were deposited, they can’t be easily removed.

‘Time capsule’

The only downside is that these old blades accumulate in the gap behind the wall and will live there until some decides to renovate an old bathroom.

This is what happened to one user, who discovered the old blades that collected behind his medicine cabinet.

“Between 1940 and 1970, a total of 850 vintage shaving razor blades were dropped in that small slot inside this medicine cabinet,” marveled Brandon Sutton on Facebook. Including a photo of stacked rusted antique Star blades that almost covers his forearm, he continues, “I discovered them when I opened up the wall opposite of the bathroom. It was like finding a time capsule! Yes, I took the time to count them all because I’m a treasure hunter and history nerd.”

Online users were intrigued by his findings and offered their thoughts in the comments section.

One netizen asks, “how is it supposed to be cleaned out once full back then? Would the whole thing have to come out of the wall?”

Sutton, responding to her query, explains “they went down inside the wall, all the way to the floor. I’ve seen a lot of these while remodeling and it would take hundreds of thousands to fill up to the slot.”

Meanwhile, others were shocked the slot was considered a solution to safely dispose blades.

A second cyberfan writes, “It’s the kind of thing that won’t be your problem. ‘Let whoever buys the house from my great grandchildren deal with it when they remodel.’”

A third shares, “I find it funny, at some point the executives and designers said ‘hey let’s just make a slot they can put them in and let them fall behind the cabinet and into the wall, it will then be someone else’s problem years from now’ and they all agreed to this.”

It’s kind of creepy thinking that old walls might be filled with used razor blades from a century ago! But, it’s also an intriguing piece of the past that reveals the grooming habits of the man who once lived in the house.

Please share your thoughts with us and let us know what you think about these old razor blade slots!

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