Yes, it’s that time of year again…Movember! This annual charity event is responsible for handlebar and Fu Manchu moustaches around Australia, and indeed the world, each November. Originating in Melbourne in 2003, Movember aims to promote awareness and raises much-needed funds for men’s health issues, with a focus on prostate cancer and depression.
The first rule of Movember is to obviously begin the month with a clean-shaven face. One of the more interesting A-category objects in our collection comprises two folding cut-throat razors owned by John Fletcher Hargrave, father of aviation pioneer Lawrence Hargrave.
Photography Powerhouse Museum © all rights reserved
The blades are made from a section of recycled iron salvaged from one of the piles of old London Bridge, reputedly driven into the bed of the River Thames by King William Rufus in 1100. The use of iron shoes to manufacture items such as razor blades, tools and surgical instruments was quite common after the old London Bridge was demolished in 1830.
Given to J.F. Hargrave by his father at sixteen years of age, the razors are accompanied by a handmade silk bag and an envelope on which the provenance of the blades is handwritten.
The blades are significant due to their association with Lawrence Hargrave. The blades were passed to him upon his father’s death in 1885 and were kept in the family until they were kindly donated to the Powerhouse Museum by Mrs Helen Gray, Lawrence’s eldest daughter, in 1963.