A History Of The Company
Durham Duplex Razor Company Ltd was registered in the UK on 11th May 1910 as a European subsidiary of a US razor blade manufacturer, Durham Razor Company Inc. This Company had been founded in New York in the late 1800’s and designed the revolutionary Durham Duplex safety razor system, which is where the unusual name comes from, which was considered to be a major advancement in comparison to the traditional cut throat razor. The Duplex double edge steel razor blade could be re-sharpened on the strop almost indefinitely, but eventually they could be disposed of and replaced without needing a new handle – offering considerable saving and a safe way to shave.
The Trade Mark
has been owned in UK since 1910 and protected since 1927. Located in Sheffield, England from 1913 the Company manufactured its razors in the “Steel City” to feed sales offices in New York, London, Paris and Toronto.
However, the invention of the disposable razor by Gillette bit deeply into the market and as sales decreased in the 1950s the company developed by diversifying into such items as the Hair Trimmer and the Dog Dresser as well as developing a range of hobby knives. These newer products were bolstered by product loyalty from the soldiers issued with the Duplex System and needing new blades – about every 5 years or so!
Durham Duplex Razor Company Ltd, was purchased by Edward Turner and Son Ltd in 1974, to add to its portfolio of manufacturing assets, and the name was simplified to Durham Duplex
. This heralded a sustained period of development and change out of which Durham Duplex emerged lean and efficient, focussed on the production of Machine Knives and Industrial Blades from strip steel. The factory utilised technology to maximise productivity and embraced CNC equipment to keep production costs low. A move into the production of larger Machine Knives in 1986 broadened the product range and the development continued with the purchase of CNC utility blade lines, creep feed grinders and new premises for further expansion.
The Noughties heralded another period of growth with the Company adding a full Machine Knife factory in Sheffield to its stable of manufacturing capability. The company also placed an increased emphasis on the export markets with the development of an efficient group of distributors and latterly a strong presence in South East Asia through its Subsidiary Durham Duplex (South East Asia) Ltd
which was established in 2008 to service Asia and Australasia.
Today Durham Duplex is both a family owned business and a global company that maintains the ability to deliver any cutting edge required by our customers anywhere in the world. This still includes the original Duplex blade which, now made with a TiN or TiCN coating, is still requested by some old soldiers for their faithful safety razor.