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Big Ben

  • Object:

    Case containing razor

  • Place of origin:

    Morecambe (manufactured)

  • Date:

    ca.1935 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Souplex (manufacturers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Bakelite; aluminium, stainless steel

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Small, six-sided, mottled brown Bakelite case for a travel safety razor. The hinge is integral. On top is a moulded Art Deco design of a ring and bars. Inside the lid is the moulded brand name, 'BIG BEN', and two rings which hold the parts of the razor in place whilst they're inside the box. The handle of the razor detaches from the head and both fit neatly into the case in moulded fairings.

Place of Origin

Morecambe (manufactured)


ca.1935 (made)


Souplex (manufacturers)

Materials and Techniques

Bakelite; aluminium, stainless steel

Marks and inscriptions

On the razor head and on the inside of the lid.

'Made in England'


Length: 8.1 cm, Width: 3.5 cm, Depth: 1.8 cm

Object history note

Fred Bulmer, a collector based in Leeds, Yorkshire, offered his collection of ‘plastic antiques’ to the V&A in late 1982. The Museum chose to purchase 59 objects from Bulmer the following year (for acquisition papers see MA/1/B3395). The objects were divided among the Museum’s collections according to object type: Furniture and Woodwork taking 26 objects (W.50 to 75-1983), Metalwork 18 objects (M.49 to 66-1984) and Ceramics and Glass 14 objects (C.41 to 54-1984).

Descriptive line

Small Bakelite case containing aluminium and stainless steel travel razor; Souplex, Morecambe, about 1935

Production Note

Big Ben appears to have been a brand name used for razors by Souplex, a manufacturer based in Morcambe, Lancashire.


Bakelite; Phenolic; Aluminium; Stainless steel


Compression moulding


Plastic; Personal accessories; Household objects; Tourism & Travel

Production Type

Mass produced


Metalwork Collection

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