The »Elsine« brand

In chronological order, the razors of the Elsine brand are presumably situated between Bromeso and Kain-Abel. (Of course, it is possible that Emil Broch produced two or even all three brands simultaneously. So far, there are no clues on the exact production years.)

From the product range of the Elsine razors, two series stand out. The first one wears the big lettering “The Elsine Razor – Double German Hollow Ground – Registered” as a blade engraving. The second series features a blade ornament with the lettering “Elsine Premier – Registered” and the engraving “Finest Sheffield Steel – Forged and Real Hollow Ground in Germany” on the angle. Both series have a 7/8 inch blade (which is the significant difference to the other two Broch brands), and have been seen with different grip variants (ivory, black, tortoiseshell imitation).

In addition to these two series, which Emil Broch obviously has sold in larger quantities, some other models are also emerging every now and then. There is a model number 272 for example, of which only the blade is known to date. It has a beautiful golden decoration with the ornamental lettering “Solingen”. “272 Elsine Solingen” is engraved on the angle.

Apart from this, a handle variation has appeared, which bears the golden lettering “Elsine” in a long-stretched diamond shape on ivory underground. Curiously, the only known example of this model is equipped with a blade of Kain-Abel. Unfortunately, it is not known whether the composition of the two components was carried out by a later owner, or directly by Emil Broch.

As another curious fact, I want to mention that presumably since the thirties (since 1937 at the latest), security razor blades also appeared under the brand name Elsine Blades. At first, I had assumed that they had nothing to do with Emil Broch’s brand name because they were from the UK. In the meantime, however, I have seen older specimens on the net, on whose black and white packaging Made in Germany was printed. This apparently changed only at a later date to Made in England on a blue and white packaging. Thus, I now assume that Emil Broch initially commissioned these razor blades himself and only later sold the brand to a British company. As meanwhile I have also seen safety blades by Bromeso on the net, my research in this direction is still ongoing.

For a complete listing of all known models, please visit the Elsine Register.

Sales market

The Elsine razors seem to have been made for international distribution right from the start. The English spelling of the aforementioned series “The Elsine Razor” and “Elsine Premier” suggests a mainly English market, especially the use of steel from Sheffield in the Premier model.

The word mark Elsine

The origin of the word Elsine unfortunately is not as obvious as in Bromeso. It could be, however, that this is also a composite word. So I first assumed that Emil and Willy Broch could have combined two women’s names here. Meanehile, however, I found out that Willy Broch’s wife was Elfriede Broch-Ehlenbeck*, and Emil was married to Martha, born Heidelberg.

A second option is that Elsine was used as a diminutive. The name was obviously also used as an extension of Else or Elsa in the past. If it turns out that Emil Broch had a daughter – and Willy thus a sister – of this name, the brand’s origin could also be considered clarified. My research in this direction still lasts, though. (In this context, it should be noted that Elfriede and Willy Broch had a daughter named Helga, who later married a Mr. Wagner. Thank You to Hans and Tim Ehlenbeck for that info.)

* A double name was rather unusual at the time, but Elfriede Ehlenbeck was the daughter of the company founder of the Solingen forwarding company Ehlenbeck and therefore probably did not want to give away her well-known name. (The forwarding company still exists today, in the fourth generation.)