Can You Remember What This Hole Is Used For?

My husband and I flipped houses for a number of years, and we made some pretty wild discoveries when ripping apart old houses. Some of my favorite finds include a wad of old bills (many of which are actually fairly valuable now) hidden within a wall, and hundreds of old glass bottles from the Prohibition stashed underneath the floor of a house. But we have also come across a number of homes that feature the oddity I’m going to talk about today.

source: The New York Times

Old homes (I’m talking in the 100-year-old range) will sometimes still feature their original medicine cabinets in the bathrooms. On the back wall of the cabinet, you will sometimes see a small slit right there on the wall. You may have noticed this in your own home or in someone else’s home, but never knew what it was for.

Well, prior to the invention of stainless steel razor blades in the 1960s, men could only get one or two uses out of the old-school metal razor blades.

Rather than putting these used blades in the garbage can where children and others could accidentally handle them and hurt themselves, the shaver would remove the blade and stick it straight into this slot in the wall.

source: IS Architecture via WordPress/Life of Chestnut Street

The razor blades would just accumulate in the empty gap behind the wall. So if you’ve ever renovated an old home before and opened up a wall, only to find a pile of used razor blades behind it, this is why! Though this seems so peculiar to think about now, at the time, I can totally see why this design feature would be practical!

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