This is an adjustable razor which originally came with three blades (two are left in the package), two tins of a stropping paste called Thorite, a brush applicator and a small tube of hairs to test the sharpness of the blade on.
The case also has a Stropping machanism built into it. The listing didn't show the two small boxes and it was only when I turned the case over to see if I could take it apart to clean it did the two small boxes fall out - yes a very pleasant surprise.
The three blades are supposed to last a lifetime according to the box and the contents of the other box are supposed to last a year of regular shaving.
The patent (number US2106587) on the razor was granted to Harry H. Bates and William O. Bates on 25 January 1938 so this comes from around the mid-1930's to mid-1940's.


Bates Razor Bates Razor Bates Razor
On to the razor itself.
Its one of those where the blade acts as the spring. Couple that to the fact that the blade lies relatively flat, its always going to have very limited adjustment using modern blades. The adjustment "system" just loosens the base plate and all the adjusting mechanism really does is locks the top-cap in place.
It's the same principle as the "Locking Handle" that I made for myself about 6 months before I found this. It just goes to show that there are very few new idea's in the world of shaving.

Bates Razor Bates Razor

How does it shave?
Its a very mild shaver.
Keep in mind that I've only used current blades and even if I open it up to just before the blades is actually loose it's still a very mild shaver.

Bates SOTD Bates SOTD Bates SOTD