15 Nov: The Best A Man Can Get?

King C. Gillette was granted a US patent for a “safety razor” on November 15th, 1904 – kickstarting both the disposable grooming industry, and the notorious ‘razor and blades’ business model.

Prior to his invention, men who shaved at home would have to strop their blades on a big leather strap, and occasionally take their razors to a cutler to have them returned to their original sharpness.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly explain how Gillette savvily used Army contracts to establish his brand across America; reveal how scientists at MIT told him his product design was simply impossible; and recall how he exploited TV advertising to reframe the conversation around male grooming… 

Further Reading:

• ‘The History of Gillette and Schick Razors’ (ThoughtCo, 2019): https://www.thoughtco.com/history-of-razors-and-shaving-4070036

• ‘Gillette’s Strange History with the Razor and Blade Strategy’ (HBR, 2010): https://hbr.org/2010/09/gillettes-strange-history-with

• ‘Gillette: The Best A Man Can Get’ (Gillette, 1989):

… want even more?

In this week’s bonus bit, exclusively for 🌴 CLUB RETROSPECTORS 🌴members, Arion, Rebecca and Olly explain how Gillette’s disposable razors came to be stacked within the very walls of houses across America; consider King Gillette’s unexpected flirtation with Communism; and reveal how corporate competition from Wilkinson Sword demeaned Gillette’s green credentials yet further… get this and exclusive Sunday episodes by joining 🌴 CLUB RETROSPECTORS 🌴 now!

#Inventions #1900s