Someone tests out a new version of the Gillette razor. (AP Photo/Aynsley Floyd)
Note: This piece was originally published on January 19th, 2018
If you're the type of person who shaves, you've probably used a disposable razor at least once. But where did this seemingly ubiquitous part of American life come from? It all goes back to the late 19th century, and a man with the absolutely incredible name of King Camp Gillette.
- The disposable razor wasn't the first big idea that King Camp Gillette had. He originally wanted to set up a socialist utopia near Niagara Falls. In this proposed community, money would be eliminated, labor would be divided, and the genders would be equal.
- One of the reasons that Gillette cornered so much of the razor market was that was given to American servicemen during World War I. After the war, many of those young men continued using Gillette razors.
- Although his idea was incredibly successful and he earned a fortune, King Camp Gillette died nearly penniless during The Great Depression (he lost almost everything in the stock market crash of 1929). However, his company continued to thrive, and today, sells nearly 7 billion dollars of merchandise a year.
- Gillette is still a successful, multi-billion dollar shaving company. But, new subscription-based services like Harry's are giving it .
- Why do people have to shave at all? To find out the answer, Esquire dived into .
- King Camp Gillette didn't just invent the disposable razor, he invented .