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King Gillette patents the safety razor

Posted in Anniversary, Technology on Sunday, 21 November 2010

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picture, King Gillette, washing, cut-throat razor

Gillette’s invention did away with the cut-throat razor. Illustration by Peter Jackson

2 December marks the anniversary of the patenting of the safety razor by King Gillette in 1901. Gillette, whose family’s fortunes had been devastated by the great Chicago fire of 1871, was working for inventor William Painter when, one morning, he found his cut-throat razor was not sharp enough to deal with his beard. Halfway through his uncomfortable experience he had a sudden idea of trapping a sliver of steel between two guards.

Gillette remains one of the world’s leading brands of safety razor. More pictures featuring razors can be  found at the Look and Learn picture library.

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