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The first Gillette Advertisement System Magazine, Nov. 1904. The razor sold for $3.00 (the average weekly wage at the time was $15.00). The original advertising budget was twenty-five cents per razor sold. In 1905 the ad budget was increased to fifty cents per razor.

1908 Trademark

O ne day in the spring of 1895 a traveling salesman named King Camp Gillette had an idea while shaving. Later he explained (in testimony in a patent suit): "…the thought occurred to me that no radical improvements had been made in razors, especially in razor blades, for several centuries, and it flashed through my mind that if by any possibility razor blades could be constructed and made cheap enough to do away with honing and stropping and permit the user to replace dull blades by new ones, such improvements would be highly important …"

The Gillette Company was born in September 1901 as The American Safety Razor Co. By the next June the name was changed to the Gillette Safety Razor Co.

Model of the first Gillette razor and blade based on the U.S. patent drawing (Source: The Gillette Company).

The first Gillette razor was sold in 1903; 51 razors were sold that year. The next year 90,000 were sold. By the end of 1908 sales had passed the one-million mark.

Click here to see the original Gillette Patent Drawing.
(Adobe Acrobat PDF Format)

1902 – First British patent issued.
Two U.S. patents were applied for:
on December 3, 1901 and on
May 24 1904. Both patents were issued on November 15, 1904.

Gillette Sales Co. set, pre-1908

Click here to visit the
Gillette Company web site

Copyright © 2001, Robert K. Waits E-Mail:
Reference: King C. Gillette by Russell Adams, Jr. (Little, Brown & Co., 1978).

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