Profile America: Straight Razor Edge

24gilletterazorbladesThursday, December 29 –. During the course of recorded history going back to ancient Egypt, men have felt cultural pressures to shave their facial hair. Styles regarding beards and moustaches come and go, but in recent times, most men in the U.S. prefer to shave every day. For centuries, their only recourse was the straight razor, which provided a close shave but had to be handled carefully to avoid cuts. Early this month in 1901, an American named King Camp Gillette applied for a patent for a safety razor with disposable blades. He began production in 1903, and received his patent in 1904. The electric razor was introduced in 1930, but old ways persist. In the U.S. today, eight manufacturers produce razors and disposable blades and cartridges in a $2.3 billion a year industry.

Profile America is in its 20th year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.

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