If man shaves, not since the dawn of time, but for a long time, he has used through the ages a lot of materials such as flint, bronze or gold. The oldest known razor dates from the 3rd century and was found in Denmark. Over the past 80 years, the invention of the electric dry shaver has reduced the risk of injury to users of mechanical safety razors.
“At the time, it was still a safety razor with blades powered by an electric motor.”
At the end of the 19th century, the first patent for an electric razor was filed in the United States. Its commercial success will take some time, but will arrive in 1919. At the time, it was still a safety razor whose blades were driven by an electric motor in a longitudinal reciprocating motion. But, it still requires the use of soap to shave.
“The American Jacob Schick invents the first electric dry shaver”
The American Jacob Schick invents the first electric dry shaver. His invention consists in making small teeth driven by a small motor moving sideways behind a grid. But this one does not sell well; it must be used with two hands, which does not appeal to an audience looking for ease.
In 1931, Jacob Schick’s Schick Dry Razor Co. marketed the first one-handed electric dry shaver. In 1934, more than 75,000 were sold, and 3 years later, it exceeded one and a half million copies. During this period, other players such as Remington or Gillette entered the American market. One innovation follows another. This is how the first electric shavers with rotating heads appeared.
“He took the gamble of offering it directly as a test to the male public, whom he asked to come and discover it unshaven.”
In Europe, the Dutch company Philips is studying the American market. He brings back from the United States the devices of the competition to have them analyzed and tested by his engineers. In 1939, he launched his first electric shaver with a rotating head. At the time of its presentation at the spring fair in Utrecht, he took the gamble of offering it directly as a test to the male public, whom he asked to come and discover it unshaven. This communication campaign is a success that ensures the success of the launch of this new shaver.
Nowadays, the fashion is to have a three-day beard. And thanks to the large number of electric shavers and beard trimmers available on the market, it has become much less of a chore for men to shave. Or rather, much less boring to shave.