History of disposable blades

From inventors.about.com:

</font><blockquote><font size=“1” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>quote:</font><hr /><font size=“2” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”> King Camp Gillette was born in Fond du Lac, Wis. in 1855.

To support himself when the family’s home was destroyed in the Chicago Fire of 1871, Gillette, at the tender age of 16, became a traveling salesman. In 1895, after several years of considering and rejecting possible inventions, Gillette suddenly had a brilliant idea while shaving one morning — a razor with a safe, inexpensive and disposable blade.

It took six years for Gillette’s idea to evolve. During that time, technical experts told Gillette that it would be impossible to produce steel that was hard, thin and inexpensive enough for commercial development of the disposable razor blade. Then, in 1901, MIT graduate William Nickerson agreed to try.

By 1903, he had succeeded. On Nov. 15, 1904, patent No. 775,134 was granted to King C. Gillette for a safety “razor.” Production of the Gillette® safety razor and blade began as the Gillette Safety Razor Company started operations in South Boston. Sales grew steadily. During World War I, the U.S. government issued Gillette® safety razors to the entire armed forces. By the end of the war, some 3.5 million razors and 32 million blades were put into military hands, thereby converting an entire nation to the Gillette® safety razor. </font><hr /></blockquote><font size=“2” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>