Gillette, King Camp

Gillette, King Camp

▪ American manufacturer
born Jan. 5, 1855, Fond du Lac, Wis., U.S.
died July 9, 1932, Los Angeles, Calif.

      American inventor and first manufacturer of a razor with disposable blades.

      Reared in Chicago, Gillette was forced by his family's loss of possessions in the fire of 1871 to go to work, becoming a traveling salesman of hardware. An employer noted his predilection for mechanical tinkering, which sometimes resulted in commercially profitable inventions, and advised him to invent “something that would be used and thrown away,” so that the customer would keep coming back. While honing a permanent, straight-edge razor in 1895, Gillette had the idea of substituting a thin double-edged steel blade placed between two plates and held in place by a Τ handle. Instead of being sharpened, the removable blade would simply be thrown away once it became dull. Gillette had no background in metallurgy, and manufacturing such a blade proved a challenge. It was some six years before William Nickerson developed a way to mass produce the blades from sheet metal. The Gillette Safety Razor Company's first sale, in 1903, consisted of a lot of 51 razors and 168 blades; by the end of 1904, it had produced 90,000 razors and 12,400,000 blades. Gillette's innovative sales strategy—he sold the razors for a loss and made his profits on the blades—helped make the product a success.

      Gillette then turned his intellectual energies to publicizing a view of utopian socialism in a series of books and other writings. He found competition wasteful and envisaged a planned society in which economic effort would be rationally organized by engineers. In 1910 he vainly offered former President Theodore Roosevelt $1,000,000 to act as president of an experimental “World Corporation” in the Arizona Territory. Gillette remained president of his company until 1931 but retired from active management in 1913.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Gillette,King Camp — Gil·lette (jə lĕtʹ), King Camp. 1855 1932. American inventor and manufacturer who developed the safety razor (c. 1895) and founded the Gillette Safety Razor Company (1901). * * * …   Universalium

  • King Camp Gilette — King C. Gillette Gillettes Rasierapparat Patent vom 15.Nov.1904 King Camp Gillette (* 5. Januar 1855 in Fond du L …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • King Camp Gillette — King Camp Gillette, né le 5 janvier 1855 à Fond du Lac et mort le 9 juillet 1932 à Los Angeles, est un ingénieur et homme d affaire américain, inventeur du ra …   Wikipédia en Français

  • King Camp Gillette — (January 5, 1855 ndash; July 9, 1932) was an American businessman, popularly known as the inventor of the safety razor. While Gillette did improve the design of the safety razor (patent US775134), his true invention was an inexpensive, high… …   Wikipedia

  • King Camp Gillette — King C. Gillette Gillettes Rasierapparat Patent vom 15. November 1904 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • King Camp Gilette — noun United States inventor and manufacturer who developed the safety razor (1855 1932) • Syn: ↑Gillette • Instance Hypernyms: ↑inventor, ↑discoverer, ↑artificer, ↑industrialist …   Useful english dictionary

  • King C. Gillette — Gillettes Rasierapparat Patent vom 15.Nov.1904 King Camp Gillette (* 5. Januar 1855 in Fond du L …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Gillette France — Gillette Company Pour les articles homonymes, voir Gillette. Logo de Gillette Company …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Gillette — ist: der Markenname des Unternehmens The Gillette Company Orte in der Schweiz: Gillette VD, Ort in der Gemeinde Corcelles le Jorat, Kanton Waadt, Schweiz in den Vereinigten Staaten: Gillette (Arizona) Gillette (Florida) Gillette (New Jersey)… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Gillette —   [ʒɪ let], King Camp, amerikanischer Erfinder und Industrieller, * Fond du Lac (Wisconsis) 5. 1. 1855, ✝ bei Los Angeles (Calif.) 10. 7. 1932; erfand die Rasierklinge und den Rasierapparat; gründete 1901 in Boston (Massachusetts) die Gillette… …   Universal-Lexikon

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