do not realize it, but compared with our grandfathers, men today are as
hairless and smooth-faced as girls. Once only great noblemen and princes
enjoyed such a luxury. Poor men now can shave every day. The cause?
The invention of the safety razor.”
On September 28, 1901, Gillette Safety Razor Company celebrated their 25th
anniversary by publishing a Silver Jubilee Issue catalog. One of these copies
is now located at the Smithsonian Libraries'
Trade Literature Collection. The 142-page catalog
features silver- and gold-plated blade holders for men (and women) usually ranging
between 5 to 10 dollars. The height of luxury was the $75.00 ‘New
Improved De Luxe,’ an entirely gold-plated blade holder and brush kit.
Imagine that as a Father’s Day present! Also, the history of the company,
portraits of 20-25 year company employees, and reports from the manufacturing,
sales, accounting, and advertising divisions are featured. The article,
“The Conquest of the Beard,” describes a history of shaving throughout the ages
and features small illustrations of beards and mustaches with captions
such as the “Viennese Boulevardier” and “The Windbreakers.”—by Mary
Jinglewski, with assistance from Jim Roan and Alexia MacClain