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King Camp Gillette

( Developer Gillette safety razor)

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Biography King Camp Gillette
photo King Camp Gillette
King Camp Gillette invented and not just "spin," safety razor. He instilled a new culture of consumption customers - when a thing is simply thrown away after use and not used for years. He invented a new ideology, has opened an era of disposable handkerchiefs, lighters, cups and saucers. Brilliant idea that produces results so far. Each year, the ideological followers Gillette to develop new areas of production, making the world more and more disposable things.
. One summer morning in 1895 a distant mirror, he looked at his hairy face and muttered a short and sonorous oath, different variations on a daily basis pronounce all men, regardless of language, country and profession
. They all hate the same procedure for the morning shave. In particular, a dull razor.
At this time the performer of traditional arias had a 40-year-old sales agent of King Camp Gillette, a successful distributor of a new type of bottle corks. He, however, enticed other banks. He dreamed of something to invent. Something so simple and beautiful.
He was born and grew up in a provincial town with a resounding French title Fond du Lac (Marsh depth), in Wisconsin. It emanated from the whole worm-eaten and thoroughness. A leisurely life, patriarchy, serious bearded faces, the long winter evenings. It was not for him. As, however, and not for his father, from whom he inherited the mental alertness and considerable self-esteem. In order to do business and to give her son an education, Gillette's father moved the family to Chicago: the big city - great opportunities, "he would say. They Gillette Sr. opened the shop for repair and maintenance of sewing machines. She brought a good income, and it inspired hope for the best. Everything collapsed because of the Chicago fire of 1871 - a legendary disaster in American history, which is mixed and melted down many of the cards of fate. Workshop was burned, and with it the whole thing. Soon his father took to drink, and King had to take the contents of the family itself.

Work he found quickly. A small company selling household trifles - from toothpicks to soap - adopted smiling and energetic young man to the post of salesman. King knew how to sell, and quickly earned the reputation of prospective employees. He traveled with the product not only of American spaces, but has mastered and England, the hole the company, which labored honestly, a window to Europe. But childhood dream to become an inventor did not leave him. Time only spurred his passion: the end of the last century was the era of inventions - telephone and radio, electric lights and automobiles.

. In 1891, Mr. Gillette moved to Baltimore and got a new job in a firm Baltimore Seal Company, performing a corkscrew and cork
. He became friends with William Pointer, the inventor of the corkscrew, and a brass cover with internal cork - that which today is associated primarily with vodka bottle. On the first Sunday of the month he invited King to lunch. Soon the Sunday dinners have become regular - his friends discussed the engineering innovations that fantasies of the soul.

. Talking about the next opening is always accompanied by the opening and drinking a bottle of California wine, or even French cognac
. One day, uncorking another bottle and looking at the elegant cover of his own invention, Painter said:

- King, that's all you want to invent something such things. And you know that I have in golovuN It may be the chief charm of my plugs in its low cost and short-lived. He opened the bottle, a couple of times a twist here and there, and all - in the trash. Think! This thought King liked. From it emanated novelty. He said many times that it is time to discard the ambitions of the inventors of the past centuries, who laid claim to eternity. He sincerely believed that we should be easier. Said - done. Made - used. Used - thrown. It is in the spirit of the time. Ideology and inspiration enough, but required a scientific approach. The quintessence of rational method seemed Dictionary. In the evening, King dreamily flipping through it, reading the every word denoting the subject. "Noun" - cropped up something from the bowels of the school children. "A" - a diamond, in order to cut glass. No, such a thing already. "B" - bottle stoppers for which I am selling. "B" - Bicycling. Why should I have in my old age gathered invent velosipedN He yawned and closed his dictionary.
And the next morning ...
20 years later, he recalled this morning: "I looked in the mirror and began to shave, he immediately discovered that my razor was hopelessly dumb. It was not just dumb, but it is hopelessly. Sharpen it yourself, I was not under force. We had to go to the hairdresser or grindery. I stood looking vacantly at his razor, and it was here that in my head, and the idea. Or picture. Not know. Anyway, I know that at this moment was born zhilettovskaya Shaver. I saw her completely, in a second asked myself dozens of questions and responded to each of them. Everything happened quickly, as in a dream, and resembled more a revelation than rational deliberation. "
American razor late 90-ies almost exactly repeated, LikeThis surprisingly, its ancient Egyptian prototype. They consisted of a blade, the rear part of which was attached to the handle and was tightly welded to it. Gillette idea was that the rear part is not needed. Enough to sharpen a thin strip of steel on two sides and consolidate it in a simple horizontal removable holder, which, in turn, was attached to the handle perpendicular to the. Once the blade tupilos, it could be thrown out and insert a new. The design was extremely simple. "I stood there and smiled like a fool. Actually, I was a fool. I knew nothing about a razor, and the properties are understood even less. "

Finish. Our future is assured, "- he wrote to his wife, guests with relatives in Ohio. And, as always, hurried. It took 11 years of trial and error, before the invention yielded a dime. But King about it until you know. Inspired, he rushed to the nearest hardware store, bought a coil of steel strip for the manufacture of watch springs, simple tools and drawing paper. With all this he went home and a week later showed the world the first razor with disposable blades. In place of the struggle for the life of the blades came the struggle for cheapness. King was confident of the success of his enterprise. For a coil of tape cost only 16 cents per pound, and from the pound, according to his calculations, had to get 500 blades.

. "Not having received a technical education, I had no idea that I needed a special quality steel, much more expensive than the one with which I began my experiments"
. But King is literally obsessed with his idea, manufacturing and more new versions Shaver. Over the next 8 years of experience in the grueling fight for the cheapness of the blade he had spent more than $ 25 thousand. He had almost no one saw and all day sitting in the laboratory or on the drawings. What was needed was a thin, sturdy and with a cheap steel. Specialists to whom he addressed, advised throw meaningless quest. Harden steel strip of a thickness - like trying to sew a dress from a thread. If Gillette has received appropriate technical education, he would have waved his hand and gave up.

But he did not depart. Case headway in the 1900-m, where for the technical implementation zhilettovskoy idea took William Nickerson, a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Nickerson developed a technology for enhancing and sharpening steel tape. Just a few months of work - and a solution is found. Gillette finalized the final model. When he finally crawled out of his voluntary confinement, friends took him to laughter:

- You, my friend, just run wild. Do you have any in the mirror, then a videlN invented a razor, and the overgrown, if you live in the woods.

He was not offended, and took note of. He had himself been thinking about that. The trouble was that, as a sin, beard again coming into fashion. First began to wear a beard representatives of royal families of Europe, and then the wave has reached the American. Reverse mode fails, but can compromise. Mustaches - nothing kompromissN So there are the most famous zhilettovskie mustache, which became the trademark of the company. But their magical powers do not believe yet neither the owner of a mustache, nor those whom he tried to offer his invention. Friends joked, and investors and engineers have remained indifferent and mustache is not blowing.


Yet in 1901 Giletti managed to convince several friends to invest in business as a small amount of initial capital. After earning $ 5 thousand, he received a patent for his invention and opened the company. The first disposable razors came on the market in 1903. This year has sold 51 razor blades and 168. The following - 91 thousand. razors and 123 thousand. blades. By 1908, sales have exceeded $ 13 million. During the First World War, the fashion for beards, of course, had come to nothing, and the demand for razors surged. Finest hour has come Gillette. Wartime and hiking conditions demanded simplified life. Disposable razors have been very helpful. It solves many problems: there were cheap, easy to use, does not require care and, being disposable, guaranteed hygiene. In addition, together with them is no longer necessary in the regimental barber. Zhilettovskie razors began to diverge in unprecedented numbers. By 1917, annual sales of 1 million. razors and 120 million. blades.

The war ended, and the habit of shaving itself remained. The famous paradox "Who shaves the barber if he shaves only those who do not shave samN" went down in history. Has come in 1921. 20-year period of exclusive original patent expired, which meant that the very next day after it ends, any company could throw the market disposable razors and make Giletti competition. "Intelligence" reports that several manufacturers are ready to produce a cheap imitation zhilettovskih razors. The fate of the company hung in the balance. For the six months before the expiration of the patent Gillette developed and released a new model costs $ 1 per share (previous cost of $ 5). In that year, revenue was a record.
By 1930, The Gillette Company merged with the main competitor. Until the Second World War, it continued to expand. Became fashionable razor blade which was inserted into a solid plastic case. After using it threw the whole, not just the blade. In addition, the company began producing accessories razor and shaving cream. In 1947, after the death of the inventor (he died in 1932), disposable razor has experienced a rebirth. Instead of the usual, wrapped in wax paper to individual blades come with a built-in sound tape blades. Then in 1957 appeared the first Gillette razor with a movable head. Latest model zhilettovskoy razor with three blades called Mach many times in commercials flashed on the screens of Russian TV. We, . Like all progressive mankind, . poured into a civilized one-time channel, . contributing to the billions of dollars in sales of razors, . $ 40 billion sale of blades, . in the work of thousands of factories not only in America, . but also in Argentina, . Australia, . Canada, . Brazil, . Mexico, . England, . France, . Germany and Switzerland,
. Now and in our homes appeared packaging with famous mustaches inventor King Gillette disposable razors. The very same 77-year-old founder of one-time and short-term seller shortly before his death modestly remarked: "Of all the great inventions disposable razor - the greatest of small things.
Gillette could die quietly. After all, he left a legacy of his family one of the largest states in America.


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King Camp Gillette, photo, biography
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