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King Camp Gillette Inducted Into National Inventors Hall of Fame

Friday, May 04, 2007

Inventor of the Safety Razor with Disposable Blades Joins Such Legendary Inventors As Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell in Hall of Fame

Boston, MA -- When King C. Gillette was granted patent #775,134 on November 15, 1904, for a revolutionary new product called the safety razor, he could not have foreseen that his brilliant idea of a razor with an inexpensive and disposable blade would still be used more than 100 years later. Today, more than 600 million people around the world shave with a Gillette product every day. In posthumous recognition of this achievement, King C. Gillette was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame today during a ceremony in Akron, Ohio, joining a historically significant group of inventors honored for the influence their inventions have had on society.

Gillette invented his safety razor with disposable blades in 1901 after realizing he could produce a safety razor blade that did not have to be sharpened, but instead could be disposed of when dull and then easily replaced. He began manufacturing the safety razor in 1903, and soon after, sales soared to 90,000 razors and 12 million blades. Today, the global blades and razors industry is an estimated $11 billion business.

"King C. Gillette represents the American ideals of determination and invention, and we are extremely proud that he has been inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame," said Kelly Vanasse, Associate Director, Gillette. "Gillette founded this company on a time-honored credo, 'There is a better way to shave and we will find it,' which we uphold today through ongoing innovation and technological superiority."

Since the company was founded, Gillette has been a pioneer in the blades and razors industry with such milestones as the introduction of the first women's razor in 1915, the first twin-blade shaving system in 1971, the first twin-blade disposable razors for men in 1976 and the first razor with a lubricating strip in 1985. In 1998, Gillette launched MACH3, the first triple-blade shaving system. Following a merger with Procter & Gamble, Gillette's most recent innovation was the Fusion shaving system, available in both manual and power versions. Fusion razors are the first to feature innovative technologies both on the front and back of the blade cartridge, with a five-blade Shaving Surface™ on the front of the cartridge and a Precision Trimmer on the back.

Founded in 1973 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the National Council of Intellectual Property Law Association, The National Inventors Hall of Fame inducts a new class of inventors each year in recognition of patented inventions that have facilitated human, social, and economic progress. Past inductees have included such well-known inventors as Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Louis Pasteur and Henry Ford.

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