Set of seven cut throat razors, c 1880.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Each razor is marked with a day of the week. The razors are made from steel blades with ivory handles and are presented in a leather case. Made by Samuel Last, 105 New Bond Street, London. The 'open' or 'cutthroat' razor, shaped with a long handle and iron blades, was first developed in Ancient Rome or Greece. It remained the only practical razor until the nineteenth century, when improvements in steel manufacture meant that blades were sharper, and could be resharpened. In 1900 most men went regularly to the barber or shaved periodically at home. Better-off customers would have their own personal sets of razors, one for each day of the week. Advances in razor technology in the twentieth century, including the introduction of the Gillette disposable blade and the electric razor, changed shaving habits. Today, the majority of men shave daily in their homes, using a wide variety of equipment.