Gillette safety razor in bakelite box, c 1930s.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Rectangular box of walnut phenolic (bakelite) with hinged lid, containing a Gillette safety razor and two blade containers, one holding two packets of razor blades. The American inventor King Camp Gillette (1855-1932) developed the disposable blade safety razor during the 1890s with engineer William Emery Nickerson. The Gillette company produced the first safety razors with disposable blades in 1903 and, by 1904, had produced over 90,000 razors and over 12 million blades. He also introduced the double-edged razor in the same year. In 1999, Gillette made nearly $10 billion in sales in over 200 countries.