Gillette safety razor with its original bakelite box, c 1930s.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Rectangular box of walnut phenolic (bakelite) with hinged lid, with a Gillette safety razor and blade container containing two packets of razor blades. King Camp Gillette (1855-1932) developed the disposable blade safety razor during the 1890s with engineer William Emery Nickerson. Gillette produced the first safety razors and disposable blades in 1903 and, by the end of 1904, had produced 40,000 razors and over 12 million blades. In 1999, Gillette made nearly $10 billion in sales in over 200 countries.