Here's some background,
courtesy of Onoway
Museum, about this everyday occurrence.
There is evidence that men have
shaving since the Bronze Age and it is said that
Alexander the Great (4th
century B.C.) encouraged his men to shave as a
defense strategy (the enemy
could grab their beards in a hand-to-hand battle).
Although shaving has
probably long been a rite of passage, it wasn't
until after WWI that American
men began to shave on a daily basis. It had been a
requirement so that their
gas masks would fit properly and the U.S. Army
provided Gillette razors. (The
same rule applies today for firemen – they must be
clean-shaven so the
breathing apparatus fits properly.) By this time,
safety razors were available
and the traditional straight razor was on the way
razor (commonly called cut-throats), often with bone
handle that folded in
neatly for safe storage, had been around since the
1700s. It required a stone
to hone (sharpen the edge) or leather strop (to
sharpen and clean the edge). But
change was on the way in the mid-1800s when hoe
razor (used the same way as
your garden hoe) was invented – fewer cuts, easier
to use. Then came the safety
razor which had a type of sleeve that surrounded the
blade. Severe cuts would
be a thing of the past. Next step was the razor with
Single-edge and double-edge razors took over the
market but change is constant
and when electric razors hit the store shelves
(patented by Jacob Schick) in
the '30s, that was a winner.
One of the big advantages of the electric
razor was that this brought about "dry" shaving.
Previously, a good
shave required wetting the skin and brushing with a
soapy lather or cream.
Today – disposable razors, battery operated
razors, no shaving brush.
razor, honing stone and case
shave necessities: soap, mug, brush
Struve's Gillette Aristocrat razor