History of Product Names & Trademarks: Gillette
About the history and origins of famous product names and trademarks, in this case Gillette.
GILLETTE "Father of the Safety Razor" was King C. Gillette. At age 21, he was a traveling salesman who longed to be a successful inventor. A friend, William Painter (inventor of the disposable bottle cap), said to Gillette, "King, you are always inventing something. Why don't you concentrate on just one thing-something like the Crown Cork-that people use once and throw away?" Gillette became obsessed with inventing a disposable item, and in 1895 his search ended. He described the historic occasion: "As I stood there with the razor in my hand, my eyes resting on it as lightly as a bird settling down on its nest, the Gillette razor was born-more with the rapidity of a dream than by a process of reasoning. In that moment I saw it all: the way the blade could be held in a holder; the idea of sharpening the 2 opposite edges on the thin piece of steel; the clamping plates for the blade, with a handle halfway between the 2 edges of the blade."