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King Camp Gillette

Inventor / Business Personality

Born: 5 January 1855
Died: 9 July 1932
Birthplace: Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
Best known as: Inventor of the disposable safety razor

King Camp Gillette was an American salesman and inventor who introduced the disposable safety razor in the first years of the 20th century. Raised in the Chicago area, he spent his early career as a traveling salesman. In the late 1890s he was inspired to create a disposable shaving razor, partly out of personal interest and partly out of a desire to create a product consumers could dispose of before buying another one. He teamed with a machinist-inventor named William Nickerson, and in 1901 Gillette formed American Safety Razor, which was soon changed to Gillette Safety Razor. Awarded a patent in 1904, Gillette's business was so successful he effectively retired in 1910, while keeping a figurehead position with the Gillette company. After leaving the business world, Gillette turned his attention to planting the seeds for a socialist utopia, writing books and spending money to advocate a "world corporation" that would supercede an international system based on national borders.

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