November is known to be the month of revolutions, and razors confirm that. The Great November Razor Revolution was perpetrated by a genuine American colonel called Jacob Schick – he obtained a patent for an electric razor on November 6, 1928. Like the Bolsheviks, he had been talking of the need for a revolution for a long time – the idea of “dry shaving” first occurred to him around 1910. He was exploring for gold in Alaska then and suffered badly without hot water. However, there was electricity there apparently, which led the inventive colonel to think of dry shaving with the use a small electric motor. He even drew a crude plan of an electric razor, but the matter was put on hold for quite some time – manufacturers were skeptical of Schick. After World War I, he started working on his razor himself, but first he began improving “wet” razors in order to make some money. Being a serviceman, Schick was reportedly inspired by a rifle with a magazine and replicated the idea in a razor. Unlike Gillette razor sticks that were most popular by then, Schick’s razors had disposal blades stored in the handle of the razor itself. The market welcomed the new product, and the money came, allowing the retired colonel to fulfill his electric dreams. However, the public response was disappointing – unlike razor sticks, electric razors were not selling well. Subsequent achievements in this sector are associated with other names, while Schick’s name (the irony of it) in our minds and across the world is associated with quality razor blades and convenient razor sticks. Oh, those Schick blades – the symbol of real quality foreign product, infinitely superior to our Sputnik, Neva, and Voskhod. Now, Schick has been knocked out by Gillette who persuaded the Russians that neither men nor women could find a better razor and flooded our vast country with multiple shaving cosmetic products. But in the late stagnation period and during the perestroyka, Schick did mean chic. But Mr. Schick's “electrical” achievements should not be forgotten either!
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