Safety razors had been developed in the mid-19th century, but still used a forged blade that dulled and rusted. In the 1870s, the Kampfe Brothers ( Germany) introduced a type of safety razor. Gillette improved these earlier safety-razor designs, and introduced the high-profit-margin stamped razor blade steel blade. Gillette's innovation was the thin, inexpensive, disposable blade of stamped steel.
King Camp Gillette observed in 1902 that as existing, relatively expensive, razor blades dulled quickly and needed continuous sharpening, a razor whose blade could be thrown away when it dulled would meet a real need and likely be profitable.
In 1918, when the U.S. entered World War I, the Gillette company provided all American soldiers with a field razor set, paid for by the government, and as they were allowed to take them at discharge they continued their use of this product thus ensuring future sales.
An unused, wrapped, man's razor blade in a box.
7 O'clock brand
Inscriptions & markings
'7 O'CLOCK / REGD. TRADE MARK / BLADES / DOUBLE EDGED