Historical information

Established in 1891 in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, Philips & Co. was founded to meet the growing demand for light bulbs following the commercialization of electricity. Science and technology underwent tremendous development in the 1940s and 1950s, with Philips Research inventing the rotary heads that led to the development of the Philishave electric shaver, and laying down the basis for later ground-breaking work in transistors and integrated circuits.Philishave was the brand name for the electric shavers manufactured by the Philips Domestic Appliances and Personal Care unit of Philips They used the Philishave brand name for their shavers from 1939 to 2006. The Philishave shaver was invented by Philips engineer Alexandre Horowitz, who used rotating cutters instead of the reciprocating cutters that had been used in previous electric shavers. The shaver was introduced in 1939, though initial production was limited due to the outbreak of World War II. A more ergonomic egg-shaped single-head model was introduced in 1948 and was designed by US industrial designer Raymond Loewy. Global sales increased markedly after a double-head model was introduced in 1951. As a spin off from the light bulb and research is the dynamo-powered bicycle lamp. Its rotating power system inspires the Philishave triple head electric razor. A triple-head model was test marketed in Australia and New Zealand in 1956, but would not be introduced globally until 1966. The brand name Philishave was phased out in 2006 so shavers now bear only the Philips name.


Mr Alfred William ( Bill ) Roper, 1913 - 1996 grew up in Ripponlea, ( East St Kilda ) Victoria. As a child he went with his father Arthur Leopold Roper to purchase vegetables from the Moorabbin Chinese market gardeners at the Hotham St. / Nepean Highway corner. c1920 . Bill served in WW2 in New Guinea and post war was Army Auditor, Victoria Barracks, St Kilda Road Melbourne. His staff presented this 'Philishave upon his retirement and he used it until his death1996. He lived in Carlton, Belgrave, Ascot Vale, South Yarra, East St Kilda and moved to Bentleigh in 1987.

Physical description

A ‘Philishave’ triple head electric razor , with cord, head protector and cleaning brush in a hinged plastic case The case has compartments, for Razor and cord, that are lined with a mustard coloured, soft, synthetic material .

Inscriptions & markings

Razor Handle front PHILIPS / PHILISHAVE; back Type HP 1121/ 110-130V/ 220-240 V / PHILIPS Shield / ? Shield / BS 3456 / V 75255 / MADE IN HOLLAND
Nameplate Presented to / BILL ROPER / On the occasion of his retirement / BY THE STAFF OF / DEFENCE AUDIT BRANCH / May 1977