COL. JACOB SCHICK (1878-1937)
SAFETY RAZOR PIONEER
(Photo:UPI/Bettman Archive)
Schick razors and electric shavers trace their origins to the inventive U. S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Jacob Schick. He retired from the military in 1910 but then returned to service at the start of World War I. During his respite from the army, Colonel Schick staked mining claims in Alaska and British Columbia. It was during one of these cold winters that he first conceived the idea for a dry shaver and sketched out a design that could shave without water or lather. After the war he attempted to generate interest in his design but had no luck and began to work on other inventions.

In 1921, Colonel Schick invented a new type of safety razor - the Magazine Repeating Razor. Inspired by the army repeating rifle, it had replacement blades stored in in a clip in the handle ready to be fed into shaving position by pivoting the head and stroking a built in lever, without the chore and danger of handling a sharp blade. Production of this innovative razor started in Jersey City in 1926.

These magazine repeating razors were produced in three models between 1926 and about 1935, and were the forerunners to the famous Schick Injector Razor, still made today.

The popular Schick Injector Razor has a separate magazine of blades that is inserted into the razor head to inject a new blade, and slide the old one out. While the Schick Injector Razor has undergone many changes in the 60 plus years of its manufacture, the basic mechanism remains the same, a simple, tried and time tested design. It was in fact the first razor I ever shaved "peach fuzz" with, and remains my weapon of choice today.

In 1927, Jacob Schick had succeeded with his electric "dry shaver" and a year later became so convinced that the "wet shave" method would be doomed by the electric razor that he started a separate corporation to manufacture and sell Schick electric shavers. He sold all his interest in the Magazine Repeating Razor Company to the president of the American Chain and Cable Company. You can follow Col. Schick's success with dry shaving at Schick Electric Shavers.

In 1946, Eversharp, Inc. acquired the Magazine Repeating Razor Company and renamed it the Schick Safety Razor Company. American Chain and Cable produced the product for Schick until 1958, when Schick set up its own manufacturing operations in Bridgeport, Connecticut. In 1961, Schick moved its manufacturing facilities into its present home in Milford, Connecticut.

The Schick Safety Razor Company was acquired by Warner-Lambert in 1970 and then later by Energizer Holdings (yes, the same company that makes the batteries) which also, as of this writing, owns Wilkinson Sword shaving company and American Safety Razor (aka GEM, aka Personna, aka PAL).


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