Date and Feature Guide 
for
Gillette Razors and Blades
Dating Gillette Razors and Blades: "How old is this razor?" It can be difficult to figure out. Sometimes patent dates are a help, but they give you the front end of the date scale, and not always too exactly. Some razor makers put serial numbers on their razors, but we don't always have the key to how the serial numbers fit to dates of manufacture. Gillette is one manufacturer for whom we have information on serial numbers and later date of manufacture codes that we can link to time.

Razor Serial Numbers were impressed on all Gillette razors from 1904 until 1921, and on deluxe models from 1921 until 1931 (except for a period in 1927-28). This corresponds to the time King Gillette was directly associated with the business, and may have been at his insistence. These serial numbers were on the top of the guard, or sometimes the inner barrel. There were no razor serial numbers from 1931 until 1950.

Razor Date Codes began in 1950 and used the same system blades had used since 1930, a code that identified the year and calendar quarter of manufacture. These codes are found on the underside of the guard mechanism, or in cartridge razors, near the attachment mechanism for the blade. 

Gillette Blade Date Codes (and earlier lot systems) were imprinted on one side of the blade as a series of letters and/ or numbers, or on the cartridge. The blade system adopted in 1930 is still in use today, and was used on razors as well after 1950. All the coding systems are listed below.

Other makers included serial or manufacturing codes, but we do not have the keys. AutoStrop and Rolls are two well known manufacturers who serial numbered their razors. If you have the key to another manufacturer's codes, please share this information with other collectors.

Please pass on any corrections or additions: E-Mail me .

Go to....  1910's   1920's   1930's   1940's   1950's   1960's   1970's   1980's   1990's   2000's  

YEAR SERIAL NUMBERS MODEL RAZOR NOTES BLADE NOTES
1903 No Serial No.s 100* "Double Ring" handle thin cap/guard. - Some razors stamped "Pat. Apl'd For". Blades notched for "heat lots".
1904 1-25424
25425-45424
100*
100*
Some razors stamped "Pat. appl. for" and
some razors stamped "Pat. Nov. 15.04"
"Gillette Blade" around center hole. Year/ month/ day/ lot serial #'s
1905 45425-370424 100* "Single Ring" introduced". Razors in Canada stamped "Pat. Mar.7.05". "Gillette Safety Razor Company" twined around all 3 holes.
1906 370425-770424 100*/102 "Double Ring" still being sold as seen by this example where 1906 serial number on the stem matches serial number on the shipper box. King Gillette's picture on blade wrappers. 
1907 770425-A195424 102    
1908 A195425-A675857 102 "Diamond & Arrow" Logo.
Pocket Edition with solid ornate handles & matching ornate cases made by American Button Company (ABC) under contract to Gillette until 1917.
"Diamond and Arrow" logo introduced (1-1/8" wide). Steel lot# only on blade.
1909 A675858-B222220 102    
1910
back to top 
B222221-B697600 102 Bell-end 3-piece Aristocrat model introduced.  
1911 B697601-C80508 102   3 digit code: 1=year, 2/3=week
1912 C80509-C260238 102    
1913 C260239-C407806 102    
1914 C407807-C578360 102 "Gillette Bulldog" handle intoduced. "No" above stropping/honing
1915 C578361-C911806 102 "Milady Decollette" short handle, long neck introduced. 1 1/8" diamond & 
Pat. #
1916 C911807-D516474 102    
1917 D516475-E449207 102 Gillette begins making the Pocket Edition sets themselves instead of contracting them out to American Button Company (ABC). These razors now come with hollow handles.  
1918 E449208-J7344
Plus F/G/H (no I)
J Series all U.S. military
102
3.5 million razors produced for US forces in WWI 
 35 million blades produced for US forces in WWI
1919 J7345-K927216
J Series all U.S. military
102 "Big Fellow" in wooden case introduced.  
1920
back to top 
K927217-N459887 102    Diamond and Arrow reduced to 7/8" wide.
1921 N459887-P679777
Note: Any Old Type without a serial # were made from 1921 to 1929.

1A-863912A (USA)
V=Spain, W=France, Y=Britain, Z=Canada
102
102A/106
102A: "Old Style" Thick cap/guard
106: New Improved / heavy flat guard
 
1922 863913A-336676B
Note: Any Old Type without a serial # were made from 1921 to 1929.
102A/106 Old Style still seen with no serial #  
1923 336677B-391575B
Note: Any Old Type without a serial # were made from 1921 to 1929.
102A/106    
1924 391576B-485927B
Note: Any Old Type without a serial # were made from 1921 to 1929.
102A/106    
1925 485928B-602049B
Note: Any Old Type without a serial # were made from 1921 to 1929.
102A/106   4 digit code: 1=decade/ RH# of 2+3=year/ 2+4=week - see this guide
1926 602050B-770070B
Note: Any Old Type without a serial # were made from 1921 to 1929.
102A/106    
1927 770071B-902611B
Note: Any Old Type without a serial # were made from 1921 to 1929.

Serial No.'s end on New Improved models on Oct. 17
102A/106 From the Feb. 1928 Gillette Company Annual Statement: Surgeons' knives, chisels, office-knives and twine-cutters have been added to our line during 1927. Specialized blade production begins for the aforementioned new razor tool offerings of surgeons' knives, chisels, office-knives and twine-cutters.
1928 Serial No.s start again on New Improved models on Aug. 28 1C-94800C
Note: Any Old Type without a serial # were made from 1921 to 1929.
102A/106/126 126= Mod. 106 /narrow shoulders  
1929 94801C-241755C
Note: Any Old Type without a serial # were made from 1921 to 1929.
102A/126/134 Model 134 "long slot" test marketed Last year for 3-hole blades. "New" Gillette Long slot blade (no serial #) introduced.
1930
back to top 
Letter/Number date codes begin but only on blades. No razors got date codes or date serial numbers until 1950 except only De Luxe model razors which still got serial numbers this year only.

Date code legend: A 1/2/3/4 

(Letter=year, number= 
quarter of year). Only DeLuxe models  were serial #'d, starting 1-D
134 134: New Gillette (takes slotted blade) "De Luxe" Kroman stainless steel blade introduced/ discont'd.
Year letter/ number code introduced.
1931 B
No more razor serial #'s or date codes on razors until 1951. Date codes only on blades until 1951 when they were used on razors again in addition to blades.
134/148/154 
160/162/164/170/175
148/154:short bar/two bar caps 
160/2/4/70/5: "Goodwill" types.
Handles:  ball end and new bar end.
Blue blade (plain slot and diamonds) introduced.
Blades get 2x crosshatch
1932 C 134/160 160: Standard Goodwill/solid cap Blades get 4x crosshatch
1933 D 134/160   "New" blade discontinued.
Blade corners notched.
1934 E 134/160/TTO
(TTO=Twist To Open )
Gillette's very first one-piece Twist-To-Open (TTO) razor, the Aristocrat with Bulldog-type handle and comb guard, is made and sold.  
1935 F 134/160/TTO    
1936 G 134/TTO    
1937 H 134/TTO Sheraton TTO (gold, regular handle)  
1938 I 134/TTO Senator TTO 
(nickel vs gold).
Thin blade introduced in Red/ Black wrapper.
1939 J 134/TTO/Tech  Tech intro'd with triangle guard slots.  
1940
back to top 
K 134/TTO/Tech Regent Tech TTO (last comb guard)  
1941 L 134/TTO/Tech Milord TTO (bar guard version of Sheraton)  
1942 M Tech War production only  Blade  "tick marks" denote Side I/ Side II
1943 N Tech War production only Limited civilian prod'n 
1944 O Tech War production only Camoflage blade for military use.
1945 P Tech War production mostly  
1946 R TTO/Tech  Full civilian production resumes.  Thin Blade black and white wrapper red print.
1947 S TTO/Tech "SuperSpeed" replaces Senator. "Rocket" in Canada and UK.  
1948 T TTO/Tech "Improved" TTO's notched for blade dispenser White plastic blade dispenser
1949 U TTO/Tech First year of the rhodium-plated "Gillette Executive", Gillette's only USA-made fully rhodium-plated razor. Date codes weren't used at this time so dating is from old magazine advertisements and included-blades date codes. Also, the 1949 Executive came with a cream-colored 10-blade "Blue Blades" dispenser and two 20-blade dispensers each sealed in foil with black text printed on each whereas the 1950 Executive - same razor - came with a blue-colored 10-blade "Blue Blade" dispenser and two 20-blade dispensers sealed in foil with a picture of the blue dispenser printed on each. Also first year of a plastic case for a Gillette razor: red/ clear styrene.  
1950
back to top 
V TTO/Tech  Last year of the rhodium-plated "Gillette Executive", Gillette's only USA-made fully rhodium-plated razor.Date codes weren't used at this time so dating is from old magazine advertisements and included-blades date codes. Also, the 1950 Executive came with a blue-colored 10-blade "Blue Blade" dispenser and two 20-blade dispensers sealed in foil with a picture of the blue dispenser printed on each whereas the previous year, the 1949 Executive - same razor - came with a cream-colored 10-blade "Blue Blades" dispenser and two 20-blade dispensers each sealed in foil with black text printed on each.

Some razors get date codes (Letter for the year and a number 1, 2, 3 or 4 for the quarter of that year). I personally have an Aristocrat with a date code of V3.
Blue plastic blade dispenser
1951 W 1/2/3/4
(Yr. letter code plus 
quarter of year)
TTO/Tech All razors get date codes (year & 1-4)  
1952 X TTO/Tech Tech gets parallel slots  
1953 Y TTO/Tech    
1954 Z TTO/Tech Coloured TTO knobs for blade angle.  
1955 A TTO/Tech    
1956 B TTO/Tech First known year of the "Gillette Adjustable" aka "Toggle". Known specimen has a serial number of 2605 instead of a letter/number date code. It also has a red dot on the neck near the adjuster ring and a red dot on the toggle switch. It came in a leather box. It was dated by the date code of 'B 1' on the included blades. Technically it has 9 settings if you count the half-number marks in addition to the actual 1-5 numbered marks. Some refer to these as prototypes but prototypes wouldn't be sold at retail with warranty cards and price inserts as these were. So while very rare, they aren't prototypes.  
1957 C TTO/Tech    
1958 D TTO/Tech First year of the gold-plated "Gillette Executive" adjustable, aka "gold Fat Boy". Also first year of the "Gillette Adjustable" aka "Fat Boy" aka "red dot Fat Boy". The "red dot Fat Boy" is considered by many to be a prototype but it was sold at retail with a warranty card. Prototypes wouldn't be sold at retail. Also first year of the 9-settings "Gillette Adjustable" aka "Toggle" in the long blue plastic case. It was made this year and in 1960 only. TV Special flare-tip Super Speed in red plastic case with clear "TV" marked lid this year only.  
1959 E TTO/Tech 9-settings "Gillette Adjustable" aka "Toggle" in the long blue plastic case from previous year, not made this year. Would return in 1960.  
1960
back to top 
F TTO/Tech Nickel-plated "Gillette Adjustable" aka "Toggle" this year only. Also last year of the 9-settings "Gillette Adjustable" aka "Toggle" in the long blue plastic case. It was made only in 1958 and 1960. Also only year of the 9-settings "Gillette Adjustable" aka "bottom-dial Fat Boy" which some consider to be a prototype. Super Blue Blade (silicone coated) introduced - Last year for the Thin Blade
1961 G TTO/Tech Lady Gillette double edge razor introduced  
1962 H TTO/Tech    
1963 I TTO/Tech Lady Gillette TTO. 
Men's Adjustable gets long thin handle.
Stainless Steel Blade. 
1964 J TTO/Tech Tech notched guard ends  
1965 K TTO/Tech/Techmatic
"Techmatic" Band Blade Razor
Super Stainless Steel Blade. Techmatic Band Cartridges.
1966  L TTO/Tech/Techmatic    
1967 M TTO/Tech/Techmatic    
1968 N TTO/Knack/Tech/Techmatic Knack (SlimTwist in UK & Canada) knob under head.
"Orbiter 4000" electric Band razor
"Plus" DE blade introduced. - Super Stainless Injector Blades introduced even though Gillette does not have an injector razor on the market yet (see 1970 and 1973).
1969 O TTO/Knack/Tech/Techmatic TTO black handles (long and short), 
"Super Adjustable"
 
1970
back to top 
P TTO/Knack/Tech    Platinum-Plus DE Blade introduced. - Platinum-Plus injector blades introduced (Gillette still does not have an injector razor on the market yet. See 1973). - Last year for Blue Blade?
1971 R TTO/Knack/Tech/TRAC II  "TRAC II" cartridge razor introduced  "TRAC II" slide-on Cartridge blades introduced
1972
S
 TTO/DE/Tech/TRAC II  Knack becomes "Double Edge" (DE)?  
1973
T
TTO/DE/Tech/TRAC II
Gillette introduces an injector razor for the first time, the "Twinjector". - TRAC II cartridge razor introduced as "G II" outside North America. - Tech prod'n ends in US.  "TRAC II Twin Injector Blades" introduced (not to be confused with "TRAC II" slide-on cartridge blades), later to be renamed "Twinjector Twin Injector Blades".
1974
U
TTO/DE/TRAC II
Super-Speed TTO production ends??  
1975
V
DE/TRAC II/Dispo
"Daisy" disposible for Ladies  TRAC II Adjustable blade cartridges introduced
1976
 W
DE/TRAC II/Dispo
"Good News" disposible for men. Last year of production for the Lady Gillette double edge razor.  
1977
 X
DE/TRAC II/Atra/Dispo
"Atra" introduced Atra clip-on pivoting cartridge
1978
 Y
DE/TRAC II/Atra/Dispo
Atra for Women  
1979
 Z
DE/TRAC II/Atra/Dispo
   
1980's
back to top
 A-J
DE/TRAC II/Atra/Dispo
 "Swivel" disposible in 1980  
1985 F DE/TRAC II/Atra/Dispo Atra "Plus"
Good News "Pivot Plus" and Daisy Plus disposibles.
Atra Plus cartridges introduced ("plus" = lubricating aloe strip on the cartridge)
1989
J
DE/TRAC II/Atra/Dispo
   
1990's
back to top
K-U
DE/TRAC II/Atra/Dispo/Sensor  "Sensor" for Men introduced in 1990  Sensor pivoting cartridge, with flexible twin blades.
1992
M
DE/TRAC II/Atra/Dispo/Sensor
"Sensor" for Women  
1993
N
DE/TRAC II/Atra/Dispo/Sensor
Sensor Excel Sensor cartridge with aloe strip
1998
T
TRAC II/Atra/Dispo/Sensor/ 
Mach3
"Mach3" for Men introduced. DE production ends.  Mach3 triple blade cartridge. 
2000's
back to top
V-E
TRAC II/Atra/Dispo/Sensor/ 
Mach3

DE Blades still available.
2001
W
TRAC II/Atra/Dispo/Sensor/ 
Mach3
Venus for Women, Mach3 style razor.
Mach3 "Cool Blue"
Venus for Women triple blade cartridge.
etc.
 TO
BE 
CONTINUED 
 .......

Much of the information on this page has been extracted from the excellent books: "Safety Razor Reference Guide" by Robert K. Waits, and "The Complete Gillette Collector's Handbook" and Collector's Guide to American Razor Blades" by Phillip L. Krumholz. Thanks to both authors!

* I  assume this Model number based on others  in the series, but I have no proof this was the actual Model number used.

Back to Top