The American Safety Razor Company was chartered on September 28, 1901 with King C. Gillette as president. Originally chartered in the state of Maine, it was capitalized at $500,000. The company later to be renamed the Gillette Safety Razor Company.
Gillette patented a very thin and strong blade that would keep it sharp edge through numerous shaves. The disposable blade also would need to snap firmly into the permanent razor handle. The patent was granted in 1904.
Its annual sales in 1904 were 91,000 razors and 124 000 blades. The U.S military helped the Gillette Company during the First World War by purchasing 3.5 million razors for servicemen.
The Gillette Company was one of the first great multinational organizations and a marvel of marketing effectiveness.
Only four years after founding the form in Boston, King Gillette opened branch office in London and rapidly obtained sales and profits throughout Western Europe.
In 1905 the company adopted a trademark which featured King Camp Gillette’s portrait and signature.
By 1910 Gillette was well established in France and Germany.
The Gillette Company lowered the price of its original razor to one dollar in 1921, its product became affordable to working class men.
In 1962, Gillette’s U.S market share hovered around 70 percent, and its success abroad was even better.
In January 2005, the Procter and Gamble Company announced that it had signed a deal to buy 100% of the shares of the Gillette Company. The transaction was valued at approximately $57 billion making ti the largest acquisition in P & G history.
The history of Gillette
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