The History of the Gem Safety Razor

by Jody Wilber

Shaving has come a long way since the 1800s.

shaving image by Aleksandr Lobanov from Fotolia.com

The Gem Safety Razor has a long history that spans almost 200 years. Over time, this razor has been able to claim many titles. At the beginning of the 1900s, the Gem razor was the best-selling razor of its kind. Despite popular belief, the Gem Safety Razor is not the first safety razor to be developed.

Before The Gem Safety Razor

Before the Gem Safety Razor there was the Star Razor. The Star Razor was introduced in 1875 by the Kampfe Brothers. According to RazorandBrush.com, the Kampfe brothers were cutlery manufacturers who "began manufacturing the Star safety razor in 1875 in a one-room shop in New York City."

It was one of their employees though that went on to patent the Gem Safety Razor. Jerry Reichard, who worked for the Kampfe Brother's for 23 years, opened up his company,The Gem Safety Company, in 1898. Gem's first product, the Gem Safety Razor, quickly became one of the world's most famous razor and blades ever to be made.

Growth Over The Years

In 1900, due to increased pressure and competition, The Gem Safety Razor Company changed its name to The American Safety Razor Company. In 1903, the founder of Gem Safety Razors, Jerry Reichard, left Gem Safety Razors to form a new company named The Yankee Company. These two companies, along with Star Safety Razors, would eventually merge in 1906 and form The Personna American Safety Razor Company. Today, this company is known as The American Safety Razor Company.

Recent Developments

The American Safety Razor Company produces Treet, Personna, Pal and Gem razor blades. They continue to be the most major competitor to Gillette Razor company and have been for the last century. The biggest sellers for The American Safety Razor Company in recent years are disposable razors, especially with the development of women's razors in the 1970s, particularly the Flicker in 1971.

Photo Credits

About the Author

Based in Las Vegas, Jody Wilber has been freelance writing since 2004. Her articles have appeared in "Christianity Today," "The Upper Room" and "The Review Journal." She is formally a high-school English and journalism teacher. She graduated from California Baptist University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and went on to achieve her Master in Education from Sierra Nevada College.