I’m often asked how I came up with the idea for the Single Edge razor. Although I’d like to take all the credit myself, I had a lot of help along the way. And most of it came from a United States Infantry soldier by the name of Lt. Col. Jacob Schick. You might have heard of him.
Before many of his well known inventions occurred, Colonel Schick was responsible for a unique razor blade pack and razor that would end up changing my life.
Inspired by the loading action of the semiautomatic rifle he used in World War 1, Lt. Col. Schick invented a razor that was loaded quickly and easily using a “magazine” of razor blades. This pack of blades inserted into the side of a specially designed handle so that as a new blade was inserted, the old was ejected. Plus, can you think of a more manly way to swap out a blade?
It was a welcome innovation on the razor standards of the day. Straight razors involved stropping and maintaining a sharp, reusable blade. Double Edge safety razors made you replace thin, extremely sharp blades by hand. With the injector razor, there was no more handling of sharp blades and quick blade changes when one dulled.
The First Injector Razors
Col. Schick started the "Magazine Repeating Razor Company" in 1925, and began selling the first version of what would eventually be called the injector razor. Over the next 80 years, dozens of different variations of this razor would be sold.
It was a popular razor that was known not only for its ease of loading a single blade but also for it's super comfortable, irritation-free shave. It made using a single blade razor more attractive and approachable to the general public while leaving customers completely satisfied with their morning shave.
From Schick to the 90's
Although the injector razor didn’t survive past the 1990s, it had a successful and storied career. Fun fact: In the 1973 movie "Live and Let Die", James Bond (played by actor Roger Moore) shaves with a Schick injector razor in his San Moniquan bungalow. Roger could sure show Daniel Craig a thing or two about shaving.
Fast forward to recent history, the injector razor died after huge razor companies decided they could make more profit selling multi-bladed razors to customers. Although there are many antique versions of the handles available on eBay, the Schick company officially ended its production of the razor in the late ’90s or early 2000s. Honestly, it’s very difficult to pinpoint exactly when their production line closed down. Strangely enough, and good news for us, the injector blades and blade cartridge production never ended and is still going strong today.
The Single Edge
Through a bit of blind luck (read that story here), I found myself in possession of a vintage injector razor in late 2014. After the first use, I was hooked. As someone with sensitive skin, I had constantly struggled with ingrown hairs and irritated skin from any shave. Both of these issues completely vanished with the first use of my antique injector.
In a matter of days, I was not only a changed man - I was a man on a new mission. I wanted to recreate this unique and innovative razor design for everyone to experience. Thus, the idea for the Single Edge was born. It was a simple idea: What if I could recreate the injector razor for a new generation in a modern aesthetic and entirely out of stainless steel?
Prototype to Product
It turns out that idea was quite a bit more difficult to execute than I ever thought. It took two years from first prototype to full rate production, but the effort was worth it. You can read more of that rollercoaster story from prototype to production here.
Men all over the world today are finally experiencing amazingly close and irritation free shaves everyday with the Single Edge injector razor.
And as a customer recently told me - Col Jacob Schick would be proud.