What's new

1976 Good News: some cartridge history

A 1976 article by Andrew Tobias in New York magazine discusses the introduction of the "Good News" disposable razor by Gillette. The author describes himself as a loyal Trac II customer. A followup letter from a reader adds some praise for Wilkinson and Schick products.

Neither piece has much about traditional wetshaving, but sheds some light on how people thought about these product shifts almost 40 years ago. I was around then myself, but somehow wetshaving was not at the top of my priorities and I neglected to follow these developments — much less stock up on blades and soaps.
Excellent read. Thanks for posting it.

The thing I found most interesting in the article was the mention of the Trac II adjustable. I've never seen one.

I can't agree with the follow-up writer, though, that "the Schick Injector...was the first razor innovation..." What was the DE razor in 1903, if not an innovation?
The thing I found most interesting in the article was the mention of the Trac II adjustable. I've never seen one.

The five-position adjustment mechanism was on the cartridge, not the handle. I think US3955277 was the relevant patent. Previous discussion at http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php/179010-A-Gillette-Trac-II-adjustable.

Here is the best image I could find, from ebay:

Last edited:
Good read. I guess new isn't always better, as us more traditional shavers know.
funny that even back then gillette was being questioned... one sentence still holds tru...
"This gives gillette an ever widening swath of displays at the checkout counter"
My first shave was with my father's Slim, and it was a disaster. My mother, fearing for my life, bought me one of those beauties pictured in my avatar, which was an improvement. Then I went to Trac II, then Atra... Back then, twin carts seemed like a major improvement over DE to me: they felt safer and easier to use. In 2012, my 16 year old son convinced me to use a DE. I experienced the closest shave of my life.
I always wanted to try a trac II, but I only see the razors for sale and never the handles, so I gave up. :p

Where have you been looking? There are plenty of handles for sale, but not in regular stores (i.e., drug stores, supermarkets, etc.). Gillette discontinued the handles for the U.S. market years ago, but they're still made for sale in other countries, and can be had for not too much in this country. Or you can go aftermarket.

Just a few examples: see here, or here, or here, or here. Doing your own search will no doubt yield plenty more.
Does Gillette still make the "Good News" disposables? I remember my dad using them when I was a kid, and I probably even started on one before switching to a sensor.
I thoroughly enjoyed the author's sarcastic sprinkling of Good News! throughout the article.

I know, love it. I actually thought these had been around longer, so I found it interesting that Gillette was already fully conscious of the environmental impact introducing them would have and "thought long and hard" about how to downplay it in advertising.
Top Bottom