This category lists Gillette razors made with the New Improved head design. Gillette introduced razors with the New Improved head design in 1921, and continued to produce variants until 1929. All New Improved razors were three-piece double-edge designs. Most had a long stem and a fixed plate, but there were also specialty models with a short stem and a free plate. All were made of brass, and various models were available with silver or gold plating. The main variations were from handle designs and cases.The main patent for the New Improved razor was US1328024, filed 3 Feb 1917 and issued 13 Jan 1920.
Gillette announced the New Improved razor privately in the 5 May 1921 issue of The National Association of Retail Druggists Journal and other trade publications. These publications usually would have been delivered by the cover date, giving retailers some lead time to order the new products and sell off older ones. The private announcement detailed the sets that would be available, including the Richwood, Bostonian, New Standard, Big Fellow, Aristocrat, Milady Decolletee, Tuckaway, Chesterfield, Chippendale, Traveler, and De Luxe. Gillette also cited plans to reduce the Old Type razors from $5 to $3.50 while leaving retail margins approximately the same. Finally, Gillette also announced new $3, $2.50, and $1 Old Type sets to appear within three months. By introducing new and improved razors at a price comparable to the existing lineup while reducing the price of its time-worn but still popular products, Gillette was better positioned to face the increased competition which was sure to accelerate following the expiration of its 1904 patents that same year, in 1921. Some weeks later on 16 May 1921, the earliest known advertisements for the New Improved razors appeared in newspapers.
The USA plant (Boston, MA) restarted its serial numbers from 0A for the New Improved series, with the letter at the end instead of the beginning. It took USA production over six years to reach two million New Improved razors (1C). Outside the USA, Spain started from 1V, France from 1W, England (Slough) from 1Y, and Canada from 1Z.
The photo gallery below includes pages from Gillette Booklet #23, published for the New Improved razor. It discusses the features of the New Improved, addresses common questions about shaving, and passes on shaving tips from William Nickerson.
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