Henry J Gaisman was a super prolific inventor and genius of a businessman. He was born in 1869 and died in 1974.(1) Of his many many inventions, Gaisman had an early interest in safety razors. His first single edge safety razor was patented on May 10, 1904 (US759262A) and he was president of the AutoStrop Safety Razor Company.(2) His razors were a compromise between a straight razor that needs to be honed and stropped and a Gillette blade which was disposable and needed neither.(3) AutoStrop blades could be stropped and therefore did not need to be thrown away as often as Gillette blades. The AutoStrop Company was about one tenth the size of Gillette; in 1929 Gillette's assets were over $57 million while AutoStrop's assets were about $6.4 million.(4) In 1923 Gaisman applied for a patent (US1658435A) on a double edge razor and blade that was an improvement over the design of Gillette's 3 hole blade configuration.(7) Gaisman's blade holes had an "H" configuration whereby the alignment pins of the razor and the blade holes cooperated with each other to resist movement of the blade relative to the guard. Further, Gaisman, in 1911, had patented (US1011938A) a blade manufacturing process where the edges were tempered to make them harder and sharp while leaving the central horizontal middle/intermediate portion of the blade less tempered and therefore less likely to crack or break lengthwise.(5) This was a problem with Gillette's razor/blade combination that if they were over-tightened, the blades would crack.(6) As early as 1926 Gaisman was pitching the idea to people at Gillette that they should purchase his blade design patents.(8) However, his price tag was too rich for Gillette as he was seeking approximately $5 million for it.(9) Gaisman was not above threats as he made it clear he would love to sell to Gillette, but that he would manufacture his own double edge blades under the the Probak brand which he had already established.(10) Gillette under the guidance of MIT graduate Ralph Thompson decided they would solve their problems on their own internally.(11) Their solution to the blade cracking problem was to eliminate the old blade's rounded corners which were stress points. Instead a cut out corner was envisioned by Thompson for which he applied for a patent (US1924262A) on April 25, 1929.(12) Gillette was also fearful that Gaisman's Probak blades would be used in their razors, so they endeavored to redesign their razor whereby the Probak blades could not be used. Because of weak public perception about their products, they wanted to reset public perception and come out with a totally new product. This was the "New" Gillette razor. A feature of the new Gillette razor was a horizontal slot that would block the Probak blade from being able to be used. (13) A patent for this blocking bar was applied for by Gillette on September 26, 1929 (US1826341)(14). Gillette was planning to introduce their new razor and blade combination in The Saturday Evening Post on March 8, 1930 with a huge 5 page color advertisement. Typically the lead time for such an advertising placement would have been 3 or so months.(15) Therefore Gillette would have had to provide advertising copy showing their new top secret ideas in the mid November to early December 1929 time frame. It turns out that Gaisman's AutoStrop was a substantial advertiser with The Saturday Evening Post; frequently running full page black and white ads. It is my belief that somehow Gaisman became aware of Gillette's top secret new designs from The Saturday Evening Post. If Gaisman was to see a proof of Gillette's advertisement layout then he would have all the information he needed to take action on behalf of his company. This is what I believe happened. Gaisman had received a patent on his "H" blade configuration on February 7, 1928. On November 25, 1929, Gaisman amended his 1928 patent to include Gillette's horizontal blocking bar. In addition he filed a new patent (US1876906A) on December 10, 1929 which included Gillette's corner cutouts, horizontal central bar and diamond shaped alignment holes. Gaisman's February 7, 1928 patent was reissued quickly with Gillette's new designs and Gaisman was able to retroactively patent the ideas for which Gillette was currently waiting on approval. Gaisman then sent in a black and white one page Probak advertisement to The Saturday Evening Post which ran March 1, 1930, one week before Gillette's big 5 page announcement. Gaisman's Probak ad showed the new blade design printed with the Feb 1928 patent number. On April 2, 1930 Gaisman and AutoStrop sued Gillette for patent infringement. However, there were no documents proving Gaisman had preceeded Gillette in the formation of the new blade configuration. In other words, the first Gaisman shows the new design on dated documents was November 25, 1925 while Gillettes ideas were officially dated and submitted as early as April 25, 1929. At first Gillette was going to fight tooth and nail in the Federal court system. However, by August 8, 1930 the New York Times was reporting of merger talks between Gillette and AutoStrop. Apparently Gillette had lost all stomach for a court fight, not willing to risk it all on the decision of a judge. Under the terms of the merger agreement, AutoStrop would get 310,000 shares of divided paying preferred shares which also carried voting rights. Gillette would borrow $20 million via issuance of corporate bonds to pay for the shares and the old directors on Gillette's board would be purged in favor of Gaisman and his allies. The coup was complete. Gaisman was indeed a mastermind!