Henry Jacques Gaisman - Mastermind!

Discussion in 'Safety Razors' started by GlennConti, Aug 16, 2019.

  1. jmudrick

    jmudrick Well-Known Member

    I'm not above a good hijack.

    Gaisman was with Stieglitz when he first met Georgia O'Keefe in 1916. Work that in in a flashback somehow.

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    Last edited: Aug 27, 2019
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  2. GlennConti

    GlennConti Well-Known Member

    Gordon McKibben, Cutting Edge - Gillette's Journey to Global Leadership. 1998, Harvard Business School Press. ISBn 8-87584-725-0

    McKibben has about 5 pages on the Gaisman/AutoStrop/Gillette merger story. New information it brings to light are as follows:

    McKibben says Gaisman had sued Gillette in court and lost previously. No time frame is given but this test of Gillette's patent was probably around 1908-1909 His suit was an attack on the blade clamping mechanism in the original patent. This I believe was patent US775134 which was novel in that a thin flexible steel blade was buttressed by a cap and guard clamping it together.

    McKibben says Gaisman had been pestering Gillette to buy him since 1907.

    McKibben reitterates Gaisman's superiour patented blade technology whereby the blade was tempered less in the horizontal middle and more on the edges making the blades less succeptible to cracking. McKibben also goes into more detail on the Probak manufacturing process whereby a long strip of continuous steel by Gaisman instead of slower blade by blade stamping and subsequent honing and sharpening by Gillette.

    McKibben says Gaisman met with Pelham at the Belmont Hotel for dinner in 1928 to tell him of his patent on the "H" holded Probak blade. Gaisman suggeseted a 7 figure sale price. Then Pelham met many months later at the Copley Plaza for lunch and Gaisman gave the specific figure of $5 million to sell. Pelham flatly refused. 48 hours later Pelham had Gillette people working on a new blade and razor based on what Gaisman had told Pelham about the proposed AutoStrop razor.

    McKibben says Gillette was saying AutoStrop had spies in it's design department and that samples of blades may have been stolen. AutoStrop countered that an unnamed Gillette official had been to the New York (sic Newark) factory and had returned to Boston with samples of it's blade. Therefore Gillette stole the Probak design for the New. (This is absurd on it's face in that the New Blade would not work in the Probak Razor and the Probak blade design would work in the Gillette New). So, McKibben does not take sides on the stolen design theory.

    McKibben says the Probak was producing the new slot design several months ahead of Gillette. (Gillette started producing the New Blade and Razor on Jan 6, 1930).
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2019
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  3. jmudrick

    jmudrick Well-Known Member

    Krumholz adds nothing new I see , also stating that Gilllette was beaten to the slotted blade by Probak but gives no specifics, and that Gilllette took the idea for a new blade after meetings with Gaisman but not whose idea the slotted blade was. He uses CAPS a lot or -(A LOT in Krumholz-speak).

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    Last edited: Aug 27, 2019
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  4. GlennConti

    GlennConti Well-Known Member

    Yes and just because it is in a book doesn’t mean the author got it right. See above where it says “speedy strip” process led to litigation. Untrue... it had to do with the blade design not the manufacturing process. I think I have read just about all the AutoStrop/Gillette merger stories available in books. Now to see what the Gillette archive says. Then I am going to rewrite everything and put it in a pdf form for download here.

    I do wonder where McKibben got all the details from the Gaisman/Pelham hotel meetings? Plus I know that Business Week magazine was reporting this story and I haven’t seen their articles yet. Got to get access to that info.
     
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  5. Rev579

    Rev579 Well-Known Member

    This is where proper annotation comes into play. With the self-publishing that happens online, supposition can be labeled as fact. You are doing great work!
     
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  6. jmudrick

    jmudrick Well-Known Member

    Pelham I see, was more than an advisor to Segal, in fact he became a Sales Director and ran their razor business from June 1, 1931, just about the time the Uni-Matic was released. He took his former assistant at Gilllette, Frank Keeley, with him to Segal. You begin to understand the nasty business between Gillette and Segsl which followed.

    An October '31 article "Whither Gillette?" gives the last date of three hole blade production as October 15, 1929.

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    Last edited: Aug 27, 2019
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  7. Rev579

    Rev579 Well-Known Member

    Ok, so here is my question, what is the date of a blade marked 2455 & 2456? My understanding is that the 4 digit code is interpreted as such:
    Digit 1=decade/ RH# of 2+3=year/ 2+4=week
    Wouldn't this mean week 45 and week 46 in 1929?
    • Week 45 November 4, 1929 November 10, 1929
    • Week 46 November 11, 1929 November 17, 1929
    I have both of these blades.
     
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  8. jmudrick

    jmudrick Well-Known Member

    Seems possible given what we know about the rest of the timeline.

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  9. Rev579

    Rev579 Well-Known Member

    I'd like to see if there are older blades out there.
     
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  10. GlennConti

    GlennConti Well-Known Member

    I found this article date May 16, 1931 in the Washington Post and similar in the New York Times. I can't find anything on Frank Keely.

    1931-05-16ThomasPelhamAtSegal.jpg

    As far as October 1931 "Whither Gillette?" I can't find the article. :( But how can October 15, 1929 be then end date of the three holed blade if David/Rev579 has a blade newer than that and I have the January 6, 1930 as the last date of old type blade production via the following Boston Globe article which ran on 01-07-1930.

    1930-01-07-NewRazor-NewBlade.jpg

    I am wondering if anyone has a three holed Gillette razor blade with a 4 digit code starting with a "3" such as "3001" ie first week in 1930? Or maybe "2543" 53rd week of 1929???




    We have this from Mr Razor: A-1 1930 First quarter.

    1930 (A1) New Gillette Blade.jpg

    But also this from Krumholz saying production of the new blades started in 1929 with no date codes?

    NewBladeStartDateKrumholzBladesP104-2.jpg

    So I'm thinking, without reading it that the "Whither Gillette?" article is wrong but maybe the New Blade was being test marketed or prototypes were available for certain parties in 1929 4th quarter with no date codes and full production didn't start until January 6, 1930 with the A-1 date code. This leaves one week of production of the old 3 holed blades the first week of 1930. This explains everything except the "Whither Gillette?" article date???????
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2019
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  11. jmudrick

    jmudrick Well-Known Member

    The above article refers to razor not blade production I believe.

    "Whither Gillette" appears in the journal Advertising and Selling" dated October 1931. I have only the reference.

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  12. GlennConti

    GlennConti Well-Known Member

    GilletteContinuousStripMethod.jpg

    A photo of the Gillette's South Boston Blade manufacturing machines in the 1930s. Notice, this was after conversion to the new continuous strip method.
     
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  13. GlennConti

    GlennConti Well-Known Member

    I think you mean newer not older - but I know what you meant. Tons of older blade examples to be found but I think you win the prize for the newest three holed blade.
     
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  14. jmudrick

    jmudrick Well-Known Member

    I assumed he meant he had a slotted blade dated thus.

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  15. GlennConti

    GlennConti Well-Known Member

    Oh... now I'm puzzled. Slotted blades should only have no date code or the new letter series starting with "A" in 1930 - according to Krumholz.
     
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  16. jmudrick

    jmudrick Well-Known Member

    A would photo would help.

    I don't trust Krumholz much (forgetting his random CAPS of the New etc). The first blade I looked up -- Dublekeen-- he had dates wrong. It's old research

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  17. GlennConti

    GlennConti Well-Known Member

    Agreed -- photos help tremendously. I have a tendency to misspeak or mistype sometimes, that is why I try to post photos of sources etc so you guys can check me too. I'm pretty good (95% about) haha but not a true typist and do misspeak occasionally.
     
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  18. Rev579

    Rev579 Well-Known Member

    That's what I meant, newest 3-hole. I have so many used old blades it's not even funny. 1,262.3gr in mass. 259.5gr are modern, 362.3gr are vintage-other brands, and 640.8gr are vintage Gillette. Of the vintage Gillette, only 1 is the NEW Gillette Blade, a B-2, weighing in at 13.6.
    I have a bunch of still wrapped Vintage from various makers too.
    In fact I started a spread sheet table to help me wrap my head around them all.
     
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  19. jmudrick

    jmudrick Well-Known Member

    Well that's confusing then considering the 1931 article.

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  20. GlennConti

    GlennConti Well-Known Member

    I found this photo in The Gillette Blade says he worked in the Sales Department under Pelham. Is this who Pelham took to Segal I'm thinking? Couldn't find a Frank Keeley.

    FTKielyGilletteSalesDepartment.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2019
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