How To Recognize The Rank of Uncle Sam’s Men Afloat and Ashore

…and advertise for Gillette razors at the same time.

In 1917 the Gillette Safety Razor Company, in an outburst of patriotic fever and capitalistic endeavour, published a pamphlet on how to recognise US military ranks. Only one in four pages was blatant advertisements for Gillette’s razors and shaving kits. So pretty on brand for a company supplying the US military with shaving kits…

It starts on the very first page.

…the Gillette Safety Razor has been almost as much a part of the fighting-man’s equipment as his “iron rations” or his entrenching tool.
On every Front the Gillette is the razor of the Great War. And almost every kind of Compact Gillette Set has a has a place in soldier’s kit or soailor’s ditty-box.

It is not a bad read for someone wit ha bit of interest in military history or the history or safety razors. And the advertisements are nice, clear, and with big photos. So let’s have a look through them.

  • The Service Set – not to be confused with the Khaki Kit – came in a velvet lined metal case. Yours for a mere $5.00 – or about 117 USD / 107 EUR / 94 GBP today. Not a small expense for a newly recruited doughboy.
  • The Standard Razor also came in a velvet lined metal case. But it would set you back either $5.00, $6.00, or £7.50, depending on the plating of the razor and case.
  • The Pocket Edition was slightly smaller than the Service set and did not have a mirror. It still cost you $5.00 – or $6.00 if you wanted gold plating instead of silver. You could get either a plain case, a case with basket pattern, or a shell pattern case. The multiple case options was likely why the Pocket Edition got three full pages of advertisements.

You can download the full pamphlet from the Internet Archive.

One thought on “How To Recognize The Rank of Uncle Sam’s Men Afloat and Ashore

  1. Pingback: How To Recognize The Rank of Uncle Sam's Men Afloat - Razors n Blades the shave that saves

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