Beau Brummell

Beau Brummell was, according to Gillette, the greatest dandy of all time. I’m not sure if that is a good thing or not. A dandy is, after all, a man unduly concerned with looking stylish and fashionable. So that would mean that Beau Brummell was the most foppish1 man ever – and while I enjoy a good shave, I wouldn’t say I’m unduly concerned about my looks.

Gillette's 1917 Beau Brummell advertisement
Gillette’s 1917 Beau Brummell advertisement

I guess I get what they are trying to say; whereas a foopish dandy during the regency era2 had to resort to tweezers and a lot of time to get a BBS, the vain boulevardier of the late 1910’s may simply give himself a quick shave with a Gillette safety razor.

The ad repeats the claim that the Old Type3 was adjustable. This was a common claim in early Gillette advertisements, but I am dubious as to how well it would have worked – even with the ticker blade originally used.

Using Beau Brummell as their figurehead might not have been the brightest idea Gillette ever had, by the way. Yes, he was the arbiter of men’s fashion in England for a few years, but after a quarrel with the Prince Regent he not only went into debt but had to flee the country. And yes, his name is still associated with style and good looks, but he died insane and shabby in exile. Perhaps not the image you want in your head with you see a razor?


  1. The foppishest?
  2. From 1795 to 1837 or so – or in between the end of the American Rebellion and the accession of the less than amused Queen Victoria.
  3. By tightening the handle less or more, as described on the Gillette Adjustable Razors website.

One thought on “Beau Brummell

  1. Pingback: Beau Brummell - Razors n Blades the shave that saves

Leave a Reply