Gillette’s Army-Navy “E” Award

History time!

During the Second World War, aka “The War” for us Norwegian, the US Army and US Navy created the E-award. E stands for – according to my sources – Excellence in Production of war equipment. In other words, a company had to not only produce for the war effort, but do so while: Overcoming obstacles, maintaining quality and quantity, avoiding stoppages, training additional laborers without lowering labor standards. On top of that they had to demonstrate good record keeping on the subject of health and safety. About one in twenty companies – government and private – which delivered war materials got the E-award.

And yes… Gillette got one of the E-awards, in 1943.

Gillette advertisement bragging of their E-award.

The high accomplishment of you men and women of the Gillette Safety Razor Company is inspiring. Your record will be difficult to surpass, yet the Army and Navy have every confidence that it was made only to be broken.

From the official citation

Gillette Meteor?

So while I was poking around online, I found this advertisement for the Gillette Meteor:

“A better shave than with Gillette’s new Meteor I’ve never had.”

Before I saw it, I had never heard about a razor called the Gillette Meteor. The google is of no help either… so I’m reduced to resort to guesswork.

Looking at the date – the 17th week of ’57 – and the photo of the razor. A one piece razor, late ’50s, in a plastic case and three rings around the unflaired knob… hmm… solid safety bar…

Doubtless we’re looking at one of the Super-Speed or Rocket razors. Most likely the later, based on the shape of the knob. Case reminiscent of the No66 set produced in the UK. The razor must have been rebranded for the Norwegian marked to give it a name that Norwegians could more easily pronounce.

As a side note; Basse Hveem was a well known Norwegian speedway and longtrack motorcyclist. He wont the US longtrack championship in 1957.

“Shave yourself”

It is 1907, and Christmas is on the horizon. You have – at least in your own mind – perfected the safety razor. You done away with the need for stropping and honing. Now; how do you convince people that your razor, which is not cheap, is THE ideal holiday gift?

By a wall of text accompanied by a photo of yourself, how else?

It is the IDEAL gift. It is NOT a toy. It will LAST. The blades are so INEXPENSIVE that you can just throw them away.

And it does cost. Adjusted for inflation the cheapest combination set would set you back around 180 dollars today. The most expensive option would be a whopping 1390 dollars or so. For that kind of money the razor ought to be good and last forever.