Sleek lines, good grip, hugs every turn and curve. No, we’re not talking about a speedy roadster; we’re talking about the ways razors and blades have been described and advertised for decades. Shave advertisements have a long and interesting history in the United States, a history that intersects with the road—if you were around in the fifties, you might remember the famous Burma Shave billboards dotting our nation’s highways.
A man’s shave kit seems as personal a choice as his daily driver. Shaving soap in a cup, shaving cream, single blades, disposal razors, electric, wet shave, dry shave, aftershave—the choices seem endless. A few things, though, have remained constant through the years: men want the smoothest shave possible as quickly as possible. And although many are willing to try different products and tools in order to achieve the desired goal, we tend to be loyal to our shaving regimen and products.
No one really has the time these days to think about why you shave the way you shave (left cheek, long first swipe) and why you use the products you use. But it’s apparent that shaving inherently contains something nostalgic and generational within its essence. A memory of sitting on the bathroom counter as Father in his undershirt lathered his face with that furry brush. A memory of scent: shaving cream, steam, bracing after-shave. These vintage shaving ads capture the charm and pleasure of a good shave. We hope you enjoy these images as much as your next shave. But please, don’t stick bits of toilet paper on your face to blot small cuts!