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Profile America — Wednesday, December 3rd. During the course of recorded history going back to ancient Egypt, men have felt cultural pressures to shave their facial hair. Styles regarding beards and moustaches come and go, but in recent times, most men in the U.S. prefer to shave every day. For centuries, their only recourse was the straight razor, which provided a close shave but had to be handled carefully to avoid cuts. On this date in 1901, an American named King Camp Gillette applied for a patent for a safety razor with disposable blades. He began production in 1903, and received his patent in 1904. Then, in 1928, the increasing availability of electricity led to the invention of the electric razor by Jacob Schick. Now, electric razors are part of the $1.7 billion a year electric housewares industry. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online at <www.census.gov>.