US Gillette Dating Information

This page documents what we know about Gillette safety razor serial numbers and date codes. Razors made in USA often left the factory with serial numbers or date codes, which can be used to establish their manufacturing dates. During certain periods some or all models were unmarked.

1903-1929 (serial numbers)

Production YearSerial NumbersModels ProducedNotes
1903n/aDouble Ring (1903-1906)For notes on the early company history, see Gillette Timeline.
1904145424Old Type (1904-1929, including Single Ring, Ball-End, etc.)Serial numbers did not begin until midway through the year, and an estimated 55,000 were produced without serial numbers.
190545425370424
1906370425770424
1907770425999999
A1A195424
1908A195425A675857Diamond logo in use on blades by September, and perhaps on some razors and sets during or after Christmas.
1909A675858A999999
B1B222220
1910B222221B697600John J. Joyce buys out most of King Camp Gillette's stock. Gillette remains honorary president, but effectively retires.
1911B697601B999999
C1-C80508
1912C80509C260238
1913C260239C407806
1914C407807C578360Nickerson invents an improved automatic honing machine, allowing increased blade production.
1915C578361C911806Launch of Milady Décolleté, first women's razor.
1916C911807C999999
D1D516474
Joyce retires to California, dies shortly afterward leaving controlling shares to John E. Aldred.
1917D516475D999999
E1E449207
Military SetsAldred reorganizes Gillette as a Delaware corporation. Annual sales exceed 1.1M razors.
1918E449208E999999
F1F999999
G1G999999
H1H999999
J1J7344
All J Series are WWI production. Annual sales near 5M razors in 1918. "I" was not used as a serial number prefix.
1919J7345J999999
K1K927216
1920K927217K999999
M1M999999
N1N459887
Annual sales exceed 2.1M razors in 1920. "L" was not used as a serial number prefix as it had already been used to stamp razors returned for repair.
1921N459887N999999
P1P679777
1A863912A
New Improved (1921-1929, including Bostonian, Big Fellow, etc.)"O" was not used as a serial number prefix. Original 1904 patents expire November 15, 1921. May launch of New Improved razor with new serial number format, starting with 1A. The Old Type continues as "Brownie" and various other sets, but without serial numbers. Annual sales exceed 4.2M razors.
1922863913A999999A
1B336676B
1923336677B391575B
1924391576B485927B
1925485928B602049B
1926602050B770070BGillette celebrates its 25th anniversary as a company. In Germany, competitor Roth-Buechner is purchased.
1927770071B902611BFrom Oct 18 1927 to Aug 27 1928, there were no serial numbers used.
19281C94800CSerial numbers resume. Nickerson retires. Gillette develops Kroman blades, and declines to purchase a new strip-based blade design offered by Henry J. Gaisman (Auto Strop).
192994801C241755CThe NEW (1929-1940?)Auto Strop begins selling Probak razors and blades, using Gaisman's new design. The Probak reaches the market before Gillette launches the NEW in 1930.

1930-1949 (the "NDC" years)

In 1930 Gillette stopped using serial numbers on razors. So razors made from 1930-49 can be difficult to date precisely. However, blades made in those years were stamped with a date code: A for 1930, B for 1931, etc., plus 1-4 for the year quarter. So "A-1" means January-March 1930. In 1950 this system was expanded to include razors, too (see below). If a vintage razor is found with its original blades, the blade codes can be used to establish a rough date for the razor. This is not 100% accurate, since the blades may not be original or may have been made before or after the razor.


Production YearModels ProducedNotes
1930The NEW (1929-1940?)Gold plated Big Fellow intro'd as NEW Big Boy Deluxe. In this year only De Luxe models were numbered, starting with 1-D, and often the final D was omitted. Kroman blade introduced. Patent fight and merger with Auto Strop. Stock falls from over $100 to below $30.
1931GoodwillHenry J. Gaisman (Auto Stop) succeeds tainted management after financial scandals. Stock falls below $5. King Camp Gillette resigns as President.
1932Blue Blade introduced. Death of King Camp Gillette on July 9, 1932
1933
1934Gillette Aristocrat 1930sThe Aristocrat becomes the first Gillette TTO razor.
1935
1936
1937Sheraton
19383 Piece Tech (1938-1979)SenatorThin Blade introduced. Gaisman retires, succeeded by J.P. Spang, Jr. New emphasis on sports advertising.
1939"World Series Special" Tech.
1940Regent TechRegent Tech introduced as the first closed-comb TTO.
1941Aristocrat (1941, 1946-1951)Ranger TechMilord (1941, 1946-1953)"Cavalcade of Sports" theme introduced.
1942War Production Board orders dedicated military production for all razors and most blades.
1943
1944War Production Board lifts orders late in 1944.
1945
1946Aristocrat (1941, 1946-1951)Milord (1941, 1946-1953)Introduction of razor end caps.
194740s Style Super Speed (1947-1954)
1948Introduction of notched post.
1949First plastic case: red/clear styrene

1950-1988 (letter codes)

The single-letter date codes are accompanied by a number, which corresponds to the quarter of the year. So 'O-1' means 1969, January-March. Date codes on blades (see above) also continued through this period.

Production YearDate CodeModels ProducedNotes
1950V3 Piece Tech (1938-1979)40s Style Super Speed (1947-1954)Aristocrat (1941, 1946-1951)Milord (1941, 1946-1953)Razor Date Coding Begins with V-3
1951WBlack Tip Super Speed (1951-1952)
1952X
1953YPresident
1954ZFlare Tip Super Speed40s Style Super Speed TV Special Z3 & Z4
1955ABlue Tip and Red Tip Super Speed (1955-1960)
1956B
1957CToggle (1957-1958, 1960)Toggle Goes on Sale Christmas '57
1958D"Fat Boy" Adjustable50s Style Super Speed TV Special
1959E
1960FToggle (1957-1958, 1960)195 Adjustable ("bottom dial")
1961G"Slim" AdjustableLady Gillette
1962H
1963I
1964J
1965K
1966LBlack Handle Super SpeedThe Knack (1966-1975)
1967M
1968NBlack Handle Super Adjustable
1969O
1970P
1971RSome razors produced with Gillette Date Code Q. Trac II introduced.
1972S
1973T
1974U
1975VAtra / Contour introduced. Good News disposable introduced.
1976W
1977XBlack Handle Adjustable gets plastic bottom plate
1978Y
1979Z
1980A
1981B
1982C
1983D
1984E
1985FAtra Plus / Contour Plus introduced, with the first lube strips.
1986G
1987H
1988IOne of the last batch of USA made DE razors.

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