Perspective: Taking It Off the Chin

Ads for electric shavers used to be long, technical treatises. Then came manscaping

The practice of men shaving hair off their faces became de rigueur grooming starting with Alexander the Great—or so many historians agree. Those who don’t can at least agree on this: Shaving has been a tedious ritual that men have pretty much disliked ever since. In the 20th century, numerous inventions emerged as palliatives, including the disposable razor (1904), foam shaving cream (1925) and the electric shaver (1937). By the time the Remington ad on the right appeared in 1963, electric shavers had been popular for a generation. And, as the Gillette ad opposite shows, they’re making quite the comeback.