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Gillette Date Codes

 

"How old is this razor?" It can be difficult to figure out. Sometimes patent dates are a help, but they give you the front end of the date scale, and not always too exactly. Some razor makers put serial numbers on their razors, but we don't always have the key to how the serial numbers fit to dates of manufacture. Gillette is one manufacturer for whom we have information on serial numbers and later date of manufacture codes that we can link to time.

Other makers included serial or manufacturing codes, but we do not have the keys. AutoStrop and Rolls are two well known manufacturers who serial numbered their razors. If you have the key to another manufacturer's codes, please share this information with other collectors.

Razor Serial Numbers were impressed on all Gillette razors from 1904 until 1921, and on deluxe models from 1921 until 1931 (except for a period in 1927-28). This corresponds to the time King Gillette was directly associated with the business, and may have been at his insistence. These serial numbers were on the top of the guard, or sometimes the inner barrel. There were no razor serial numbers from 1931 until 1951. gillette-serial-number-on-guard.jpg
gillette-date-code-bottom-number-letter-stamp.png Gillette Date Codes were used from January 1951 until 2001. They are found in the top left and right corners on the underside of razor guards, both 3 peice and 1 piece models. The letter represents the year, found on the chart below, and the number 1-4 correspond with the quarter of the year. 
Gillette Blade Date Codes (and earlier lot systems) were imprinted on one side of the blade as a series of letters and/ or numbers, or on the cartridge. The blade system adopted in 1931 is still in use today, and was used on razors as well after 1950. All the coding systems are listed below. date-code-gillette-blade2.jpg

 

 

 

Please Contact Us with any corrections or updates.

Go to....  1910's   1920's   1930's   1940's   1950's   1960's   1970's   1980's   1990's   2000's  

 

YEAR

SERIAL
NUMBERS

MODEL

ERA

RAZOR
NOTES

BLADE
NOTES

1903 No Serial No.s 100* OLD TYPE "Double Ring" handle thin cap/guard Blades notched for "heat lots".
1904 1-25424
25425-45424
100*
100*
  "Pat. appl. for" &
"Pat. Nov. 15.04" (USA)
"Gillette Blade" around center hole. Year/ month/ day/ lot serial #'s
1905 45425-370424 100*  

"Pat. Mar.7.05" (Canada)

Single Ring Handle Introduced

"Gillette Safety Razor Company" twined around all 3 holes.
1906 370425-770424 100*/102     King Gillette's picture on blade wrappers. 
1907 770425-A195424 102      
1908 A195425-A675857 102   "Diamond & Arrow" Logo.
Pocket Edition with solid fancy handles & matching cases.
"Diamond and Arrow" logo introduced (1-1/8" wide). Steel lot# only on blade.
1909 A675858-B222220 102      
1910
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B222221-B697600 102   Aristocrat Model introduced.  
1911 B697601-C80508 102     3 digit code: 1=year, 2/3=week
1912 C80509-C260238 102      
1913 C260239-C407806 102      
1914 C407807-C578360 102   Bulldog handle intoduced. "No" above stropping/honing
1915 C578361-C911806 102   Milady Decollette short handle (long neck)  1 1/8" diamond & 
Pat. #
1916 C911807-D516474 102      
1917 D516475-E449207 102   Hollow Handle Pocket Edition  
1918 E449208-J7344
Plus F/G/H (no I) J Series all U.S. military
102  
3.5 million razors produced for US forces in WWI 
 35 million blades produced for US forces in WWI
1919 J7345-K927216
J Series all U.S. military
102   Big Fellow introduced.  
1920
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K927217-N459887 102      Diamond and Arrow reduced to 7/8" wide.
1921 N459887-P679777
1A-863912A (USA)
V=Spain, W=France, Y=Britain, Z=Canada
102
102A/106
NEW IMPROVED 102A: "Old Style" Thick cap/guard
106: New Improved / heavy flat guard
 
1922 863913A-336676B 102A/106   Old Style still seen with no serial #  
1923 336677B-391575B 102A/106      
1924 391576B-485927B 102A/106      
1925 485928B-602049B 102A/106     4 digit code: 1=decade/ RH# of 2+3=year/ 2+4=week
1926 602050B-770070B 102A/106      
1927 770071B-902611B
Serial No.'s end Oct. 17
102A/106      
1928 Serial No.s start Aug. 28 1C-94800C 102A/106/126   126= Mod. 106 /narrow shoulders Last year for 3-hole blades. 
1929 94801C-241755C 102A/126/134   Model 134 "long slot" test marketed  "New" Gillette Long slot blade (no serial #).
1930

A-J 1/2/3/4 
(Letter=year, number=quarter of year).
Only DeLuxe models were serial #'d, starting 1-D

134 NEW 134: New Gillette (takes slotted blade) "De Luxe" Kroman stainless steel blade introduced/ discont'd.
Year letter/ number code introduced.
1931 B
No more razor serial #'s to 1951
134/148/154 
160/162/164/170/175
  148/154:short bar/two bar caps 
160/2/4/70/5: "Goodwill" types.
Handles:  ball end and new bar end.
Blue blade (plain slot and diamonds) introduced.
Blades get 2x crosshatch
1932 C 134/160   160: Standard Goodwill/solid cap Blades get 4x crosshatch
1933 D 134/160     "New" blade discontinued.
Blade corners notched.
1934 E 134/160/TTO
(TTO=Twist To Open )
GEN. 1 TTO Aristocrat One-Piece TTO with Bulldog handle & comb guard.  
1935 F 134/160/TTO      
1936 G 134/TTO      
1937 H 134/TTO   Sheraton TTO (gold, open comb)  
1938 I 134/TTO   Senator TTO (nickel, open comb)
Thin blade introduced in Red/ Black wrapper.
1939 J 134/TTO/Tech TECH  Tech intro'd with triangle guard slots.  
1940
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K-U 134/TTO/Tech   Regent Tech TTO  
1941 L 134/TTO/Tech   Milord TTO (bar guard version of Sheraton)  
1942 M Tech   War production only  Blade  "tick marks" denote Side I/ Side II
1943 N Tech   War production only Limited civilian prod'n 
1944 O Tech   War production only Camoflage blade for military use.
1945 P Tech   War production mostly  
1946 R TTO/Tech    Full civilian production resumes.  Thin Blade black and white wrapper red print.
1947 S TTO/Tech GEN. 2 TTO "SuperSpeed" replaces Senator. "Rocket" in Canada and UK.  Center bars get notched July 
1948 T TTO/Tech   "Improved" TTO's notched for blade dispenser Cream plastic blade dispenser
1949 U TTO/Tech   First plastic case: red/ clear styrene.  
1950
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V-E TTO/Tech      Blue plastic blade dispenser
1951 W 1/2/3/4
(Yr. letter code plus quarter of year)
TTO/Tech   Razors get date codes (year & 1/4)  
1952 X TTO/Tech   Tech gets parallel slots  
1953 Y TTO/Tech   Executive: heavy rhodium handle  
1954 Z TTO/Tech   Colored TTO knobs for blade angle.  
1955 A TTO/Tech      
1956 B ADJUST/TTO/Tech GEN. 1 ADJUSTABLE  Limited Release of the Toggle  
1957 C ADJUST/TTO/Tech      
1958 D ADJUST/TTO/Tech   "Adjustable" Dial TTO. TV Special this year only. Limited nickle toggle run.  Super Blue Blade (silicone coated).
1959 E ADJUST/TTO/Tech    Adjustable TTO: short thick handle  
1960
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F-O ADJUST/TTO/Tech   Toggle Adjustable produced.   
1961 G ADJUST/TTO/Tech      
1962 H ADJUST/TTO/Tech      Last year for the Thin Blade? (H2)
1963 I ADJUST/TTO/Tech   Lady Gillette TTO. 
Men's Adjustable gets long thin handle.
Stainless Steel Blade. 
1964 J ADJUST/TTO/Tech   Tech notched guard ends  
1965 K TTO/Tech/Techmatic GEN. 1 CARTRIDGE
"Techmatic" Band Blade Razor
Super Stainless Steel Blade. Techmatic Band Cartridges.
1966  L TTO/Tech/Techmatic      
1967 M TTO/Tech/Techmatic      
1968 N TTO/Knack/Tech/Techmatic   Knack (SlimTwist in UK & Canada) knob under head.
"Orbiter 4000" electric Band razor
Plus DE Blade. Super Stainless Injector Blade.
1969 O TTO/Knack/Tech/Techmatic GEN. 2 ADJUSTABLE TTO black handles (long and short), 
"Super Adjustable"
 
1970
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P-Z TTO/Knack/Tech      Platinum-Plus DE Blade. Last year for Blue Blade?
1971 R TTO/Knack/Tech/TracII GEN. 2 CARTRIDGE  "TracII" introduced  TracII slide-on Cartridge
1972
S
 TTO/DE/Tech/TracII    Knack becomes "Double Edge" (DE)?  
1973
T
TTO/DE/Tech/TracII
  TracII introduced as "GII" outside North America. Tech prod'n ends in US.  "Twinjector" twinned injector blades.
1974
U
TTO/DE/TracII
     
1975
V
DE/TracII/Dispo
  "Daisy" disposible for Ladies  
1976
 W
DE/TracII/Dispo
  "Good News" disposible for men.  
1977
 X
DE/TracII/Atra/Dispo
  "Atra" introduced Atra clip-on pivoting cartridge
1978
 Y
DE/TracII/Atra/Dispo
  Atra for Women  
1979
 Z
DE/TracII/Atra/Dispo
     
1980's
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 A-J
DE/TracII/Atra/Dispo
   "Swivel" disposible in 1980

 

1981 B        
1982 C        
1983 D TTO/DE   Super-Speed TTO production ends? D2  
1984 E        
1985 F DE/TracII/Atra/Dispo   Trac II and Atra "Plus"
Good News "Pivot Plus" and Daisy Plus disposibles.
Trac II & Atra Plus cartridges: "plus" = lubricating aloe strip
1986
G
       
1987
H
       
1988
I
       
1989
J
DE/TracII/Atra/Dispo
     
1990's
back to top
K-U
DE/TracII/Atra/Dispo/Sensor    "Sensor" for Men introduced in 1990  Sensor pivoting cartridge, with flexible twin blades.
1992
M
DE/TracII/Atra/Dispo/Sensor
  "Sensor" for Women  
1993
N
DE/TracII/Atra/Dispo/Sensor
  Sensor Excel Sensor cartridge with aloe strip
1998
T
TracII/Atra/Dispo/Sensor/ 
Mach3
  "Mach3" for Men introduced. DE production ends.  Mach3 triple blade cartridge. 
2000's
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V-E
TracII/Atra/Dispo/Sensor/ 
Mach3
    DE Blades still available.
2001
W
TracII/Atra/Dispo/Sensor/ 
Mach3
  Venus for Women, Mach3 style razor.
Mach3 "Cool Blue"
Venus for Women triple blade cartridge.
etc.
 
 TO
BE 
 
CONTINUED 
 .......

Much of the information on this page has been extracted from the excellent books: "Safety Razor Reference Guide" by Robert K. Waits, and "The Complete Gillette Collector's Handbook" and Collector's Guide to American Razor Blades" by Phillip L. Krumholz. My thanks to both authors!

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