It is manifestly true that no one — previous to the Gillette invention — had conceived the idea of producing a blade in which the purpose in view was to produce a blade that would be so cheap to manufacture that its cost to the consumer would permit of its being discarded when dull, thus avoiding the annoyance and difficulties of stropping and honing. Furthermore, it was true up to the time that the Gillette razor went on the market that there were hundreds of thousands of men who did not shave themselves, for the reason that they could not keep a razor in condition — they had not the knack or mechanical skill to strop and hone a razor, and there being no razor on the market that was of such low cost as to permit of the blade being discarded when dull and a new one substituted, they were obliged to be content to go to the barber, which involved large expense, annoyance and loss of time. It is to this fact that I the inventor attribute in large measure the instantaneous success of my razor, which success has few parallels in the history of invention. If the invention of this blade per se, could be considered in no other light than its having met the necessities of this large number of men who had never been able to afford the luxury of shaving themselves before, it must be conceded to be of the highest class of invention as would be the case if someone were to invent a machine to fly that would make it absolutely safe for anyone to use, where theretofore only experts [were able] to use [the] machines, and then only at great risk.
Quoted in King C. Gillette: The Man and His Wonderful Shaving Device, by Russell Adams (Little, Brown and Company, 1978).