During the course of recorded history going back to ancient Egypt, men have felt cultural pressures to shave their facial hair. For centuries, their only recourse was the straight razor, which provided a close shave but had to be handled carefully to avoid cuts. Early this month 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. The electric razor was introduced in 1930, but old ways persist. In the U.S. today, eight manufacturers produce razors and disposable blades and cartridges in a $2 billion a year industry. You can find more facts about America’s people, places and economy, from the American Community Survey, at <www.census.gov>.