Weird Facts about
Barbasol® Shaving Cream

  • Barbasol is a combination of the Roman word barba (meaning beard, and the origin of the word barber) and the English word solution, denoting the shaving cream is the same solution used by barbers. The stripes on the can evoke the familiarity of barbershop-pole stripes.
  • In 1920, Frank B. Shields, a former chemistry instructor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who had founded the Napco Corporation in Indianapolis to make vegetable glue, developed the formula for Barbasol, one of the first brushless shaving creams on the market. The white cream in a tube providing a quick, smooth shave immediately won the allegiance of thousands, eliminating the drudgery of having to lather up shaving soap in a mug with a shaving brush and then rubbing it onto the face.
  • When the original Barbasol factory and offices were both located in a small second-floor room in downtown Indianapolis, the tubes were filled, clipped, and packaged by hand. At the most, only thirty or forty gross made up an entire day's production schedule.
  • Barbasol was widely advertised on early radio by musical performers—most memorably Harry "Singin' Sam" Frankel—and by the catchy jingle: "Barbasol, Barbasol . . . No brush, no lather, no rub-in . . . Wet your razor, then begin."
  • A typical shave will cut about 20,000 to 25,000 facial hairs.
  • Company founder Frank Shields developed Barbasol especially for men with tough beards and tender skins because he had both of those shaving problems.
  • During the 1920s, Barbasol was endorsed by Knute Rockne, Florenz Ziegfield, and other celebrities of the day.
  • The depression had practically no effect upon the Barbasol Company because shaving cream was not a luxury.
  • In the 1936 Indianapolis 500, Barbasol sponsored the Barbasol Special #12, painted to look like a tube of Barbasol Brushless Shaving Cream. The car finished 21st after crashing in the main stretch in the 119th lap of the 200 lap race. Today, Barbasol sponsors a NASCAR team.
  • A 1937 advertisement for Barbasol read, "Barbasol does to your face what it takes to make the ladies want to touch it."
  • Shaving in the shower wastes an average of 10 to 35 gallons of water. To conserve water, fill the sink basin with an inch of water and vigorously rinse your razor often in the water after every second or third stroke.
  • A typical razor blade today is good for about ten shaves.
  • Among the 90 percent of males who shave, roughly 30 percent use electric razors.
  • Shaving daily with a wet razor exfoliates the beard area of the face, loosening and removing the top layer of skin cells, which is believed to help the skin retain its vitality and youthful appearance.
  • According to archaeologists, men shaved their faces as far back as the Stone Age—20,000 years ago. Prehistoric men shaved with clam shells, shark teeth, sharpened pieces of flint, and knives.
  • Ancient Egyptians shaved their faces and heads during hand-to-hand combat so the enemy had less to grab. Archaeologists have discovered gold and copper razors in Egyptian tombs dating back to the fourth century B.C.E.
  • The longest beard, according to The Guinness Book of Records, measured 17.5 feet long and was presented to the Smithsonian Institute in 1967.
  • Aerosol cans to deliver shaving cream were introduced in the mid-1950s.
  • Shave gels, which turn to foam after being worked into the beard, were introduced in the late 1970s.
  • The first shaving creams specifically targeted to women were introduced in 1986.
  • Seventy percent of women rate clean-shaven men as sexy.

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