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Object Highlight: Colonial Shaving Set

Researched and written by Rachel Rabinowitz, Collections Manager and Visitor Services Coordinator, Claire Goode, Living History Specialist, and Teresa Marcus, Community Engagement Coordinator

Let's talk colonial shaving in this object highlight video! Watch the whole series.


In the 18th Century, men were expected to be clean shaven and wear their hair long, in a que (ponytail or braid), or don a wig.

In 1762, Jean-Jacques Perret invented the Perret razor. With its very sharp blade and wooden handle it was considered the first safety razor. The following decade, he published a treatise on how to shave.

Pictured above, from left to right, is the shaving brush, basin, and finally the razor itself.

Shaving brush with ivory handle (1982.21.6), Razor (1982.21.5), Basin (1986.04). All items were gifts of the London Town Publik House Assembly.

For More Information

Learn more at the resources below:

Perret's Art of Shaving

From Mount Vernon:

From Jamestown

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