1917 Seventy-five Years Ago

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If the magazines were to be believed, the big going-away gift for November was a safety razor. The Autostrop (“the only razor that sharpens its own blades”) was now offered in a “New Military Kit” of black leather, pigskin, or khaki and complete with a trench mirror. Twelve blades should guarantee “500 clean, comfortable shaves” to the average soldier. The Autostrop’s competitors also made sure to picture grinning doughboys in their advertisements; the Gem Damaskeene razor showed a soldier by a campfire remembering his genie-girl as he held his blade.

Statutes now outlawed so-called glare lights on automobiles in twenty-two states, and headlight beams no longer were to “reach the eye” or shine higher than forty-two inches above the ground. The makers of the Warner-Lenz held out hope to the driver: “When only city laws forbade glare, dimmers could comply.… But on dark roads these quelled lights will not do.… The Warner-Lenz sheds no direct beams,” and “its appeal is resistless. One ride behind the Warner-Lenz and you will never drive without them.” Your car could be fitted out with a pair of Lenzes for $3.50 to $5 and soon spread a “soft and mellow” light.