The History & Evolution of Shaving
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The History & Evolution of Shaving

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The following content is sponsored by Henson Shaving

The History & Evolution of Shaving

The art of shaving is a timeless practice.

The average person spends 3,000 hours of their life shaving, roughly the equivalent of one-third of an entire calendar year. But do you know how shaving came to be?

This infographic from our sponsor Henson Shaving looks at the history and evolution of shaving, from ancient times to the present day.

A Timeline of Shaves

The rich history of shaving starts back in 3,000 BC. Let’s dive in.

Ancient Egypt

3,000 – 332 BC: In Ancient Egypt, shaving was associated with status, wealth, and one’s standing in society. The appearance of facial hair implied that a person didn’t have enough money to visit a barber frequently. Albeit to a lesser degree, this way of thinking has bled into the 21st century, in that a clean shaven face is now associated with professionalism and success.

Alexander the Great

356 – 323 BC: In Ancient Greece, beards were the norm in society as people looked to the likes of Plato and Socrates.

Alexander the Great, however, was a trend setter and disrupted this status quo by practicing the clean shave. He became the first Greek ruler to have done so. In fact, he pointed out that a man’s beard could be grabbed easily, putting soldiers at a disadvantage during military combat. He therefore mandated his army shave their faces before battle.

Julius Caesar

100 – 44 BC: Appearances had a big part to play in Roman Republic, beards were seen as barbaric and “un-Roman”.

Julius Caesar, known for being fashion-forward and wearing a “loosely belted” toga, also plucked out his beard hairs, creating a trend that many Roman men followed. Emperor Augustus Caesar, who Julius was an uncle to, also shaved daily.

Shaving even had a spiritual component to it in Roman society. The first facial hairs of a young man were cut off and offered to the gods for blessing and good fortune. Celebrations and parties would ensue shortly after.

When we fast forward to the 18th century, major developments were made by what could best be described as the founding fathers of modern shaving.

Jean-Jacques Perret

1762: Jean-Jacques Perret, a Frenchman from Paris, designed the first model for a safety razor with a protective wooden safeguard attached to a regular straight razor. A safety razor is one with a protective device positioned between the edge of the blade and the skin, which results in less reliance on the steady hand and skill of a barber.

William Henson

1847: William Henson revolutionized shaving with the design of the modern T-handled razor, which has carried forward to this day. This design places the blade at right angles on top of the handle, which resembles a hoe gardening tool.

The Kampfe Brothers

1876: The Kampfe brothers are known for adding safety and efficacy improvements to Henson’s design though the star safety razor. They shortened the blade and set a frame from the handle by interposing a blade-holder, which quickly became popular.

King Camp Gillette

1900: King C. Gillette used the existing designs at the time to create disposable razor cartridges. This was a key event in shaving history as disposable razors still populate the market today.

World at War

1914-1945: During the wars, most armies required their soldiers to shave. Clean shaves helped with functionality, like ensuring a tight seal with gas masks and other face equipment. They also helped instill a culture of discipline, which militaries are typically known for.

Cartridge razors became the predominant style of razor during and after the First World War, when the U.S. Army began issuing Gillette shaving kits to its servicemen.

Post-War Era

After the two world wars, innovation in razor design came to somewhat of a halt. As patents began to expire, the shaving industry became increasingly corporatized.

This period in history of mass production, long assembly lines, and planned obsolescence has stretched to the present day, where people buy razors for a short period before replacing them.

The Present Day Shaving Landscape

Despite a rich history, the modern day shaving ecosystem is abundant with flaws. The market is flooded with cheap plastic cartridge razors and gimmicky marketing.

For instance, the number of blades on a razor has increased from one to up to five. However, there isn’t much data to suggest more blades results in a better shave. In fact, for many consumers, multiple-blades are a direct problem that results in ingrown hairs and razor burns.

A multi-blade razor cuts over the surface many times over, which is not suited for coarse hair or irritation prone skin. In particular, up to 30% of people experience some form of irritation from multi-blade cartridge razors. And for people of color who are more likely to have curly or coarse hairs, this figure can reach as high as 60%.

In addition, plastic cartridge razors contribute to the ongoing pollution crisis that society is facing.

How Henson Shaving is Revolutionizing the Game

The art of shaving has fallen off track during the last century. Fortunately, shavers around the world are beginning to change their ways, and are opting for quality over quantity, by choosing a Henson shave.

Henson Shaving is looking to disrupt the shaving industry by bucking the trends that have transpired over the last century. They have taken a 150-year-old idea and are executing on it with 21st century manufacturing and technology. Each razor’s precision results in tolerances thinner than one-third of a human hair. Other benefits include:

  • Timeliness, unique design
  • No plastic, 100% aluminum
  • Affordable blades
  • Better for the environment
  • Lifetime warranty

>>>Learn more about the last razor you’ll ever buy with Henson Shaving by clicking here now.

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The History of U.S. Energy Independence

This infographic traces the history of U.S. energy independence, showing the events that have shaped oil demand and imports over 150 years.

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history of U.S. energy independence

The History of U.S. Energy Independence

Energy independence has long been a part of America’s political history and foreign policy, especially since the 1970s.

Despite long being a leader in energy production, the U.S. has often still relied on oil imports to meet its growing needs. This “energy dependence” left the country and American consumers vulnerable to supply disruptions and oil price shocks.

The above infographic from Surge Battery Metals traces the history of U.S. energy independence, highlighting key events that shaped the country’s import reliance for oil. This is part one of three infographics in the Energy Independence Series.

How the U.S. Became Energy Dependent

Oil was first commercially drilled in the U.S. in 1859, when Colonel Edwin Drake developed an oil well in Titusville, Pennsylvania.

Twenty years later in 1880, the U.S. was responsible for 85% of global crude oil production and refining. But over the next century, the country became increasingly dependent on oil imports.

Here are some key events that affected America’s oil dependence and foreign policy during that time according to the Council on Foreign Relations:

  • 1908: Henry Ford invented the Model T, the world’s first mass-produced and affordable car.
  • 1914-1918: The U.S. began importing small quantities of oil from Mexico to meet the demands of World War I and domestic consumption.
  • 1942: In efforts to save gas and fuel for World War II, the Office of Defense Transportation implemented a national plan limiting driving speeds to 35 miles per hour.
  • 1943: President Roosevelt provided financial support to Saudi Arabia and declared Saudi oil critical to U.S. security.
  • 1950: With 40 million cars on the road, the U.S. became a net importer of oil bringing in around 500,000 barrels per day.
  • 1970: Twentieth century U.S. oil production peaked and President Nixon eased oil import quotas, allowing an additional 100,000 barrels per day in imports.

The U.S. economy’s increasing reliance on oil imports made it vulnerable to supply disruptions. For example, in 1973, in response to the U.S.’ support for Israel, Arab members of the OPEC imposed an embargo on oil exports to Western nations, creating the first “oil shock”. Oil prices nearly quadrupled, and American consumers felt the shock through long lineups at gas stations along with high inflation. Combined with rising unemployment rates and flattening wages, the increase in prices led to a period of stagflation.

Despite the energy crisis, U.S. oil production fell for decades, while the country met its increasing energy needs with oil from abroad.

The Rise and Fall of U.S. Oil Imports

Here’s how U.S. net imports of crude oil and petroleum products has evolved since 1950 in comparison with consumption and production. All figures are in millions of barrels per day (bpd).

YearConsumption (bpd)Production (bpd)Net imports (bpd)
19506.5M5.9M0.5M
19609.8M8.1M1.6M
197014.7M11.7M3.2M
198017.1M10.8M6.4M
199017.0M9.6M7.2M
200019.7M8.7M10.4M
201019.2M9.5M9.4M
202119.8M18.7M-0.2M

Net oil imports quadrupled between 1960 and 1980, marking the two biggest decadal jumps. Given that production was falling while consumption was booming, it’s clear why the U.S. needed to rely on imports.

Imports peaked in 2005, with net imports accounting for a record 60% of domestic consumption. Both imports and consumption fell in the years that followed. In 2009, for the first time since 1970, U.S. oil production increased thanks to the shale boom. It ascended until 2019 to make the U.S. the world’s largest oil producer.

As of 2021, the U.S. was a net exporter of refined petroleum products and hydrocarbon liquids but remained a net importer of crude oil.

The New Era of Energy

Oil and fossil fuels have long played a central role in the global energy mix. The U.S.’ reliance on other countries for oil made it energy-dependent, exposing American gas consumers to geopolitical shocks and volatile oil prices.

Today, the global energy shift away from fossil fuels towards cleaner sources of generation offers a new opportunity to use lessons from the past. By securing the raw materials needed to enable the energy transition, the U.S. can build a clean energy future independent of foreign sources.

In the next part of the Energy Independence Series sponsored by Surge Battery Metals, we will explore the New Era of Energy and the role of electric vehicles and renewables in the ongoing energy transition.

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Ranked: Emissions per Capita of the Top 30 U.S. Investor-Owned Utilities

Roughly 25% of all GHG emissions come from electricity production. See how the top 30 IOUs rank by emissions per capita.

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Emissions per Capita of the Top 30 U.S. Investor-Owned Utilities

Approximately 25% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) come from electricity generation.

Subsequently, this means investor-owned utilities (IOUs) will have a crucial role to play around carbon reduction initiatives. This is particularly true for the top 30 IOUs, where almost 75% of utility customers get their electricity from.

This infographic from the National Public Utilities Council ranks the largest IOUs by emissions per capita. By accounting for the varying customer bases they serve, we get a more accurate look at their green energy practices. Here’s how they line up.

Per Capita Rankings

The emissions per capita rankings for the top 30 investor-owned utilities have large disparities from one another.

Totals range from a high of 25.8 tons of CO2 per customer annually to a low of 0.5 tons.

UtilityEmissions Per Capita (CO2 tons per year)Total Emissions (M)
TransAlta25.816.3
Vistra22.497.0
OGE Energy21.518.2
AES Corporation19.849.9
Southern Company18.077.8
Evergy14.623.6
Alliant Energy14.414.1
DTE Energy14.229.0
Berkshire Hathaway Energy14.057.2
Entergy13.840.5
WEC Energy13.522.2
Ameren12.831.6
Duke Energy12.096.6
Xcel Energy11.943.3
Dominion Energy11.037.8
Emera11.016.6
PNM Resources10.55.6
PPL Corporation10.428.7
American Electric Power9.250.9
Consumers Energy8.716.1
NRG Energy8.229.8
Florida Power and Light8.041.0
Portland General Electric7.66.9
Fortis Inc.6.112.6
Avangrid5.111.6
PSEG3.99.0
Exelon3.834.0
Consolidated Edison1.66.3
Pacific Gas and Electric0.52.6
Next Era Energy Resources01.1

PNM Resources data is from 2019, all other data is as of 2020

Let’s start by looking at the higher scoring IOUs.

TransAlta

TransAlta emits 25.8 tons of CO2 emissions per customer, the largest of any utility on a per capita basis. Altogether, the company’s 630,000 customers emit 16.3 million metric tons. On a recent earnings call, its management discussed clear intent to phase out coal and grow their renewables mix by doubling their renewables fleet. And so far it appears they’ve been making good on their promise, having shut down the Canadian Highvale coal mine recently.

Vistra

Vistra had the highest total emissions at 97 million tons of CO2 per year and is almost exclusively a coal and gas generator. However, the company announced plans for 60% reductions in CO2 emissions by 2030 and is striving to be carbon neutral by 2050. As the highest total emitter, this transition would make a noticeable impact on total utility emissions if successful.

Currently, based on their 4.3 million customers, Vistra sees per capita emissions of 22.4 tons a year. The utility is a key electricity provider for Texas, ad here’s how their electricity mix compares to that of the state as a whole:

Energy SourceVistraState of Texas
Gas63%52%
Coal29%15%
Nuclear6%9%
Renewables1%24%
Oil1%0%

Despite their ambitious green energy pledges, for now only 1% of Vistra’s electricity comes from renewables compared to 24% for Texas, where wind energy is prospering.

Based on those scores, the average customer from some of the highest emitting utility groups emit about the same as a customer from each of the bottom seven, who clearly have greener energy practices. Let’s take a closer look at emissions for some of the bottom scoring entities.

Utilities With The Greenest Energy Practices

Groups with the lowest carbon emission scores are in many ways leaders on the path towards a greener future.

Exelon

Exelon emits only 3.8 tons of CO2 emissions per capita annually and is one of the top clean power generators across the Americas. In the last decade they’ve reduced their GHG emissions by 18 million metric tons, and have recently teamed up with the state of Illinois through the Clean Energy Jobs Act. Through this, Exelon will receive $700 million in subsidies as it phases out coal and gas plants to meet 2030 and 2045 targets.

Consolidated Edison

Consolidated Edison serves nearly 4 million customers with a large chunk coming from New York state. Altogether, they emit 1.6 tons of CO2 emissions per capita from their electricity generation.

The utility group is making notable strides towards a sustainable future by expanding its renewable projects and testing higher capacity limits. In addition, they are often praised for their financial management and carry the title of dividend aristocrat, having increased their dividend for 47 years and counting. In fact, this is the longest out of any utility company in the S&P 500.

A Sustainable Tomorrow

Altogether, utilities will have a pivotal role to play in decarbonization efforts. This is particularly true for the top 30 U.S. IOUs, who serve millions of Americans.

Ultimately, this means a unique moment for utilities is emerging. As the transition toward cleaner energy continues and various groups push to achieve their goals, all eyes will be on utilities to deliver.

The National Public Utilities Council is the go-to resource to learn how utilities can lead in the path towards decarbonization.

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