Since May 4th, also known as Taft day, no other president has sported facial hair in over 100 years. John Quincy Adams was known as the first president to have facial hair and then later Abraham Lincoln as suggested by Grace Bedell. Since Taft, facial hair has been frowned upon because of sanitation (TB) and stereotypes with feminism. Apart from thirteen presidents, four have an interesting backstory in the world of shaving. These four include Woodrow Wilson, Lyndon B. Johnson, Ronald Regan, and John F. Kennedy.
There is not a lot we know about Woodrow Wilson and wet shaving. The safety razor was invented in 1903 so Wilson may still have been using a straight. What we do know is that his son-in-law and secretary of the treasury invented his own razor the McAdoo’s razor by William Gibbs McAdoo. The razor was patented in 1934 but unfortunately was discontinued because of his fear of a lawsuit by Gillette in 1937.
Lyndon B. Johnson was an odd bird. Johnson would open shops around town and stocked them with the trinkets he discovered. Of these were electric razors.
Like Johnson, Ronald Reagan, also had an interest in electric razors. Reagan not only used them to shave but from time to time he would cave in and receive a classic straight razor shave from his barber. Reagan must have had a great relationship with his barber because in the 1940’s he purchased a custom straight razor set for him. Even to this day, you can still receive this “presidential shave” from the barbershop.
Not only was John F. Kennedy an avid wet shaver but he was given a custom monogrammed safety razor from his family. The razor was later recovered in the U.S Embassy in London which was left behind in their move to the United States. After being sold in an antique shop, the razor set was finally sold and added to The American Heritage Collection.
So what are your thoughts? Do you think that the next president should learn to wet shave or be more rambunctious and grow facial hair? Who would you vote for?