July 18, 2006

Famous Deaths in Shaving History

Here's something they probably didn't teach you in school - a fatal shaving accident lead to one of the finest works of American literature. Henry David Thoreau and his brother John were very close, and took many trips together, often exploring the New England region. When his was 25,

...his brother [John] cut himself shaving in the winter of 1841 and caught lockjaw. He died in Thoreau's arms. For weeks after his brother's death, Thoreau couldn't write in his journal, or even talk to his family and friends. For a brief period, he even experienced all the symptoms of lockjaw himself.

(from The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor.)

Ralph Waldo Emerson, a family friend, suggested Thoreau spend some time on his land in Concord near Waldon Pond and deal with his grief. They rest, as they say, is literary history.

So what have we learned from this? Well, I'm sure we're all thankful for the invention of the safety razor, which came into existence in the late 1880s through the ingenuity of the Kampfe Brothers. And secondly, if you've got a bad case of writer's block, consider giving your brother a crappy razor for his birthday.

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Posted by Russell Neufeld at July 18, 2006 8:07 AM
Recent Comments

Check out David Hasselhoff's shaving incident:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0607010046jul01,1,6115494.story?coll=chi-newsnationworld-hed


Posted by: Anonymoose at July 19, 2006 9:44 AM
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