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Gillette, King Camp (05 January 1855–09 July 1932), inventor and social theorist, was born in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, the son of George Wolcott Gillette, a hardware wholesaler, and Fanny Lemira Camp, later the author of the bestselling White House Cookbook. Shortly before the Civil War the family moved to Chicago, where he graduated from high school. Gillette clerked in a hardware store and then became a traveling salesman. Like his father and two older brothers, he delighted in inventive tinkering, and in 1879 he was granted his first patent, for a water-faucet component. In 1890 he married Atlanta Ella Gaines; they had one son....

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Nestle, Charles (02 May 1872–22 January 1951), creator of permanent waving devices for human hair, was born Karl Ludwig Nessler, in Todtnau, Bavaria, the son of Bartholomew Nessler, a shoemaker, and Rosina Laitner. For some unknown reason, the vagaries of hair fascinated Nestle as a young man. He invested long hours in the study of its properties. This youthful interest led Nestle to work briefly in a neighboring village as a barber’s apprentice. Not long after, he traversed the border into nearby Switzerland to work successive jobs in small electric appliance and watch parts firms. Although he developed solid knowledge of simple mechanics and electric motors and equipment, Nestle soon tired of factory work and followed his early interest in hair to salons, where he learned to cut it and wave it, while closely studying its properties....