Gillette introduced his shaving system in 1901. By the end of WWI in 1919, the act of shaving had been completely transformed in the United States. Beards were out and the clean-shaven look was nearly required of all men.
Then, in 1928, the act of shaving was re-conceptualized again by a man named Jacob Schick. Schick got his start in the shaving business by inventing a system for loading a razor with a new blade without ever touching the blade (the forerunner of "injector" razors). But Schick's ultimate goal was to eliminate the shaving cream and water altogether and create a dry shaving system. To do this, Schick invented the electric razor.
Schick's first problem was a creative one -- he had to "see" shaving in a completely different way. Up until the time Schick invented his shaver, shaving had always been done with a blade that slices. The blade has to be sharp enough to slice off the hair in the same way that a knife slices through a stick of butter. Schick's electric razor, on the other hand, would use the same concept behind a pair of scissors. The hair is actually sheered off.