Levi Strauss and His World Changing Invention
“Levi”, when most people hear that name they think of blue jeans, but most people don’t know the story of Levi Strauss; one of the most iconic blue jean producers around the world. Levi Strauss invented the first pair of blue jeans, he was one of the most innovative inventors of the Nineteenth century who took advantage of a situation he saw, and his idea and invention is still important today.
May 20, 1873 was the day a patent from the U.S. was issued allowing Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis to place rivets on work pants for the first time (Our Story). The idea to place rivets on jeans first came from Jacob. He was going to patent the idea himself, but his wife told him not to waste the money again. So he sold the idea to Levi and received sixty-eight dollars for it (Our Story). This was an important step for work pants because when the gold miner would put diamonds or gold nuggets in their pockets they would tear the seam (Henry, Taitz 60). Placing rivets on the pockets helped to keep them sturdy. Also the pants had a policy with them reading “It’s no use they can’t be ripped,” which they rarely did (Our Story). The rivets were placed where the seams meet so it reinforced the seams of the pocket preventing them from tearing away from the pants. At this time interest in the gold rush was growing and many men greatly appreciated the riveted pockets because they did not have to spend more money to continually buy new pants. Levis’ pants were the most widely used pants in California in the 1880s. For many years the pants were continuously used by working men in the field such as for the gold rush.
Before Levi Strauss invented blue jeans in California he lived in Bavaria, a small village in Germany during the 1840’s (Our Story). Levi was born Loeb Strauss on February 26, 1829 and lived with his six siblings and mom after their first mother died in 1822. Four children Jacob, Jonas, Lippman, and Maila were children of the first mother (Henry, Taitz 30). Levi and Vogela were born after the father; Hirsch Strauss remarried to Rebekka Haas. He was raised in a Jewish community. Eighteen year old Levi, his mother Rebekka, and two of his siblings; Maila and Vogela, took a boat to New York; many people spent all their money on the boat hoping to find work in America (Henry, Taitz 10). When Levi was nineteen he moved to Kentucky, but before he could peddle there he had to pick out supplies to sell to farmers and woodsmen, then after seven years in Kentucky he move to peddle in San Francisco. When he went to San Francisco he brought needed supplies such as: needles, threads, scissors, and other sewing supplies and rolls of canvas. Everything but the canvas sold, people still tell stories about them. When offering off his last merchandise for sale he was told “Should ‘a brought pants. Pants don’t wear worth a hoot in the diggin’s” (Henry, Taitz...