WHAT HAPPENED ON - 20 May

May 20 1873 – Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis Receive Patent for Blue Jeans

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May 20 1873 – Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis Receive Patent for Blue Jeans
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Bavaria-born, San Francisco businessman Levi Strauss and a tailor from Reno, Nevada, Jacob Davis received the patent to create work pants reinforced with metal rivets on May 20, 1873. The two then set out to create what would become one of the most famous and best-loved garments across the world – the blue jeans.

Loeb Strauss was born in the Buttenheim region of Bavaria, in 1829. When the Strauss family immigrated to the US, young Loeb landed in New York in 1847 to join his brothers Jonas and Louis. The death of his father had left Loeb in charge of the family. By 1850, the young man had changed his name to Levi and went to work in the family dry goods business – J. Strauss Brother & Co. By 1853, Levi Strauss secured an American citizenship but started to get restless. An ambitious man, he believed that his fortunes lay in the west where the heady Gold Rush had started to attract people from all parts of the country and beyond.

Initially reluctant to change his occupation, Levi Strauss established a West Coast branch of his family’s wholesale dry goods business in San Francisco under his own name. His family also supported the idea of him acting as the firm’s representative in a quickly expanding western market. Gold miners and fortune seekers poured into California and other western states and stores selling fabric, clothing, and other dry goods mushroomed all over the west. Strauss worked hard and became the principal supplier for most of the stores. When Strauss had initially reached the west coast, he realized that the item that was always short in supply was enduring work pants …(Read more)

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