20 May 2008

Blue Jean Baby

Oldest Original Blue Jeans

On May 20 in 1873 Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis received the patent for blue jeans to create work pants reinforced with metal rivets, marking the birth of what is probably the single most worn garment in the world.

Loeb Strauss had immigrated from Germany to New York with his family in 1847 following the death of his father. The family established a garment business in New York, but he changed his name to Levi and in early 1853, Levi Strauss went west to seek his fortune during the Gold Rush by establishing a dry goods business in San Francisco. His new business imported clothing, fabric and other dry goods to sell in the small stores opening all over California and other Western states to supply the communities of gold miners and other settlers.

Jacob Davis, a tailor in Reno, Nevada, was one of Levi Strauss' regular customers. In 1872, he wrote a letter to Strauss about his method of making work pants with metal rivets on the stress points--at the corners of the pockets and the base of the button fly--to make them stronger. As Davis didn't have the money for the necessary paperwork, he suggested that Strauss provide the funds and that the two men get the patent together.

Since then blue jeans have been bejeweled, embroidered, worn while sitting in a bathtub of cold water to get "the fit", produce in low riders, hip huggers, bell bottoms, straight leg, and saddle back. Virtually everyone under the age of 90 has some version of this clothing staple that can be worn with diamonds and spike heels to a pent house gathering or survive slogging through mud on a trail climb.

So what was your favorite pair of jeans and what did you do while wearing them?

Oh Don't I Wish : )

1 comment:

Travis said...

Levis are the original, but I love a good pair of Wranglers.