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    Fashion History Classics: Who invented the Blue Jeans?

    The blue jeans were invented by the Nevada tailor Jacob Davis and the German immigrant and businessman Levi Strauss in 1873. As a 24 year old, Levi Strauss came to San Francisco in 1853 to open a west coast branch of his brothers’ New York dry goods business. One of Levi’s customers was a tailor named Jacob Davis, who regularly purchased bolts of cloth from the wholesale house of Levi Strauss & Co. Davis had the idea of putting metal rivets at the points of strain for strength, such as on the pocket corners and at the base of the button fly due to a difficult customer who kept ripping the pockets of the pants that he made for him. His invention was an instant hit for Davis’s customer, that’s why he applied for a patent on his idea. Since he didn’t have the $68,- that was required to file the papers, he needed a business partner. Davis immediately thought of Levi Strauss. On May 20th 1873, the two men received patent No.139 121 from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. That day is now considered to be the official “birthday” of the blue jeans.

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    With the patent secured, Levi hired Jacob Davis to oversee production of the riveted pants at the Levi Strauss & Co. San Francisco plant. Davis was in charge of manufacturing when Levi’s opened its two San Francisco factories. Levi also had the canvas made into waist overalls which was the traditional name for work pants and that is what these first jeans were called. Miners liked the pants but complained that they tended to chafe.

    Levi Strauss substituted a twilled cotton cloth from France called “serge de Nimes.” The fabric later became known as denim, due to the French town of ‘de Nîmes’ and the pants were nicknamed blue jeans.

    The word jeans became more popular around 1960 when the baby-boom generation adopted the term for its favorite type of pants, blue jeans. The two-horse brand design was first used in 1886. The red tab attached to the left rear pocket was created in 1936 as a means of identifying Levi’s jeans at a distance. All are registered trademarks that are still in use.

    Related Articles:
    1_Fashion Styleguide: Men’s blue jeans
    2_Denim in speakfashion’s fashion dictionary
    3_Fashion Classics in speakfashion’s fashion history


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    Ein Kommentar zu “Fashion History Classics: Who invented the Blue Jeans?”

    1. Joanna Zornes sagt:

      Very interesting idea about the fashion inventions!