Blue jeans are as American as apple pie and bathroom reading. In fact, you might have a pair around your ankles right now.
(Image source: Levi Strauss & Co.)
Canvassing the Customers
In 1850-during the California Gold Rush-a 17-year-old German-Jewish immigrant named Levi Strauss moved from New York City to San Francisco to sell dry good to the miners.
*He tried to sell canvas to them for their tents, but found little interest i it. So he made pants out of the material instead.
*The miners loved them. Although the pants weren't particularly comfortable, they were the first ones durable enough to withstand the miners' rugged living conditions.
*People nicknamed the pants Levi's, after their creator.
A Riveting Experience
In the early 1860s, Levi Strauss began using denim in his pants. It was still tough, but it was softer and more comfortable than canvas.
*He also found that when the denim pants were dyed an indigo blue, they wouldn't show soil and stains as much. Miners appreciated this, and Levi's became even more popular.
*Meanwhile, miners found that carrying heavy tools in their pockets often ripped the pants at the seams.
* A Nevada tailor named Jacob Davis solved that problem for his customers by securing each pocket seam with a rivet. It worked so well, in fact, that David wrote to Levi Strauss offering to sell him the idea. Strauss took him up on it; copper rivets first appeared on Levi's in 1873. They became a hallmark of the company's product. (Image credit: Flicker user thinkjose)
Levi's Middle-Age Spread
*Meanwhile, the Levi Strauss Company branched out into manufacturing other items as well as blue jeans... and by 1970 it had become the largest clothing manufacturer in the world.
(Image credit: Flickr user Troy Holden)________________________________
The article above is reprinted with permission from The Best of Uncle John's Bathroom Reader.
Since 1988, the Bathroom Reader Institute had published a series of popular books containing irresistible bits of trivia and obscure yet fascinating facts.
If you like Neatorama, you'll love the Bathroom Reader Institute's books - go ahead and check 'em out!