The Origin of Levi's

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

Levi's were working people's pants for their first 75 years. Then, in 1935, an advertisement featuring two high-society women wearing skintight jeans ran in Vogue magazine. The reaction was so great that jeans became all the rage. Jitterbugging teenagers started wearing them with the cuffs rolled up, and they've been fashionable ever since.
*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!

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Levis today are garbage like every other "product" that links inself to "Americana" - they are not made here in America - they are manufactured with inferior materials, they don't last at all, they are expensive and in short, are a joke. A disgrace is more like it....
Cheers suckers !!!!
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Blue jeans are American.
but Apple Pie originated in Europe actually. the saying that apple pie is American. actually means that it was imported and made to look as part of Americana.
except for the Dolgo crabapple. most apples are actually a European species.
and since it was a poor man's pants prior to the Great Depression. it became the pants to wear due to it's cheapness.
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I'm not so sure about how true it is that Levi's became all the rage during the mid-1930s and have been fashionable ever since. I think it was more like the mid-to-late 1950s before Levi's became fashionable.
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