March 22, 2013

The Same Thing Only Different: Levis from 1890 to 1978

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After the Civil War, companies like Carhartt, Eloesser-Heynemann, and OshKosh

slung cotton coveralls to miners, railroad men, and factory workers. A Bavarian immigrant named Levi Strauss set up shop in San Francisco selling fabric and work-wear. Jacob Davis, an entrepreneurial Reno tailor, bought Strauss’s denim to make workingman’s pants, and added metal rivets to prevent the seams from ripping open. Davis sent two samples of his riveted pants to Strauss, and they patented the innovation together. Soon after, Davis joined Strauss in San Francisco to oversee production in a new factory. In 1890, Strauss assigned the ID number of 501 to their riveted denim “waist overalls.” The Levi’s 501 blue jean—which would become the best-selling garment in human history—was born. -- De Nimes | VICE United States

Posted by gerardvanderleun at March 22, 2013 1:37 PM
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