When the gold rush broke out in California in 1848, adventurers came from all over the world. Löb Strauss, a German-Jewish immigrant, traveled west in 1853 to bring his family’s dry goods business to the bustling new hub of San Francisco.
Strauss established a dry goods shop called Levi Strauss & Co. (Löb had adopted Levi as his first name) where the gold-diggers could buy clothes, tents and tools. In 1872, a customer named Jacob Davis, who was a tailor in Nevada, wrote to him with the idea to reinforce his pants with rivets. The two men jointly applied for a patent and soon after produced a pair of robust denim pants with copper rivets at the stress points: the first pair of blue jeans.
For years to come, blue jeans were nothing more than work pants used in the California mines and other rigorous labor. But in the 1920s, tourists started arriving to the new holiday resorts established in California. They brought pairs...
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