This Day in History: Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis receive patent for blue jeans
Thursday, 20 May 2021
On 20 May 1873, Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis received the patent for blue jeans.
Strauss shared the patent for the “Improvement in Fastening Pocket-Openings” with Jacob Davis, a tailor.
Hailing from San Francisco, Strauss was well-known as a wholesale dry goods businessman. He had recently started importing fabric and clothing to meet the demand of gold miners and other settlers during the California gold rush.
The “work pants” were an invention of Davis, who used metal rivets at stress points to make them stronger. Davis needed Strauss to fund the paperwork for the patent.
Originally known as “waist overalls,” the new jeans quickly took off in the U.S, and by the 1920s, they were the top-selling work pants.