The Invention of Blue Jeans

By: Lexi Glowacki and Amanda Argueta

How They Became Invented

In 1853, Levi Strauss left New York for San Francisco with a small supply of dry goods with the intention of opening a branch in his brother's dry goods business. Shortly after he arrived, a prospector stopped him and asked him what he was selling. Levi answered that he was selling rough canvas for wagon covers and tents. The prospector said, "You should have brought pants!", meaning he couldn't find a pair strong enough to last. Levi Strauss made them into overalls. Miners liked them but complained that they were a little uncomfortable. Levi then substituted the fabric for a new twilled cotton cloth. The fabric later became known as denim.

Levi Strauss & Company

In 1873, the company started using the pocket stitch design. Levi and tailor, Jacob Davis, co-patented the process of putting rivets in pants for strength. The official "birth" of blue jeans is May 20th, 1873. The red tab attached to the side of the jeans was created in 1936 so you could identify Levi jeans from a distance.

Impact on American Society

Jeans used to be wore by mainly miners, farmers, and engineers because they were very sturdy. Now, jeans have become an everyday use in fashion. In 1873, a pair of Levi's jeans cost $1.23. A pair of Levi's jeans now cost between $60-$90. Jeans have made a huge impact in America.