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  • Nate Morris

Levi's: An American Innovation You Can Wear

Everybody has a favorite pair of Levi's. They are comfortable, durable, and fashionable. They dress up or dress down, and whether you wear them tight, loose, or cut-off, there is no mistaking the signature look of jeans.

These days you can buy jeans from just about anywhere in the United States, but in the 1800s, there was only one place you could buy this American icon: from Levi Strauss.

The story of jeans starts in 1871, when a tailor in Reno, Nevada, named Jacob Davis needed to make tougher pants for the local miners. He adapted the riveting and stitching on leather harnesses and other tackle to make riveted canvas pants with extra stitching at the seams. 

These “duck cloth” pants sold so well, Davis knew he needed to patent them, but he did not know how. That is where Strauss came in. A recent immigrant from Germany, Strauss filed the patent, went into business with Davis and eventually moved the business to San Francisco, California. 

In 1890, Strauss transitioned from duck cloth to blue denim and the rest is history. Levi's became an American wardrobe staple, and one of the most recognizable American products in the world.

Levi's are more than pants; they are a symbol of American ruggedness and entrepreneurial spirit. They are proof of the American Dream; that one immigrant to America can change the world, or at least what people wear.  


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