Create a free account to continue

Flash Back Friday: Levi Strauss And Jacob Davis

Learn more about the history of jeans and how they're made.

Every day has at least some sliver of historical significance. So I have started to review the days looking for interesting historical facts, events and people prevalent to manufacturing to share.

This week, has a particularly interesting piece of historical significance — blue jeans. On May 20, 1873 San Francisco businessman Levi Strauss and Reno, Nevada tailor Jacob Davis were greenlighted for a patent to create work pants that were reinforced with metal rivets, and thus beginning one of the most popular articles of clothing.

The first patent was issued under the description “Improvement in Fastening Pocket-Openings” because it was referencing Davis’s new way to make work pants more durable by reinforcing them. After receiving the patent, the first manufacturing facility was built to product “waist overalls” — the original jeans. By the 1920s, Levi’s denim waist overalls had become the best-selling men’s work pant in the United States. And it would grow more. It was estimated that in 2014, approximately 450 million pairs of jeans were bought. Plus, according to Cotton Incorporated, an average U.S. consumer will own seven pairs of jeans in their closet.

To see how jeans are manufactured today, check out the video below:  

More in Operations