Who Invented Jeans?
By Mel Candea, eHow Contributing Writer
Blue jeans are a fashion staple and a common part of our lives today. It's difficult to imagine a world without them. Jeans have had their own history and growth, even before becoming one of our cultural icons.
1. The word "jeans" has two possible sources. The first source is Italian. "Genoese" was the term used to describe the Italian sailors from Genoa who wore heavy blue cloth in the 17th century. The other comes from French, "serge de Nimes," which was a type of heavy cloth from Nimes (the word "denim," stems from this) that was especially used for hard labor in England during the 19th century.
Jacob Davis, an immigrant from Riga, Latvia, was a tailor to some of the workers in Reno, Nevada. He designed clothing, made repairs and experimented with materials, particularly "duck" and "denim." He had one customer who had problems with durability, so he added rivets. The pants worked and became popular. He got worried about a patent and looked for help.
Levi Strauss was a successful immigrant from Germany, running a trade business in San Francisco, California. He knew Jacob Davis because he sold Davis cloth for his tailoring. Davis came to him with his "jeans" idea, and he agreed to pay for the patent if they split the profits 50/50. Official "waist overalls with rivets" were patented in both their names.
Levi Strauss thought the term "jeans" was an improper name, and the word "jeans" didn't truly catch on until the rebel teens of the 1950s embraced them to match their leather jackets. They eventually started to be called "Levi's 501 jeans" (the number of the last patent). The Levi-as-inventor legend was born.
Jacob Davis had a cigar store and a brewery that were both unsuccessful and was a tailor for horse blankets when he had the idea for the first riveted jeans.
Who Invented Jeans