Levi Strauss – 1829-1902
Born in Bavaria (as Löb Strauss), Levi Strauss immigrated to New York City with his family in 1847. With his brothers, he became a dry goods merchant and moved to booming San Francisco in 1853. In response to the need of gold prospectors for more durable trousers, Strauss developed denim overalls. In 1872, he acted on the suggestion of Jacob Davis, a Reno, Nevada tailor, to use metal rivets to reinforce pants at vulnerable points of strain. Strauss and Davis patented this new type of trousers on May 20, 1873, and Levi’s jeans were born. They would become an article of clothing symbolic of American popular culture through many generations.