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LEVI STRAUSS (1829
- 1902) was born Loeb Strauss in Buttenheim, Bavaria to Hirsch
Strauss and his second wife, Rebecca Haas Strauss. Hirsch died of
tuberculosis in 1845.
1847 the Strauss family emigrated
to New York. There, they were met by Loeb's brothers who had
already made the journey and had started a dry goods business.
Loeb began to learn the dry goods trade from his brothers. By
1850 he was known among his family and customers as "Levi."
Levi decided to emigrate to San
Francisco to make his fortune during the California Gold Rush not
by panning gold, but by selling supplies to the miners before
they headed off to the gold fields.
In January of 1853 he became an
American citizen .
In 1872, Levi received a letter
from Jacob Davis, a Nevada tailor, describing the interesting way
he made pants for his customers: he placed metal rivets at the
points of strain - pocket corners, and at the base of the button
fly. The problem was Jacob didn't have the money for the patent,
so he suggested that Levi pay for the paperwork and that they
take out the patent together. The patent was granted to both men
on May 20, 1873.
In 1890 the lot number "501"
was first used to designate the denim waist overalls.
Levi died on friday the 26th of
In the year 2003 Levi Strauss
& Co. will be 150 years old. The company say that "Levi
Strauss & CO. makes the only garment created in the 19th
century that is still worn today".