On this day in 1829, Levi Strauss was born in Buttenheim, Bavaria (now Germany). Strauss moved to New York in 1846, where his brothers owned a dry goods business. In 1853, Strauss moved again—this time to San Francisco, California. Strauss opened his own dry goods business on the West Coast, and called it “Levi Strauss & Co.”
Years later, Strauss and a business partner invented a new kind of work pants that were held together at the pockets by metal rivets. Gold miners loved the durability of the innovative pants, which were called “waist overalls” at the time. These days we call the pants “blue jeans,” which have maintained popularity since Strauss invented them in 1873.
To learn more about Levi Strauss and the invention of blue jeans, check out Blue Jeans Innovation [03:45]. This segment is part of California Up-Close: Westward Expansion and Statehood [26:38].