How Levi Straus Became Famous with Jeans

On February 26 in the year 1829, the pioneer in the manufacture of blue jeans was born in Bavaria, Germany. His name was Levi Strauss, the founder of Levi Straus & Co.

Levi Strauss
Levi Strauss (Photo Credit: levistrauss.com)

When his father died in 1846, Levi immigrated to the United States together with his mother. He was eighteen years old at that time. He arrived in New York City and joined his brothers who already established a dry goods business. Later, he moved westward to Kentucky and then to San Francisco, California after the Gold Rush. There he opened his own store where he sold dry goods such as clothes and footwear. He called his store Levi Straus and Co.

One day in 1872, Levi received a letter from one of his customers. His name was Jacob Davis from the State of Nevada. In the letter, he told of his new way of making pants and that he needed Levi’s financial help to get a patent for his idea.

Levi was enthusiastic about the proposal. He asked Jacob to come to San Francisco to formalize the partnership. In 1873, the patent was granted in the name of Jacob W. Davis and Levi Strauss and Company. Levi built a factory, organized a production staff and put Jacob in charge. Aside from the famous 501 blue jeans, the factory also produced the XX overalls and shirts.

Levi soon became a famous citizen of San Francisco. He was invited to become director of several companies and institutions. In 1875, he purchased the Mission and Pacific Woolen Mills. He continued to be active in the management of his businesses until he died in 1902 at the age of 73. He was unmarried so his estate which was valued at $6 million passed to his nephews who continued the operation of his enterprises.

In 2020, Levi Straus & Co. had revenues of $4.4 billion.

References
http://www.levistrauss.com/our-story/
http://www.levi.com/US/en_US/about/history-heritage
http://www.historyofjeans.com/jeans-inventor/levi-strauss/
http://fortune.com/fortune500/levi-strauss/

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