How the California Gold Rush Led to the Rise of Levi’s

Learn Something New explained how the California Gold Rush of the mid-19th Century led to the invention and the meteoric rise of Levi’s jeans. It was just a simple case of supply and demand. Those searching for gold needed sturdy clothing, and a German-Jewish immigrant named Levi Strauss knew how to fill that need with denim provided to him through his family’s dry goods business.

The story of how jeans came to be can be traced all the way back to the California Gold Rush, where the need for a sturdier pair of pants was met with an opportunistic entrepreneur with the business sense to make them a worldwide phenomenon.

When customer Jacob Davis came to Strauss with the idea of rivets, Strauss brought him into the company, and the now-legendary jean design was created on May 20th, 1873.

A customer of his who had regularly bought cloth from him reached out for help Jacob Davis had developed a new way to make more durable pants using metal rivets on the pockets and on the front fly seam…Davis wanted to patent the new design but couldn’t afford the 68 dollars to do so, so he was reaching out to Strauss for funding to pay the patent fee. the following year on May 20th 1873, the patent was granted to both.

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