Behind your Levi 501 jeans is a lot more than just comfortable clothing that's both fashionable and durable. There's also a very interesting history about it. For one, do you know that Levi Strauss, after whom the jeans are named, didn't make the jeans at all? Levi Strauss was a dry goods merchant who became a very successful businessman. He was also a philanthropist. He had a regular customer, a tailor named Jacob Davis. Jacob had a client who kept ripping the pockets of the pants that Jacob made.
Jacob developed a method of strengthening this man's trousers by putting metal rivets at the points of strain. The idea was a great success, and Jacob wanted to patent it. However, he did not have the $68 needed to file for a patent, so he asked Levi to be his business partner. Levi, seeing the potential, agreed. They held the patent for 20 years until it expired in 1891, allowing everyone else to copy the process of using metal rivets, which then became public domain. Another interesting story is the use of the word, "jeans." Denim pants have been used in the 1800s for work wear. "Waist overalls" was the name used for these work clothing.
The word, "jeans," started to be used around the 1960s when the generation then adopted the term for this type of pants. Why "501" for Levi jeans? It just so happened that at around 1890, the type of pants made from denim supplied by the Amoskeag Mill in Manchester, New Hampshire, which gave the jeans a strong reputation regarding durability, was given the number 501. The number stuck to this day, giving the meaning that the 501 jeans you wear assures you of durability.
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