The story of Levi Strauss, the man who became a millionaire selling jeans

Levi Strauss started a fashion empire by making one of the world’s most enduring and popular clothing items, jeans.

What began as an invention for the American worker , who needed strong and durable clothing to withstand the tough task, became the garment that revolutionized the fashion market . Worn by miners , cowboys , rock stars , presidents , and men and women all over the world, these pants have been the clothing of several generations. However, not everyone knows the story of its founder , Levi Strauss , a man who, like many, immigrated to the United States in search of a better future.

Levi Strauss is the founder of the first jeans manufacturing company . He was born on February 26, 1829 in Buttenheim , Germany as Loeb Strauss . In 1847 he went to New York with his two sisters and his mother to join his brothers in the wholesale textile business. In 1850 he changed his name to Levi and in 1853 he became a US citizen . When the California Gold Rush Started, decided to move to the west coast and open a branch of the family business in San Francisco. In early March 1853 , he opened his business as Levi Strauss & Co., where he sold clothing , bedding , handbags , handkerchiefs , and bolts of cloth shipped by his brothers from New York. Likewise, he became a well-known figure in the city being active in the commercial and cultural life of San Francisco and supporting the Jewish community of which he was a part.

One of his clients was Jacob W. Davis , a tailor from Reno , Nevada . Strauss received a letter from him in 1872 where he told him about the new system he was working on to make stronger and more durable trousers using copper rivets . In the letter, Davis expressed the fear that someone would steal his idea and that he intended to patent it . However, the Reno tailor did not have enough money for the request (about $68 ), so he asked Strauss to be his business partner and share the cost .. Strauss agreed, and on May 20, 1873 , U.S. Patent No. 139,121 was issued to Jacob W. Davis and Levi Strauss and Company. And that day is the birthday of jeans .

Since then, and because Davis had thousands of ” waist monkeys “, as they were called back then, Levi Strauss placed him as production manager in the Levi Strauss & Co. store. Production was initially carried out by individual seamstresses from their homes . Nonetheless, in the 1880s Levi Strauss rented space for his own factory from him south of Market Street and production moved there. The main product made there were the famous “ Levi’s 501 ″, but Levi and Jacob also made shirts and jumpsuits.

His other business activities

Pants from the Levi Strauss brand

Levi Strauss brand pants 

Although most people know him as the founder of “Levi Strauss & Co.” he was also a founding member and treasurer of the San Francisco Board of Trade , a director of the Nevada Bank, Liverpool, London and Globe Insurance Company, and the San Francisco Gas and Electric Company. He was also known as a great philanthropist , donating money to various orphanages , providing funds to build a new railroad from San Francisco to the San Joaquin Valley, and for various scholarships at the University of California .

He died on September 26, 1902 in San Francisco at the age of 73 . Her estate from him was estimated to be around $6 million , which was divided among his four nephews and various charities .

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