How labourers’ workwear became a must-have
Jeans were initially made for labourers as a sturdier alternative to pants. Surprising then that the oldest pair is worth $150,000
Jeans are the one essential clothing item everyone has in the wardrobe. Many of us probably know that the first jeans were manufactured by Levi Strauss and Co. But Strauss was not its original creator. That title belongs to Jacob Davis, who had worked out a way to make work pants stronger, using copper rivets at essential points. Looking to patent that design, he tied up with Strauss, who financed the application. In 1941, the company removed the rivets on the watch pocket, along with one at the bottom of the button fly, to conserve metal during World War II. Ironically, Strauss never wore the pants that his company made. Jeans, originally, were meant for labourers and miners. The original wearers of jeans would use cinches and suspenders at first, because belt loops weren’t invented.
But talking of wealth, the oldest pair of Levi’s jeans are now stored in a fireproof vault in San Francisco. Their estimated worth? More than $150,000.