Levi Strauss


Levi Strauss

Infobox Person
name = Levi Strauss


image_size =
caption =
birth_date = February 26, 1829
birth_place = Buttenheim, Bavaria, German Confederation
death_date = September 26, 1902

Levi Strauss, born Löb Strauß, (February 26, 1829 - September 26, 1902), was a German-Jewish immigrant to the United States [ [http://www.gzg.fn.bw.schule.de/schulen/emigrate/dokument/persons/strauss/nchs/strauss.htm Levi Strauss ] ] who founded the first company to manufacture blue jeans. His firm, Levi Strauss & Company, began in 1853 in San Francisco, California.

Origins

Levi Strauss was born in Buttenheim, Bavaria to Hirsch Strauss and his wife Rebecca (Haas) Strauss. His parents named him Löb, but he changed it to Levi after he came to the United States. [ [http://www.germanheritage.com/biographies/mtoz/strauss.html German American Corner: STRAUSS, Levi (1829-1902) ] ]

In America

At the age of 18, Strauss sailed for the United States to join his brothers Jonas and Louis, who had begun a dry goods business in New York City. His mother and two sisters came with him. By 1850, Strauss was already calling himself Levi.

In 1853, Strauss became an American citizen. [Downey, L. "Levi Strauss: A Short Biography", 2005 (accessed at [http://www.levistrauss.com/Downloads/History_Levi_Strauss_Biography.pdf] on April 6, 2007)] He moved to San Francisco, where the California Gold Rush was still going on. Strauss expected the miners would welcome his buttons, scissors, thread and bolts of fabric. He also brought along canvas sailcloth, intended to make tents and covers for the Conestoga wagons many miners lived out of.

Strauss opened his dry goods wholesale business as Levi Strauss & Co. He often led his pack-horse, heavily laden with merchandise, to the mining camps in the Gold Rush country.Fact|date=December 2007 He learned that prospectors and miners complained about their cotton trousers and pockets tearing too easily. A tailor named Jacob Davis decided to make rugged overalls to sell to the miners.Fact|date=December 2007 Fashioned from brown sailcloth made from hemp, his trousers has ore storage pockets that were nearly impossible to split.Fact|date=December 2007 Davis wanted to register a patent, but lacked money. Strauss agreed to help him and they went into partnership.

On May 20, 1873, Strauss and Davis received United States patent [http://patft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.htm&r=130&f=G&l=50&d=PALL&s1=18730520.PD.&p=3&OS=&RS=ISD/18730520 #139121] for using copper rivets to strengthen the pockets of denim work pants. Levi Strauss & Co. began manufacturing the famous Levi's brand of jeans, using fabric from the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Strauss died in 1902 at the age of 73. He was buried in Colma. Strauss had never married and left his thriving business to his nephews Jacob, Louis, Abraham and Sigmund Stern. They rebuilt the company after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire. The following year, Jacob Davis sold back his share of the company.

A Levi Strauss museum is maintained in Buttenheim, Germany, located in the 1687 house where Strauss was born. There is also a Levi Strauss museum in San Francisco.

External links

* [http://www.levistrauss.com Levi Strauss & Company]
* [http://www.levistrauss.com/Heritage/History.aspx Biography of Levi Strauss] from the Official Levi Strauss Site.
* [http://www.fashion-forum.org/fashion-brands/levis.html Levi Strauss - Biography]
* [http://www.levi.com Levi's]
* [http://www.levi-strauss-museum.de/ Levi Strauss Museum in Buttenheim, Germany]

References


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