Denim pants have been in use for years. But ‘Jeans’ or ‘Blue Jeans’ which are so ubiquitous today were invented by Jacob Davis, a tailor, and patented by Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss on May 20, 1873.
Levi Strauss, of the popular Levi Strauss & Co, moved to San Francisco in 1853 to open a dry goods store branch. Among other things, he sold cloth to make pants. Jacob Davis was a customer of Strauss’ and bought cloth from Strauss to make work pants.
When a customer requested Davis to make a pair of pants that wouldn’t fall apart, he thought of using copper rivets to strengthen the pants. He used these rivets at points of strain, like pocket corners and the base of the button fly. These pants turned out to be very strong and Davis thought of patenting them.
Davis wanted a business partner to patent the product with, and wrote his proposal to Levi Strauss. Strauss agreed and they patented the product. Strauss and Davis received patent #139,121 from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on May 20, 1873.
But do you know, it wasn’t until the 1960’s that jeans were called jeans! Until then, they were called overalls! And were used mostly by workers and miners. Today they are popular among all age groups.