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Entrepreneur who made blue jeans
Born: February 26, 1829 in Germany
Died: September 26, 1902 in San Francisco, California
Best known for: Forming the company Levi Strauss & Co., the first company to make blue jeans.
Where did Levi Strauss grow up?
Levi Strauss was born in the city of Buttenheim, Germany on February 26, 1829. Growing up in Germany was tough on his family because they were Jewish. Many people there didn’t like Jews and made it difficult on Levi and his family.
Moving to America
When Levi was sixteen, his father died from tuberculosis. Since Levi’s older brothers were already living in America, his mother decided to move the family there. At one point he moved to pioneer land in Kentucky and worked as a peddler. He would carry goods on his back from settlement to settlement selling goods.
Levi Strauss & Co.
Once in San Francisco, Levi opened up a dry goods store called Levi Strauss & Co.
Over the years, Levi’s business grew.
In 1872, Levi Strauss was approached by a Nevada tailor named Jacob Davis. Davis had invented a new way to make durable work pants. At first these new pants were made with canvas, but eventually Strauss began to use a tough material called denim. The denim was dyed blue to hide stains. Strauss called these pants “waist high overalls”, but they eventually became known as “Levi’s” or “blue jeans.”
Interesting Facts about Levi Strauss
- His birth name was Loeb, but he went by Levi.
- Levi gave a lot of his money to charity to help out poor people and orphans.
- Today Levi’s are considered a symbol of American fashion.
- He never married and left his business to his nephews.
- He never actually wore a pair of Levi’s himself. He was a businessman and the jeans were for laborers.
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