May 20th is the “birthday” of Levis! May 20, 1873 marked an historic day: the birth of the blue jean. It was on that day that Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis obtained a U.S. patent on the process of putting rivets in men’s work pants for the very first time. Levi Strauss was a Bavarian-born dry goods merchant – he came to San Francisco in 1853 at the age of 24 to open a West Coast branch of his brothers’ New York wholesale dry goods business. Over the next 20 years, he built a very successful business and along the way, made a name for himself as a well-respected businessman and local philanthropist. Where does Jacob Davis come in? He was one of Levi’s customers. He was also a tailor. As the story goes, a local woman approached Jacob about making a pair of work pants that wouldn’t fall apart. Jacob came up with the idea to put metal rivets at points of strain, like pocket corners and the base of the button fly. These “riveted” pants were an instant hit.