May 20, 1873: Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss, both immigrants to the United States, were granted U.S. patent number 139,121 for Davis’ innovative design using rivets to reinforce stress points in pants. Davis, a tailor in Reno, Nevada, regularly bought fabric from Strauss’s dry goods store in San Francisco and had reached out to him in a letter proposing the partnership. Neither of them could have known the lasting impression their product would have on the way people dress around the world. At first, their riveted denim pants were referred to as “waist overalls” or “overalls,” and became known as “jeans” in the 1960s.
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