Celebrate the birth of jeans May 20th

Did you know that blue jeans were born on May 20, 1873? That’s the day that U.S. patent no. 139,121 for “Improvement in Fastening Pocket-Openings” was granted to Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss, creating work pants reinforced with metal rivets at the stress points (the corners of the pockets and the base of the button fly). At first these pants were called “waist overalls” to distinguish them from bib overalls.

cover of How Things Are MadeRead more about it! Search article databases to find articles such as “Blue Denim by the Bay: The Levi Strauss & Co. Archives” (Costume, 2009, no.43, pp.150-165), or refer to the reference work Patents: Ingenious inventions: How they work and how they came to be (2nd-floor Reference Collection, T47 .I44 2004). There are sections on blue jeans in the books Uniforms: Why we are what we wear (3rd-floor Main Collection, GT1900 .F87 2002) and How things are made: From automobiles to zippers (3rd-floor Main Collection, TS183 .R67 2003). You also can read a timeline of the history of Strauss jeans from the company website.

Please ask a librarian if you would appreciate assistance with finding additional materials.

Now that exams are over, it’s the perfect time to indulge your intellectual curiosity about all sorts of things that aren’t required for a class! Enjoy your summer, everyone.

FDLP logo Andersen Library is a federal and Wisconsin depository library with federal and state government documents on a variety of current and relevant issues available to you in various formats (print, DVD/CD-ROM, online). Check out your government at Andersen Library!

About Barbara

I am a Reference & Instruction librarian, head of that department in Andersen Library, an associate professor, and a member of the General Education Review Committee and Faculty Senate. I've been working at UW-W since July 1, 1990.
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