How Old Were Boys When They Started Wearing Long Pants History of Blue Jeans in America

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History of Blue Jeans in America

Many people are aware of the roots that blue jeans have in America. They are a symbol of everything America should be: free from the status quo. It is almost impossible to distinguish the social and economic status of any person wearing them. They were the invention of Jacob Davis, but they were made famous by the entrepreneur Loeb Strauss who later changed the name to Levi. On May 7, 1873, a patent for them was received from the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Jacob Davis invented blue jean pockets with rivets at the stress points of the pocket for the buyer of his trousers. A customer would constantly pester Davis about the holes that were developing in his pockets. This is what gave Jacob the inspiration for the rivet pockets. However, at the time he did not have the $68 to file the patent and wrote to Strauss offering to file it with him in exchange for Strauss paying the patent application fee.

Over the next 25 years, while Levi Strauss & Co held the patent rights to blue jeans, they became extremely popular among the working class. They were known for their endurance. Immediately after the exclusive patent rights expired and the invention became public domain, many companies started producing blue jeans. Since they were worn by the working class in the 19th century, they were a symbol of the working man. Wealthier, spoiled members of society did not wear blue jeans in those days.

During World War II, blue jeans gained the popularity overseas that they had graced many years earlier in America. Foreigners admired the pants worn by American soldiers. The end result was that they were no longer just Americans. Europeans and other foreigners can now enjoy the benefits of robust denim. Shortly after World War II with jeans now internationally recognized as durable, comfortable pants, sales skyrocketed.

Jeans were a rebel symbol for most of the mid-20th century, right up until the 1980s. Rebel figures like James Dean wore almost exclusively blue jeans in the movies, while the older, more conservative generation did not. Blue jeans continued their tradition as a symbol of revolution in the 60s and 70s as they were the pants of choice among hippies. Jeans would become mainstream again in the 1980s.

The 1980s was when designers began to create and label their own jeans. In that time period, jeans were a symbol of high fashion. Sales of jeans skyrocketed during this decade. At this point, they were more accepted than ever. Blue jeans fell out of favor in the decade after the 80s when kids mocked the clothes their parents wore. Although blue jeans were still worn among children, they had to be different from the traditional flat blue denim their parents grew up wearing. As a result, many jeans manufacturers had to either revamp their designs to keep up with the times or face possible bankruptcy.

Blue jeans are still worn today and still cover the wearer’s status. Their toughness and durability attract the poor and the rich alike. Currently, jeans are making a comeback, and traditional jean manufacturers have fragmented as a result of the last two decades filling different niches. Whatever path blue jeans take, their roots are rooted in American soil.

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