Many people believe that Levi Strauss invented the first jeans, but that is not true. The real inventor jeans was Jacob Davis, who was listed as the single inventor in the Levi Strauss’s patent.
Jacob Davis (born as Jacob Youphes) was a Latvian-Jewish born American tailor, who had not enough money to file a patent application for his invention, riveted pants (jeans). Therefore, he had been searching for an investor and business partner. Fortunately, Levi Strauss agreed to be Davis’s business partner, and Davis filed his patent application for “Improvement in fastening pocket-openings” on 09.08.1872. The patent application was initially rejected. However, after several amendments, the patent was granted as US Patent № 139,121 on 20.05.1873. Davis assigned his patent rights to himself and to Levi Strauss’s company, Levi Strauss & Co. Later in 1874, the Davis’s invention was also patented as Canadian Patent № 3,361.
The patent claim of the original patent was directed to pants having pocket-openings secured at each edge by means of rivets. However, in 1875, Davis asked the US Patent Office to reissue the patent with amendments, which broadened the scope of the patent claim. Particularly, the wording of the new patent claim covered not only pants, but also other garments. The patent was reissued as US Patent № Re. 6,335 on 16.03.1875.
The table below shows details about the Levi’s jeans patent documents.
|US||Patent||139121||20.05.1873||09.08.1872||Specification Original Drawing||USPTO Official Gazette National Archives|
|RE6335||16.03.1875||27.02.1875||09.08.1872 USc||Specification||USPTO Official Gazette|
|CA||Patent||3361||27.04.1874||06.04.1874||Specification||CIPO Official Gazette|