Levi’s Patents

Jeans — the most misattributed invention


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 1875, the patent was reissued with a broader claim as US Reissue Patent № 6,335, entitled “Improvement in pantaloons”. Moreover, the Davis’s invention was also patented as Canadian Patent № 3,361.

Original drawing from US patent № 139,121, entitled “Improvement in fastening pocket-openings”. National Archives Identifier: 5928292.

Patent Documents

Pocket Fastening

USReissue PatentRE633516.03.187527.02.187509.08.1872 US1

  1. The filing dade of the related US patent. ↩︎