Tag Archives: levi strauss

today’s birthday: Claude Lévi-Strauss (1908)

Claude Lévi-Strauss (1908)

Claude Lévi-Strauss—not to be confused with jeans manufacturer Levi Strauss—was a French anthropologist and leading exponent of structuralism, an anthropological theory that holds that cultures, like languages, can be viewed as systems of signs and analyzed in terms of the structural relations among their elements. Borrowing heavily from contemporary linguistics, his theory was a major departure from earlier “functionalist” theories. Why was Lévi-Strauss investigated by the FBI? More… Discuss

today’s birthday: James Lick (1796)

James Lick (1796)

A piano maker by training, Lick spent many years in South America before returning to the US in 1848. He settled in San Francisco, where he soon abandoned the piano-making trade in favor of real estate. Shortly after his arrival, gold was discovered in the region, and Lick made a fortune in the housing boom that followed. The wealthiest man in California at the time of his death, he left most of his estate to social and scientific causes. Under what scientific instrument is he buried? More… Discuss



Levi Strauss Patents Iconic Metal Rivet for Reinforcing Pants Pockets (1873)

Closeup of a copper rivet on blue jeans.

Closeup of a copper rivet on blue jeans. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



If you are wearing blue jeans, chances are a version of tailor Jacob Davis‘s invention is hugging your hips right now. Davis did not invent jeans—that was the more famous Levi Strauss—but he did invent one crucial component: the copper rivets that reinforce the corners of the pockets, now ubiquitous on denim pants. Because Davis did not have the money to file the necessary patent paperwork, he wrote to Strauss—then Davis’s fabric supplier—suggesting they apply together. How did Strauss respond? More… Discuss