Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis did not know they were creating an American legacy when they patented the process for riveting pants on May 20, 1873, nor did they get to see the enduring influence of their product before their deaths in the early 1900’s ("Levi Strauss & Co. Timeline"). Nevertheless, since their creation, denim jeans have become symbolic of various American sentiments over the years: the romanticizing of the American West, the social rebellion of countercultures, and a paradoxical preoccupation with individuality.
Denim jeans were born out of necessity in the American West during the gold rush of the nineteenth century. Miners there found that their pants weren’t durable enough to withstand the strain of their grueling work. Levi Strauss, a successful dry goods store owner from San Francisco, collaborated with Jacob Davis, a Reno tailor who had figured out how to rivet pockets on to men’s pants. The two men patented the process and began selling “waist overalls” to miners and other hardworking laborers ("Levi Strauss & Co. Timeline"). By the 1920s, their waist overalls, or jeans, were “the top-selling men’s work pant in the West” (Gromer).
The popularity of jeans spread, diffusing eastward with the help of the media. Images of cowboys and other jeans-wearing Westerners turned jeans into symbols of the independent lifestyles of the American West. Gary Cooper and John Wayne films contributed to denim’s status as the fabric for the “rugged individualistic lifestyle” of the “authentic American” (Gromer). Sociologist Fred Davis says that jeans appealed to the imaginations of many Americans because of the pant’s historical “mystique” that emanated themes of “democracy, in...
... middle of paper ...
...es in Clothing and Fashion.” Qualitative Sociology 12.4 (1989): 337-355. Academic Search Complete. Web. 21 Apr. 2011.
Freund, Charles Paul. “Tthe Politics of Pants.” Rev. of Jeans: A Cultural History of an American Icon, by James Sullivan. Reason Feb. 2007: 70-71. Academic Search Complete. Web. 21 Apr. 2011.
Gromer, Cliff. “Levi’s Jeans.” Popular Mechanics May 1999: 94-98. Academic Search Complete. Web. 21 Apr. 2011.
Kramer, Karen Ruoff. “Jeans.” Historical Materialism 14.4 (2006): 289-294. Academic Search Complete. Web. 21 Apr. 2011.
“Levi Strauss & Co. Timeline.” Levi Strauss & Co.- Heritage. Levi Strauss & Co., 2005. Web. 20 Apr. 2011.
Sector, Charlotte. "Belarusians Wear Jeans in Silent Protest." ABCNews.com. ABCNews, 13 Jan. 2006. Web. 21 Apr. 2011.
“The Pants that Changed the World.” Esquire May 2005: 59-66. Academic Search Complete. Web. 21 Apr. 2011.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Imperative Civic Values of an American Citizen This essay is asking a very tough question. It wants to know what I believe is the most essential civic value of being an American. There are many civic values that are essential to being an American such as: Respecting our government, the sense of pride about being an American, Courage, Justice, Integrity, and Freedom. There are several values that stand out, these civic values include: Courage, Justice, Integrity, Respect and the one civic value that stands out the most is freedom.... [tags: patriotism, patriotic, american values]
888 words (2.5 pages)
- The second skin Regular straight, boot cut & relaxed, or the 501® Original Fits. In all probability, no piece of garment has ever seen such days of glory as the blue jeans. Let us look back at the history of this symbol of the Western freedom, the minds behind its birth and spread, and the role it plays in the contemporary world. Even though considered an all-American invention, the origins of jeans can be traced back to the 17th century, when the weavers in the French city of Nimes tried to reproduce jean fabric from the Italian city of Genoa.... [tags: american invention, freedom, denim]
1027 words (2.9 pages)
- Introduction: Company Profile One of the leading and top coffee chains in Australia is Gloria Jean’s Coffees. It is an Australian-based coffee company, with more 480 stores across Australia. It is one of the largest coffee chains in world and is one of Business Review Weekly’s top 1000 companies and in top 500 private companies in Australia in 2008. Originally, the company started its operation in the USA, particularly in Chicago, with Ed Kvetko and Gloria Jean as founders in 1979. After over a decade, an Australian business man and coffee expert, Nabi Saleh, introduced Gloria Jean’s Coffees across Australia.... [tags: Gloria Jeans Coffees Analysis]
2338 words (6.7 pages)
- Values in Early American Literature "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with inherent and inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," says the Declaration of Independence. This phrase encompasses three major values shown throughout early American literature. The strong belief in religion, freedom, and a strong will for a better life. Each piece had one or more of these themes within them.... [tags: American Literature]
1336 words (3.8 pages)
- For centuries, nations have challenged one another for the reputation of cultural differences and religious identity. These quarrels are the foundation of rivalry that afflicts our world. Many of these argumentative civilizations foster the concept of confining and deprecating their women with a solitary objective to use them as an instrument for reproduction. In religions resembling Islam, women are subjected to societal restrictions, while women in the US have the same or similar rights as men.... [tags: Cultural Differences, Religious Identity]
1239 words (3.5 pages)
- One's dream and aspirations to supersede in life must be stronger and greater than limitations set forth by others. The experience that were bestowed to me during my short life has elevated me to the woman I am today. Please walk with me as I give you the opportunity to see the world from my eyes: To be the person that I am now, I had to reflect and accept accountability of my past actions. My past is one that many would love to erase from their memory, a past, which remained dormant, until I found myself.... [tags: Personal Reflection, narrative]
1014 words (2.9 pages)
- Blue Jeans, the Ultimate American Icon Gold was discovered in California in 1849. This resulted in more than eighty thousand American’s rushing to California. The pioneering spirit spread and by 1890, the West’s population reached nearly 17 million. The west became the most racially diverse part of the country. All were in search of a better life for themselves and their families, seeking what would become known as the American Dream. During this time innovation and creation were prompting remarkable growth in industry.... [tags: History]
1446 words (4.1 pages)
- Chapter 7 Discussion 7.1 Introduction The chapter of discussion was composed of five parts: introduction, reflection on the project, reflection on implications of the project, reflection of the MA experience, and summary. 7.2 Reflection on the project This was a long-term design project, and everything was fresh to me. Patience was the crucial and essential factor that was needed in such a long project in my view. Fortunately, I learned and gained the patience. Besides, communication was another extremely significant factor.... [tags: Reflection]
2091 words (6 pages)
- Case: Pepe Jeans Pepe Jeans began to produce and sell denim jeans in the early 1970s in the United Kingdom and has achieved enormous growth. The company maintains contact with its independent retailers via group of 10 agents and each agent is responsible for retailers in a particular area of the country. Pepe is convinced that a good relationship with the independent retailers is vital to its success. The survey of the independent retailers indicated some problems. It was felt that Pepe’s variety of styles and quality was the company’s key advantage over the competition.... [tags: Case Study Analysis Comparison Wal Mart Pepe Jeans]
1939 words (5.5 pages)
- Our increased mobility has given us greater access to the world and the diverse people that inhabit it. With that mobility comes the shared responsibility to negotiate with people who may initially seem unfamiliar and learn to express the experience. The word “ethnicity” is used to describe a specific population’s characteristics of fundamental aspects that all humans share. When applied loosely, ethnicity becomes a blanket term to define large populations, undermining the worth and the diversity within that group and emphasizing the differences between cultures.... [tags: Reflection Essay]
562 words (1.6 pages)