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levi strauss & co. begun in 1853 in the wake of the california gold rush by levi strauss, an immigrant from bavaria. in 1872, levi received a letter from jacob davis, a reno, nev., tailor, describing the interesting way he made pants for his customers: he placed metal rivets at the points of strain to make the pants stronger for the laboring men who were his customers. he didn't have the money to patent his process, so he suggested that levi pay for the paperwork and that they take out the patent together. levi was enthusiastic about the idea and the patent was granted to both men on may 20, 1873. the two men started to produce these "waist overalls" in san fransisco, which took the company into the blue jeans manufacturing that it is known for today. when levi strauss died in 1902, he left a thriving manufacturing and dry goods business to his four nephews, who rebuilt it after the san francisco earthquake and fire of 1906
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