Levi’s牛仔褲的創意發明

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From Miners to Movie Stars

In the mid-1800s, two European Jews immigrated to the United States in search of better lives. Jacob Davis, who was born Jacob Youphes in Latvia, settled in Nevada and opened a tailor shop to support his family. Loeb Strauss, who would later be known by his nickname “Levi,” left Bavaria for New York to join his two brothers in their dry goods business. Sensing opportunity in the California Gold Rush, he moved to San Francisco in 1853 to start his own company, Levi Strauss & Co.

Little did Strauss know, he’d soon be making history with one of his clients—Jacob Davis. One day, a miner’s wife came to Davis and asked him to make a sturdy pair of pants for her husband, complaining that his pockets frequently tore when he put gold nuggets in them. This was his eureka moment—he decided to reinforce the pockets and other stress points with the copper rivets he used to strengthen horse harnesses. Davis was soon selling hundreds of pairs, and became alarmed when other tailors began copying his design. Not having enough money to apply for a patent, he wrote to Strauss, who he bought fabric from, suggesting that they form a partnership.

The two men took out the patent together in 1873, and Davis moved to San Francisco to oversee production of the new pants. Not long afterward, they switched from white duck cloth to blue denim—blue doesn’t show dirt as easily—and the modern blue jean was born. Strauss and Davis, immigrants from humble backgrounds, had created what would later become the most popular type of clothing in the world.

 

走向時尚界的Levi’s牛仔褲

一八○○年代中期,兩位歐洲猶太人移民到美國追尋更好的生活。生於拉脫維亞、原名雅各約斐斯的雅各戴維斯落腳於內華達州,開了一家裁縫店來養家活口。洛布史特勞斯―後來別人以其綽號「李維」稱呼他―則離開巴伐利亞赴紐約,加入他兩個哥哥的布匹公司。察覺到加州淘金熱的機會,他於一八五三年遷至舊金山,自己開了李維史特勞斯公司。

史特勞斯不知道的是,他很快就要與他的客戶雅各戴維斯聯手創造歷史。有一天,一位礦工的妻子來找戴維斯,請他幫她的先生製作一件耐穿的長褲,並抱怨他的口袋常因放入金塊而破損。這是戴維斯靈光乍現的一刻―他決定拿他用於加強馬具的銅鉚釘來強化口袋和其他受力集中點。戴維斯很快就賣出好幾百條褲子,也在其他裁縫師開始抄襲他的設計時有所警覺。由於沒有足夠的資金申請專利,他寫信給他的布料供應商史特勞斯,提出合夥的建議。

這兩位男士在一八七三年一起取得專利,戴維斯也搬到舊金山監督新長褲的生產。不久後,他們將白色粗帆布改成藍色丹寧布―藍色比較不容易顯髒―現代藍色牛仔褲於焉誕生。出身卑微的移民史特勞斯和戴維斯,共同創造了後來全球最受歡迎的服飾種類。

 

【實用字彙】

immigrate (v.) 移民,遷移

miner (n.) 礦工

reinforce (v.) 加強

partnership (n.) 合夥關係,合作

 

本文取材自《改變人類生活的創意發明Eureka!:EZ TALK總編嚴選特刊

(本文授權刊登自EZTALK編輯部)

圖片來源:pixabay

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