Happy Belated (it was Wednesday) 185th Birthday, Levi Strauss. This Is Your Levi’s.

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Happy birthday, Levi Strauss! Did you know that 185 years ago Wednesday, Levi Strauss was born—the same Levi Strauss who set up a dry goods store in San Francisco in 1853—partnering with tailor Jacob Davis to develop patented riveted pockets for work pants, in the process creating the iconic 501?

Check out these amazing photos Levi’s shared with us from its archives. Which is your favorite?

Above: Women wearing Levi’s at a California rodeo in the 1930s.

Below: Here’s an in-store ad card that was used during wartime.

 

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Somehow, during the Cold War, Levi’s made their way to Moscow. Here’s a local “cowboy” dressed up in Levi’s gear in 1959 at an international trade fair. He got lots of attention for his look.

 

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Here’s an amazing staff portrait of all the folks who worked at Levi Strauss & Co. HQ in the 1880s.

 

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After World War II, raw fabric, like denim, was still in short supply—so even after the war, when a store got a new shipment of Levi’s jeans and jackets, it was mobbed. Levi’s jeans and jackets were, like, the iPhone of the time, I guess. Here’s a store in Berkley, Calif.

 

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Levi’s started to really gain traction as a fashion brand in Europe in the 1960s—here’s a snapshot from the Zurich City Fair in Switzerland. Can you believe this isn’t America?

 

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February 28, 2014. Feburary.

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