The Beginning...

Jacob Youphres immigrated to the United States from Latvia in 1854.  He changed his name to Jacob Davis and openned 2 tailor shops -
one in New York City and one in Augusta, Maine.

In 1869, Mr. Davis had settled in Reno, Nevada where he tailored tents and wagon covers with cotton duck material which he bought from Levi Strauss.

As stated in
A biography of Levi Strauss' business partner, Jacob Davis:

                              " In late 1870 a woman customer came to him for a pair of “cheap” pants for her “large”
                             husband who had a habit of going through pants rather quickly. She paid him $3.00 in
                             advance for the white duck pants, and told Davis she wanted them made as strong as

Another complaint Mr. Davis used to receive from miners about 'waist-overalls' was that the pockets would rip from the garment under strain of the heavy load of ore samples that the miners would carry to the surface.

Jacob Davis then invented a process of strenghening the stress areas of the pockets by devising a system to install rivets at the points of strain.

picture of the initial rivet process          The first  'waist-overalls' were fastened from a canvas
(backside)                                                 type material.

As stated in the Levi Strauss & Co. document  titled "A Short History of Denim"(.pdf) written By Lynn Downey it all begain when

    "In 1872 he got a letter from tailor Jacob Davis, who had been making riveted clothing for the miners in the Reno area and who purchased cloth from Levi Strauss & Co. He needed a business partner to help him get a patent and begin to manufacture this new type of work clothing. Well, Levi knew a good business opportunity when he saw one, and in 1873 LS&CO. and Davis received a patent for an “Improvement in Fastening Pocket-Openings.”

The Rest as they say, is history....