We couldn’t let today pass without honoring a staple of Americana that ranks alongside hot dogs, July Fourth and apple pie. Blue jeans were introduced to America on this day in 1873 by Levi Strauss and tailor Jacob Davis, whose patented denim pants with copper rivets have become a symbol of everything that is celebrated in our culture.
Blue jeans are emblematic of everything American from the hard-nosed, can-do attitude of blue collar workers to sexy supermodels in cutoffs to rebellious rockers in ripped up Levis… and everything in between. The public loves blue jeans, and every generation since 1873 seems to have defined blue jeans in its own way.
Here are some examples:
Ignatius Reilly, the main character in John Kennedy Toole’s classic American novel A Confederacy of Dunces, briefly work in a jean factory before being fired for attempting to organize factory workers and insist on better working wages and conditions.
And then there are blue jeans in music, for which clearly both Americans and the English share an affinity.
Lana Del Rey, Blue Jeans:
David Bowie, Blue Jean:
Neil Diamond, Forever in Blue Jeans:
Mel McDaniel, Baby’s Got Her Blue Jeans On:
Eric Clapton, Bell Bottom Blues:
What other blue jean references in culture are we missing? Let us know!