Free admission with free garage parking on Pierce Street between Ellis and Eddy streets.
Blue jeans symbolize everything from the Old West to the hippie counter-culture. And perhaps the name most associated with blue jeans is Levi Strauss & Co., creator of this classic garment. Company owner Levi Strauss (1829-1902) left his home in Germany at age 18, and made his way to San Francisco in 1853, where he established a wholesale dry goods business. By the 1860s, Strauss was active in the business and cultural life of San Francisco, and supported the Jewish community, including Temple Emanu-El, the city's first synagogue. In 1873, he and a partner patented the first blue jeans as work pants.
Historian Lynn Downey researched and wrote this first full-length biography, Levi Strauss: The Man Who Gave Blue Jeans to the World. She’ll discuss Levi’s life and legacy, which reaches into nearly every aspect of American culture: business, philanthropy, politics, immigration, transportation, education, and fashion.
Lynn Downey is an independent scholar and writer. She was the first in-house historian for Levi Strauss & Co., where for twenty-five years she developed the company’s archive, traveled as its global ambassador, and researched the life of its founder.
Program made possible, in part, by Tricia Hellman Gibbs.