This is kinda cool! Have you ever noticed that tiny pocket slightly above the pocket of your jeans? Well it was designed that way with a purpose you wouldn’t believe!
It turns out that teeny, tiny pocket you just can’t seem to fit anything into is a watch pocket. It first appeared on jeans in 1879, according to Levi’s historian Tracey Panek. Wrist watches hadn’t been invented yet, so men needed a safe place to keep their watches which typically hung from a chain.
The original denim jean was created in 1871 by an immigrant tailor named Jacob Davis. It was Davis who first came up with the idea of adding rivets to the stress points of jeans to prevent them from fraying. At the time, the pants were worn almost exclusively by miners who managed lots of wear and tear on their trousers.
When Davis couldn’t afford the $68 to buy the patent for the use of rivets, he reached out to Levi Strauss who then became his business partner. He acquired the patent in 1873 and the rest is history.
Originally, denim work pants were called waist overalls and only came with four pockets, one in the back, two in the front, and the small watch pocket. Since Levi Strauss and Co. held the patent, they were the only manufacturers of jeans for the next 35 years.
It’s so crazy how these “miner” pants became household favorites! So now that you know this, you can put on your jeans with a different kind of appreciation!
Check out more interesting facts on denim history in this video!