The still popular blue jeans have their origins in the Old West frontier of San Francisco in the late 1800s. Gathered from collections around the world, here are never-before-seen pictures of antique "Miner's denim" worn in the frontier communities of Nevada and California, including Levi denim that is over 120 years old. Over a dozen other brands that used this strong, durable fabric, and helped make blue jeans what they are today include Greenbaum Brothers, Neustadter Brothers, S.R. Krouse, A.B. Elfelt & Co., Heynemann & Co., Harman Adams, W. & I Steinhart & Co., Toklas, Brown, & Co., Yung Chow, and others. To avoid patent infringements, these other, little-known brands designed jeans that found a way around the rivet patent of Levi Strauss. Many of these innovative blue jeans designs have been lost in the dust of history and were inaccessible to the public until now. This book offers an extensive look at the whole era of Old West denim. Over three hundred color photos and illustrations chronicle never-before-seen examples, patent drawings, and the histories of the manufacturers. This is invaluable information for fashion historians and collectors alike.
Michael Harris is the manager of Montreal Books, a rare and used Internet bookshop. He is a two-time winner of the CBC Literary Competition, the editor of poetry books and anthologies. He lives in Westmount, Quebec.