It doesn’t get better for me than Levi’s, and meeting with Lynn Downey the Levi Strauss & Co. archivist and historian was an interesting an informative glimpse into the history of one of America’s most iconic companies. The second half of our conversation is below.
A pair of vintage jeans c.1901-1922 from the Levi Strauss & Co. archives
ACL: What was the highest amount you have paid for a pair of Levi’s?
Lynn Downey: The most we have ever paid was $46,532 and that was for the “Nevada Jean” which is — it’s not a 501 — it’s like a carpenter jean from the 1880s. It has a pocket for a folding ruler on the left thigh. Somebody found them in Nevada somewhere, and because we lost everything in 1906 in the earthquake and fire in San Francisco we didn’t know the original name or lot number, so we just decided to call them the Nevada Jeans, because they were found in Nevada.