Search Results for levi's archive lynn | A Continuous Lean.

Archival Khaki in San Francisco

Feb 27th, 2010 | Categories: Americana, History, San Francisco | by Michael Williams

I don’t want to say that this fell through the cracks, but a few months ago I was in San Francisco for a quick business trip and I took the opportunity to visit Ms. Lynn Downey at the Levi Strauss & Co. archive. You may remember my initial meeting with Lynn when I interviewed her during a research trip to New York. (Read that interview here.) “Next time you are in San Francisco you should come by and see the archive.” Lynn told me casually at the end of our meeting in New York. Little did she know I fully intended on taking her up on that offer.

Asked & Answered | Levi Strauss & Co. Part II

Sep 17th, 2009 | Categories: Americana, Denim, Khaki | by Michael Williams

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.

Asked & Answered | Levi Strauss & Co.

Aug 24th, 2009 | Categories: California, Denim, History | by Michael Williams

Not too long ago — in an effort to insult yours truly — someone accused ACL of becoming “The History Channel’s” blog. The commenter was attempting to offend, but the remark accomplished only the opposite. I can think of a lot of worse things this site could be. History is the basis for everything that is ACL. With that said, when the opportunity arose to spend the afternoon with Lynn Downey the Levi Strauss & Co. archivist and historian, I could imagine of no better way to enjoy a summer day.


A pair of vintage jeans c.1901-1922 from the Levi Strauss & Co. archives

ACL: It seems like you have a pretty amazing Job, how does this come about, how do you end up becoming the archivist for Levi’s?

Lynn Downey: Sheer amazing luck. I heard that the company was hiring an archivist for the first time in 1989, and my bachelors degree is in History and my masters degree is in Library and Information Science, but I specialized in archival administration and I applied for the job and I got it in December of ’89.