JEAN-IUS: Levi jeans 31 facts on founder's death anniversary

Sign of our times ... Levi's signature patch
Sign of our times ... Levi's signature patch

Levi Strauss, man behind denim three quarters of us will have worn, died 114 years ago today.

The fashion designer, who founded first company to manufacture blue jeans complete with trademark copper rivets, made them one of the world's must-have most popular clothing items from Californian gold rush to high fashion catwalks.

To mark the demise of the 73-year-old behind iconic work wear, as American as apple pie in stars and stripes bowl at a baseball game, here's fun facts - from burning crotches to "alligator jaw" zips, Bing Crosby denim tux to banned TV ad (seen here) - about the jean genius.

1 As a wealthy merchant, he never himself wore jeans, originally designed as labourers' work apparel.

2 The German immigrant inventor's name was Loeb not Levi.

3 Although jeans patch bears May 20 1873 patent date it was 13 further years before signature logo depicting two horses pulling at pair to illustrate material's strength.

Rebel without a cause ... but with a pair of Levi's

Rebel without a cause ... but with a pair of Levi's

4 World's oldest pair, within guarded fireproof San Francisco safe, date from 1879 and are worth an estimated $150,000.

5 Jeans cost $1.25 in 1880 but, rescued from a Nevada mine, early pair has since sold for $46,532.

6 Signature 'V' shaped gold stitch on back pockets identified product but its meaning was lost with 1906 San Francisco earthquake factory records blaze.

7 Belt loops weren't introduced until 1922, before when braces were used.

Worn in the USA ... The Boss's Americana branding

Worn in the USA ... The Boss's Americana branding

8 Fashion equality came with 1934 Lady Levi's launch.

9 One of every ten back pocket red tabs since 1936 introduction don't carry brand name but are blank, two back pockets having been introduced in 1901.

10 1941 saw discontinuation of crotch rivet that overheated around cowboys' campfire!

11 World War Two saw double stitched pocket arcuate painted to conserve thread.

Tag team ... Levi's distinctive red label

Tag team ... Levi's distinctive red label

12 Denim is made of one white and one colored thread, jean two same colour threads.

13 501s consist 1 3/4 yards of denim, 213 yards of thread, five buttons and six rivets.

14 Each pair is dyed with just 3 to 12 grams of potent indigo.

15 The Duke John Wayne sported pair in John Ford's 1939 epic Stagecoach.

16 Cary Grant and Clint Eastwood both wrote the company congratulatory letters.

17 Levi's name changed from "overalls" to "jeans" after Brando sported 'em in 1951 The Wild One and James Dean rocked a pair in '55 Rebel Without a Cause to increase teen popularity.

18 1951 also witnessed Bing Crosby's bespoke gifted denim tuxedo, complete with red tags lapel flower, after being denied Vancouver hunting trip hotel room due to dress code.

19 Zipper fly was first appeared in 1954 with one complainant writing "It’s like peeing into the jaws of an alligator!”

20 YKK on zip stands for world’s largest zipper manufacturer Yoshida Kogyo Kabushibibaish.

21 Despite cold war, Russians warmed to the Stateside brand after Moscow 1959 international trade fair display, becoming Eastern Bloc barter currency despite ban.

22 All Levi's jeans were shrink-to-fit until 1961, after which they became pre-shrunk.

23 Jefferson Airplane stitched up lyrics of 1967 White Rabbit hit for white Levi's commercial.

24 In a galaxy far, far away, Luke Skywalker wore bleached pair for 1977 first Star Wars film, since raising an out of this world $36,100 at auction.

25 First series of Levi’s 501 Blues commercials in 1984 featured Bruce Willis.

26 The Boss Bruce Springsteen doesn't allow his material to advertise commercial products but 1984 Born In The USA album cover proved classic Americana branding.

27 Levi's lost a billion dollars profit in the late '90s for failing to cater to baggy-trousered hip-hop audience.

28 In 2001 Levi's was forced to recall polyurethane finish versions because it gave wearers a rash.

29 From 2001 to 2007 the company sued more than 100 competitors for copying its famous design.

30 Levi's produced UK TV commercial, banned for featuring woman undressing in front of "blind" man who was holding white cane for a friend!

31 25,500 pairs of denim insulate Levi Strauss & Co San Francisco HQ.