An abbreviation of Levi Strauss & Co., originally written on the rivets: L.S. & Co. S.F. Pat May 1873. Once the patent expired in 1890, the text was changed to ‘L.S. & Co. S.F. Cal.’.
Loeb Strauss immigrated to America from Germany in 1847. He changed his name in 1853 and founded a dry goods wholesale business in San Francisco named Levi Strauss & Co.).
Source: Nouvelle de Nîmes Nº 5: The Denim Dictionary