When Jacob Davis contacted Levi Strauss regarding acquiring a patent for his new invention he didn’t invent jeans. His invention was merely that he had reinforced a pair of pants with copper rivets. This of course made a huge difference for the common working man, who stuffed the pockets of his pants with rocks and what not to the point of actually breaking the pockets.
The demand for riveted pants grew quickly and Levi Strauss with a proposition of a partnership and the rest is what we say, history. The birth of blue jeans or waist dungarees, as they were called back then, was a reality.
Up until 1937 all rivets on Levi’s jeans were exposed. This caused for a lot of problem for cowboys and housewives alike. The rivets would simply scratch the surface of saddles as well as the living room furniture. This led to another invention, the hidden rivet. However, even the hidden rivet would eventually tear its way through even the toughest denim and in the 1960s it was removed for good was replaced by a bartack.
Source: After the Denim