This record, dated September 26, 1871, is the Oath of Enlistment and Allegiance of Thomas Shaw, who, at the age of 25 re-enlisted to extend his service in the U.S. Army. The enlisting official certifies that Mr. Shaw was “entirely sober” when he enlisted and “duly qualified” to perform the duties required of him in the Army.
Oath of Enlistment and Allegiance for Thomas Shaw, 9/26/1871
From the Records of the Adjutant General’s Office
On May 20, 1873, Jacob W. Davis of Levi Strauss & Co. received patent #139,121 for an “improvement in fastening pocket openings.” Davis’s improvement consisted of “the employment of a metal rivet or eyelet at each edge of the pocket opening to prevent the ripping of the seam at those points.”
In a deposition given during a patent infringement lawsuit in 1874, Davis recounts the story of how he came to first use rivets on work pants. He explains how, in January 1871, a woman asked him to make a pair of pants for her husband and to make them strong. Before working on the pants, he had been using rivets to attach straps to horse blankets, and when he noticed the rivets lying on the table, he thought to use them to attach the pockets.
Patent Drawing for J. W. Davis’ Fastening Pocket Openings, 05/20/1873
On December 12, 1874, Representative Joseph Rainey (R-SC) took his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, becoming the first African American congressman. Rep. Rainey served in Congress until March 3, 1879.
Credentials of Rep. Joseph H. Rainey, 11/23/1974, HR 44A-J1, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives