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
President Franklin Roosevelt signed the ambitious but controversial Tennessee Valley Authority Act 80 years ago on May 18, 1933, to provide navigation, flood control, electricity generation, fertilizer manufacturing, and economic development in the Tennessee Valley, a region particularly affected by the Great Depression.
It’s Bike to Work Day! For today’s Flashback Friday post in honor of our exhibit “Searching for the Seventies” we found this DOCUMERICA photo of a bike in El Paso, Texas, in 1972.
“El Paso’s Second Ward, a Chicano Neighborhood, 06/1972”
Danny Lyon, Photographer.
Did you have a bike in the 1970s? Did it have a banana seat? Streamers flowing from the handlebars?
“My chrome is shining just like an icicle
I ride around town on my lowrider bicycle…”
(possibly gratuitous but almost certainly requisite Beastie Boys quote)
It’s bike to work day!
Terry Eiler, photographer. From the EPA’s DOCUMERICA series.(More items from DOCUMERICA are currently on exhibit at the National Archives: “Searching for the Seventies: The DOCUMERICA Photography Project”)
Unfortunately the caption doesn’t tell us much, but we know this smart cyclist remembered his helmet!
Did you bike to work? Tandem? Recumbent? Bikeshare?
AFTER A COLD MORNING OF PATROL DUTY POLICE OFFICER SHEARER AND CHIEF ALLEC ENJOY HOT COFFEE AT MAC’S CAFE, 01/1973
From the Records of the Environmental Protection Agency (12/02/1970-)
Today is Peace Officers Memorial Day, also known as Police Week. Take the opportunity to thank law enforcement officers today!
Pilot William C. Hopson of the U.S. Mail Service in Winter Flying Clothing
Regularly scheduled airmail service first began in the United States on May 15, 1918. “Wild Bill” Hopson remains one of the more colorful of the early airmail pilots. A former cab driver who survived several close calls (once landing upside down in a cornfield), he perished when his plane crashed during a storm in 1928. Check out his “Pilot Story” at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum.
May 8 is National Bike to School Day!
SCHOOL CHILDREN, WERE FORCED TO USE THEIR BICYCLES ON FIELD TRIPS DURING THE FUEL CRISIS IN THE WINTER OF 1974. THERE WAS NOT ENOUGH GASOLINE FOR SCHOOL BUSES TO BE USED FOR EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES, EVEN DURING DARK AND RAINY WEATHER, 02/1974
What did you ride to school? 10 Speed? BMX? Fixie?
Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! This week on the National Archives Education page, we’re featuring teachers at work.
This class photo of a teacher posed with her students in front of their sod schoolhouse in Woods County, in the Oklahoma Territory, was taken about 1895. How many students do you count?
(Image: Teacher and children in front of sod schoolhouse. Woods Co., Okla. Terr., ca. 1895. From the Records of the Office of the Secretary of the Interior. National Archives Identifier: 516448. http://docsteach.org/documents/516448/detail) — at Woods County, Oklahoma.
BICYCLISTS IN CENTRAL PARK. ON SUNDAYS THE DRIVES THROUGH THE PARK ARE CLOSED TO MOTOR TRAFFIC, AND CYCLISTS BECOME LORDS OF THE ROAD, 05/1973
From the Records of the Environmental Protection Agency. (12/02/1970-)
The DOCUMERICA program captured images of a changing America; here, cyclists take over Central Park for the day. During the 1970s, New York and other American cities experimented with ways to make transportation cleaner and more efficient.
Nowadays, cyclists have more time to enjoy being “lords of the road”; Central Park is closed to motor traffic except during the weekday rush hour.
Completed 40 years ago in May 1973, Chicago’s Sears Tower (now known as the Willis Tower) was the tallest building in the world, and still reigns as the tallest building in the United States, until the imminent completion of New York’s One World Trade Center.
NEW AMTRAK TURBOLINER…THE NEW SEARS TOWER IS SEEN ON THE SKYLINE. 06/1974
From the EPA’s DOCUMERICA Series
(More items from DOCUMERICA are currently on exhibit at the National Archives: “Searching for the Seventies: The DOCUMERICA Photography Project”)
What’s up, Doc?
75 years ago a prototypical “Wascally Wabbit” debuted in Porky’s Hare Hunt, although Bugs Bunny would not make his first official appearance in a more familiar form until 1940.
Footage from “Bond Rally, 1941.” Excerpted from Uncle Sam Speaks, ca. 1987, a compilation of U.S. savings bond and stamp promotions by celebrities used in a National Archives and Records Administration exhibit entitled “Uncle Sam Speaks: Posters and Broadsides.”
(Image of Bugs Bunny copyrighted by Warner Bros.)