Levi Strauss, the inventor of the Jeans, was born near Bamburg (Buttenheim) on 26. Februar 1829 and died 26. September 1902 in San Francisco
The birthplace of Levi Strauss has a Museum. There, everything revolves around the most famous pants in human history
The approximately 3000 inhabitants of Buttenheim did not suspect for a long time that Levi Strauss originally came from there. Only a letter from America to the then mayor in 1983 asked for information about the birthplace of the jeans inventor. It triggered an intensive research
An entry in the birth register of the Buttenheim Jewish community and an emigration certificate from the Bamberg State Archives finally proved that Levi Strauss spent his first 18 years of life in Buttenheim.
Levi Strauss was born under the name Löb Strauss in Buttenheim in Upper Franconia as the son of Jewish parents. His father, Hirsch Strauss died of tuberculosis when Löb was 16 years old. The multi-member family fell into economic distress. In 1847, his mother Rebecca emigrated to America with the youngest children – him and two of his sisters.
They followed the two oldest Strauss brothers to New York, who earned their bread there through the textile trade. From then on, Strauss called himself Levi, acquired American citizenship and worked in the brothers’ business. (Photo by Wikimedia)
In 1853, Levi Strauss opened a dry goods company in San Francisco at the height of the California Gold Rush. While he was working there, he recognized the need for clothes that are made to endure hard mining work.
The Levi Strauss Birth House
The Mayor of Buttenheim and some town historians did some research, and found out that the birthplace of the jeans inventor still exists. A little later, in 1987, the town of Buttenheim bought Levis’ birthplace, a half timbered Fachwerk. It is one of the oldest buildings in town and under monument protection.
The house was built in the 17th. Century, it has been rebuilt several times, and is one of the oldest buildings in Buttenheim. Levi Strauss lived on the ground floor with his parents and six siblings. In Fall of 1987, the Buttenheim municipal council decided to acquire the listed half-timbered house. In 1992, an elaborate renovation began, which restored the dilapidated building as identical as possible. The Levi Strauss Museum Jeans & Kult was opened in September 2000.
Since September 2000, the small half-timbered building has housed the Levi Strauss Museum. In 2011, the renovation of the annex building was completed. Since then, the museum has special exhibition and event rooms, a cafeteria and museum shop.
Geburtshaus Levi Strauss Museum