Oldest Jeans in the Universe Sell for $114,000 at Auction

(Associated Press) – RENO, Nevada (The) These work pants fetched a price of $114,000 at auction after being discovered in a trunk from a shipwreck that occurred off the coast of North Carolina in the year 1857.

It was said that these were the oldest jeans in the whole wide universe.

Historic Objects from the Gold Rush Era Sell for Nearly One Million Dollars

According to Holabird Western American Collections, throughout the course of the weekend, in Reno, 270 objects dating back to the time of the Gold Rush were sold for close to one million dollars. One of them was a pair of white miners’ pants made of heavy-duty material and featuring a fly with five buttons.

Because they were made 16 years before the first pair of jeans made by Levi Strauss & Co. in San Francisco, many people don’t believe they have anything to do with Levi Strauss, who is widely known as the man who made modern blue jeans.

This is because the first pair of jeans made by Levi Strauss & Co. in San Francisco was made in 1873.

Some historical evidence shows that the trousers may have been an early version of what would later become the renowned jeans, and that they may have been tied to Strauss, who was a wealthy dry goods merchant during the time period in question.

According to Tracey Panek, who is the historian of the corporation and the head of its archives, any assertions regarding where they originated are merely “speculation.”

She emailed the Associated Press with the following statement: “The pants are not Levi’s, and I do not believe that they are miners’ work pants.”

Those trousers were unquestionably crafted prior to the sinking of the S.S. Central America in a hurricane on September 12, 1857, which was transporting passengers from San Francisco to New York City via Panama.

In addition, there is not a single shred of evidence to suggest that any working pants from the time of the Gold Rush still exist.

The managing partner of the California Gold Marketing Group, which owns the objects and is selling them at auction, Dwight Manley, likened the miner’s pants to the first flag that was planted on the moon. The California Gold Marketing Group is selling the items.

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Shipwreck Recovery Yields Centuries-Old Treasure

Things that had been buried in the ship’s wreckage for over a century and were put up for auction included the purser’s keys to the treasure room, which held a lot of Gold Rush coins and assayers ingots.

The wreckage of the ship was located at a depth of 7,200 feet (2,195 meters) below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean. The transaction concluded at the price of $103,200 that was being asked for it.

Since shipwreck recovery first got underway in 1988, gold that was worth tens of millions of dollars has been bought and sold. However, prior to last Saturday, no antiquities had ever been offered for sale via public auction. The following auction is scheduled to take place in February.

The proprietor of the auction house, Fred Holabird, made the following statement: “There has never been anything like the range of these recovered objects, which were like a time capsule of everyday life during the Gold Rush.”

The lid of what is believed to be the oldest treasure chest that Wells Fargo & Co. has ever produced was recently auctioned off and brought in a price of $99,600. A Colt pocket handgun from 1849 that brought $30,000 at auction was sold.

A gold coin with a face value of twenty dollars that was initially struck in San Francisco in the year 1856 and then had an advertisement for a pharmacy in Sacramento stamped on it increased in value to the amount of $43,200.

The majority of the passengers aboard the S.S. Central America traveled to Panama by an earlier vessel called the S.S. Sonora, which departed from San Francisco and arrived in Panama City.

After arriving there, they boarded a train that carried them across the isthmus and on to the ship that had sunk. Only 153 of the ship’s passengers and crew members survived the sinking of the S.S. Central America, which claimed the lives of 425 people.

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Who owned these clothes and what is their story?

Due to the fact that it contained items contributed by such a diverse range of individuals, the collection piqued the curiosity of historians and collectors. John Dement was kind enough to provide the clothes that were in his trunk. He is originally from Oregon, and he served in the military during the Mexican-American War.

According to Manley, “no one can say for certain whether or not these are Levi’s.” [Citation needed] The owner claims that there are no other pairs of Gold Rush jeans in existence, and that these particular pairs are not housed in any museum.

Holabird, who has almost half a century of experience as a scientist and historian, is in agreement with this statement: “Up to this point, no museum has developed another.”

According to Panek, in May of 1873, the United States Patent Office granted a patent for “An Improvement in Fastening Pocket-Openings” to both Levi Strauss & Co. and a Reno tailor by the name of Jacob Davis.

She continued by stating that a few months later, the firm began producing what are now often referred to as “Levi’s 501 jeans,” which are the first pair of modern blue jeans to feature rivets.

She stated that the pants that were recovered from the shipwreck did not have any identifying marks on them, such as patches, buttons, or even rivets, which were not invented until 1873. This was done before to the auction.

Panek emailed the Associated Press on Monday, stating that the pants “do not appear like the miner’s work pants in our archives,” in reference to the pants. She drew attention to the peculiar hue of blue, the “odd fly design with extra side buttonholes,” and the fabric, which is not denim and is “lighter weight than the cotton used for its previous riveted clothes.” All of these details were brought up in her explanation.

When Panek went to Reno last week to look at the pants, Holabird is rumored to have told her that there was no way to connect them to a pair of pants created in 1873 based on either historical evidence or scientific research.

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Between the years 1857 and 1913, when Strauss created his riveted pocket, Holabird asserted that “Everything changed.” This covered the types of materials, the amount of items that were available, the processes that were used to make them, and the distribution channels that were used to sell them. According to him, Panek concurred with everything that he had to say.

Even today, Levi Strauss & Co. maintains its long-standing claim that the company did not manufacture clothing prior to the year 1873.

Holabird claims that a Strauss subcontractor was responsible for the production of the pants. The trail of money led him to discover that Strauss’ sales were “at a level that had never been witnessed before.” Therefore, he made the decision to “go after the gold.”

According to Holabird, Strauss was the most successful individual merchant that exported gold from California during the years 1857 and 1858.

How much of the money was used to pay for goods to be sold in California?

The gold belonging to Wells Fargo, which had a value of 260,300 dollars at the time, was the most precious item among the 1.6 million dollars’ worth of cargo that were shipped on the S.S. Sonora from San Francisco to Panama in August of 1857.

After that, there were five more large banks, and then Levi Strauss came in first with $76,441. According to Holabird, Levi Strauss made at least 14 shipments like this during the years 1856 and 1858, and the total value of these shipments averaged $91,033.

According to Holabird, Strauss “sells to every decent-sized dry goods store in the California gold areas, maybe hundreds of them.” [Citation needed] This encompasses retail establishments from Shasta to Sonora and farther. It came as a shock to find out that he was a marketing genius.

To put it another way, the enormity of his sales compels us to search for an explanation. In order to launch the entire production, he would have to negotiate a deal with the company’s producers.


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