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李维斯:牛仔世界的传奇

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萨特磨坊里金矿的发现揭开了1848年加利福尼亚州淘金热的历史性一页,同时也改变了美国的面貌。作为那段热血沸腾岁月的产物之一,李维斯牛仔裤已经成为美国流行文化的一部分。为了满足加利福尼亚的那些大老粗金矿工人的需要,住在旧金山的犹太商人李维•施特劳斯将这种结实耐磨的牛仔裤引进了市场。时至今日,李维斯牛仔裤已经逐渐演变成一种举世公认的高级时装。
The discovery at Sutter’s Mill set off the historic California Gold Rush of 1848 and changed the face of America. One product of those heady times has become a part of American popular culture: Levi’s jeans. The durable denim pants were brought to market by Levi Strauss, a Jewish merchant living in San Francisco, to meet the needs of uncouth miners in California’s gold fields. Today, Levi’s jeans have evolved into a world-recognized form of haute couture.
1853年,为了在西海岸替哥哥在纽约的生意成立一间分店,24岁的李维•斯特劳斯来到了旧金山,出售干货、服装以及家具用品。从祖国德国移民到美国后,他已经在纽约学习了多年的生意经。在后来的20年间,他将生意打理得十分成功,这不仅使他成为了一位令人敬仰的实业家,也让他成了当地的慈善家。
Levi Strauss came to San Francisco in 1853, at the age of twenty-four, to open a west coast branch of his brother’ s New York business, selling dry goods, clothing, and household furnishings. He had spent a number of years learning the trade in New York after emigrating there from his native Germany. He built his business into a very successful operation over the next twenty years, making a name for himself not only as a well-respected businessman, but as a local philanthropist as well.
李维众多的顾客中有一位名叫雅各布•戴维斯的裁缝。雅各布是拉脱维亚人,住在内华达州的里诺市。他总是定期从李维•施特劳斯的批发行购买成匹的布料。雅各布有一位难对付的顾客,此人老是把雅各布给他做的裤子上的裤兜磨破。于是雅各布开始琢磨如何加固那位顾客的裤子,一天,一个想法突然闪现在他的脑中:可以在容易磨破的例如裤兜边角和缝纽扣处用金属铆钉来加固。
One of Levi’s many customers was a tailor named Jacob Davis. Originally from Latvia, Jacob lived in Reno, Nevada, and regularly purchased bolts of cloth from the wholesale house of Levi Strauss & Co. Among Jacob’s customers was a difficult man who kept ripping the pockets of the pants that Jacob made for him. Jacob tried to think of a way to strengthen the man’s trousers, and one day hit upon the idea of putting metal rivets at the points of strain, such as on the pocket corners and at the base of the button fly.
这些钉上铆钉的裤子立即受到了雅各布顾客们的欢迎,渐渐地,他开始担心有人会盗用这个绝妙的点子,于是决定为这一发明申请专利。申请专利需要81美元的申请费,雅各布没有这笔钱。他需要一个生意伙伴,这时他第一个想到的人就是李维•施特劳斯。
These riveted pants were an instant hit with Jacob’s customers and he worried that someone might steal this great idea. He decided he should apply for a patent on the process, but didn’t have the $81 that was required to file the papers. He needed a business partner and he immediately thought of Levi Strauss.
1872年,雅各布给李维写了一封信,信中提出两人可以共同拥有这项专利。作为一个精明的商人,李维一眼就看出了这项新产品的无限商机,同意了雅各布的提议。1873年5月20日,两人从美国专利与商标局收到了专利编号为139,121的证书。现如今,那一天也被官方地认定为蓝色牛仔裤的“生日”。
In 1872 Jacob wrote a letter to Levi to suggest that the two men hold the patent together. Levi, who was an astute businessman, saw the potential for this new product and agreed to Jacob’s proposal. On May 20, 1873, the two men received patent no.139,121 from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. That day is now considered to be the official “birthday” of blue jeans.
专利受到保护之后,李维雇佣了雅各布•戴维斯,并派他到李维•施特劳斯公司位于旧金山的工厂监督铆钉裤的生产。第一批铆钉服装于1873年的某天生产并售出(具体日期的记录在1906年旧金山地震和火灾中与公司卷宗一并遗失了)。
With the patent secured, Levi hired Jacob Davis to oversee production of the riveted pants at the Levi Strauss & Co. San Francisco plant. Sometime during 1873, the first riveted clothing was made and sold. (the exact date was lost along with the company records in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire).
铆钉牛仔裤的牛仔布料来自于新罕布什尔州曼彻斯特市的阿莫斯奇亚毛纺厂。这家毛纺厂以其优质的布料而闻名。很快,从事各类工种的工人们就开始购买这种新发明的牛仔裤,并奔走相告其结实耐穿的特性。很难想象在1885年,当牛仔装刚刚成为工人们最牢靠的工作服时,一条全新的李维斯牛仔裤售价仅为1.25美元。
The denim for the riveted work pants came from the Amoskeag Mill in Manchester, New Hampshire, a company known for the quality of its fabrics. Within a very short time, all types of working men were buying the innovative new pants and spreading the word about their unrivaled durability. Hard to imagine that back in 1885, when denim first established itself as a reliable work wear cloth for a working man’s garment—that a pair of Levi overalls cost $1.25. Brand new.
拥有这项专利意味着在接下来的近二十年内,只有李维•施特劳斯公司有权生产这种铆钉服装,直至专利权失效。1890年前后,这些裤子被编号为501,这一编号一直沿用至今。专利权过期之后,很多制衣厂纷纷开始模仿李维•施特劳斯公司出品的这种广受欢迎的铆钉服装。
Holding a patent on this process meant that for nearly twenty years, Levi Strauss & Co. was the only company allowed to make riveted clothing until the patent went into the public domain. Around 1890, these pants were assigned the number 501, which they still bear today. When the patent expired, dozens of garment manufacturers began to imitate the original riveted clothing made popular by Levi Strauss & Co.
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2011-01-04 21:50 编辑:kuaileyingyu
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