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ESL Worksheets

The History of Jeans

This worksheet links to two articles about the history of jeans. The first is from the official Levi Strauss website, the second from a feature in the New Internationalist magazine. Notice how we get slightly different versions of the story from the two authors!

The Invention of Leviísģ 501ģ Jeans

The Invention of Leviís ®501® Jeans

(Article from the official Levi Strauss website:

Before Reading

  1. Why do think jeans were invented?
  2. What are they made of?
  3. Why do you think they are so popular today?

After Reading

  1. What was Levi Straussí original business?
  2. How did Strauss and Jacob Davis meet?
  3. Why did Davis want to be able to make stronger pants?
  4. How did he solve the problem?
  5. Why did Davis need a patent?
  6. The new, stronger pants were not Straussí idea, so why did he become Davisí business partner?
  7. How many factories did Levi Strauss & Co. have in the early days?
  8. What was the original name for jeans?
  9. Why were jeans so popular?
  10. Why are Levi jeans called 501®s?


What is the most interesting piece of information this article has given you about the history of jeans?


The History of Jeans

(Article from "Global Issues for Learners of English" at

  1. What information do you get from the first two paragraphs of this article which you did not get from the Levi Strauss webpage?
  2. How does the description of Levi Straussí business differ from the one on the official Strauss website?
  3. The Strauss webpage told us that Jacob Davis invented jeans because had a difficult customer who kept ripping his pants. How does the explanation in this article differ from that?
  4. List three reasons for the popularity of jeans during the 20th century.

Frankie Meehan