Levi Strauss: Supplier of an American icon
Foreign protests against American policies and globalization are fairly common. Television news often shows a street scene with an unruly mob assaulting a McDonald's franchise (often owned by locals). After all, McDonald's is a symbol of American capitalism and globalization. The delicious irony is that so many members of the mob wear Levis, the other quintessential American icon. Even more incongruous is that the story does not begin in the States, but in Buttenheim, a small town in Germany, where Leb Strauss was born in 1829. His father was a dry-goods salesman, essentially an itinerant peddler who moved from village to village to sell his wares. In 1845, when Leb was 16, his father died. Lšb's older brothers then immigrated to the United States, followed two years later by the rest of the family.