Another prospector, Alkali Ike, was to play a role in the evolution of jeans. Each time he returned to the saloon of Virginia City, he complained to his tailor, Jacob W. Davis, of pockets torn from his habit of carrying nuggets
in them, and asked why Davis couldn't nake his pockets as strong as those in Strass' Levis. Davis, tired of his customer's constant complaining, riveted the pockets together with copper wire. When Alkali Ike returned a few weeks
later, the entire boom town expected to witness the usual drunken spectacle, but this time the gruff miner, instead of getting drunk immediately and going around through the tents cursing, went to his tailor to show him that his
pockets had held together. Davis reported the incident to Strauss, who applied with Davis for a patent on July 5, 1872. The patent, number 139,121, was granted on May 20, 1873, the date regarded as the birthday of the firm. At that
time the jeans were sold for ¢22 each. Some of the early Levis are now in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.
Strauss made money with one hand and gave it away with the other, endowing 28 scholarships at the
University of California and contributing to several San Francisco orphanages. A lifelong bachelor, he left the company to four nephews, whose descendants still control it. Today Levi's are sold around the world, with about $5
billion in annual sales.