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On the road again ...
Livi, the pig that can't stay in one place for long, is in Germany once again ... and today I went to Buttenheim, a village in Franconia, to visit the birthplace of Levi Strauss, father of the blue jeans.
Levi was born as Löb Strauss in the little house on Marktstrasse in 1829 and emigrated to the US in 1847 with his mother and two siblings to escape poverty after his father’s death. He changed his name to Levi and became an American citizen and a successful New York businessman, dealing in needles and pins, buttons and cloth and other such things. After a couple of years in New York he moved to San Francisco, where he opened a store selling cloth, clothing and other items needed by the gold diggers and pioneers of the West. When a taylor from Reno, Nevada, named Jacob Davis came up with the idea of using rivets to strengthen the pockets etc. of work clothes but couldn’t afford to have his invention patented, Levi provided the money and together they became the owners of a patent on ’reinforced work clothes’. The rest, I guess, is history ...
The house where Levi was born has been nicely renovated and now houses the Levi-Strauss-Museum, which opened its doors in 2000 and has already won several awards. For 2.60 Euros (free for pigs, of course) you can go on an audio tour on its three floors – you get one of those ’listening devices’ that look like old-fashioned cell phones that you can hold to your ear (a bit heavy for a little pig like me ;-) ) – and also look at a collection of vintage jeans and jackets. The audio tour is available in German and English and if French is your language they give you some information on paper. Hours are limited, the museum is closed on Monday and open mainly in the afternoon on other days, so make sure you check their website before you go. The museum is definitely worth a visit! Oh, by the way, Buttenheim is very close to the city of Bamberg, which I’ve heard is also a great place to visit!
P.S.: It’s way too cold here for March! Still lots of snow on the ground where I am right now!