Countless renowned items have been discovered over the decades, providing insight into how people lived before our time. The New York Times recently reported that a pair of work pants found from an 1857 shipwreck off the coast of North Carolina and touted as the “oldest known pair of jeans in the world” sold for 114, 000 US dollars.
“Those miner’s jeans are like the first flag on the moon, a historic moment in history,” said Dwight Manley, the managing partner of the California Gold Marketing Group, which owned the artefacts.
“There are no earlier five-button fly jeans in existence.”
The pants were recovered from the SS Central America, often known as the Ship of Gold, which went from Panama to New York in September 1857 when it drowned in a hurricane with 425 people aboard, according to The New York Times.
The white, heavy-duty miner’s pants with a five-button fly were among 270 Gold Rush-era relics sold last week in Reno, Nevada, according to Holabird Western American Collections. “Pair of men’s work pants recovered from the Dement trunk found at the S.S. Central America shipwreck,” states the item description.
The five-button fly shows that these were an early production of Levi Strauss labour pants. The fabric’s original colour is unknown, and the blacks and browns evident presently are fugitive stains from the trunk and its contents.”
There is uncertainty and confusion about whether the white pair was made by Levi Strauss, one of the world’s oldest and most popular jeans producers. Levi’s discovered pair is 16 years older. Notably, the first pair was created in 1873 by San Francisco-based Levi Strauss & Co.
Some experts believe there really are connections to Mr Strauss based on historical facts. For example, Mr Strauss was a renowned dry goods distributor during that era, and the white pants could have been an early design in their jean line. However, Tracey Panek, the company’s historian and archive director, stated that any assertions concerning their origin are “speculation,” according to The New York Times.
Ms. Panek stated that while she was pleased by the discovery, she saw nothing that would link the pants to Mr. Strauss.
“From the white colour, lack of suspender buttons, five fly buttons instead of four, and the unusual fly design with extra side buttonholes, to the non-denim fabric that is a much lighter weight than cloth used by LS & Co. for its earliest riveted clothing, the Dement trunk pants are not typical of the miner’s work pants in our archives,” said Ms. Panek.