4 Events on the Same Day in History

A selection of events that happened on this day in history.

1873

Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis receive a U.S. patent for blue jeans with copper rivets.

On this day in the Victorian era, Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis patented the new style of work pants—"blue jeans".

Here's an excerpt from the original patent filing, complete with J. W. Davis's original sketch.

Fastening Pocket-Openings.

No. 139,121. s Patented May20,1873.

JACOB W. DAVIS, OF RENO, NEVADA, ASSIGNOR TO HIMSELF AND LEVI STRAUSS & COMPANY, OF SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA.

IMPROVEMENT IN FASTENING POCKET-OPENINGS.

Specification forming part of Letters Patent No. 139,121, dated May 20, 1873 application filed August 9, 1872.

To all whom at may concern Be it known that I, JACOB W. DAVIS, of Reno, county of Washoe and State of Nevada, have invented an Improvement in Fastening Scams; and I do hereby declare the following description and accompanying drawing are sufficient to enable any person skilled in the art or science to which it most nearly appertains to make and use my said invention or improvement without further invention or experiment;

My invention relates to a fastening for pocket-openings, whereby; the sewed seams are prevented from ripping or starting from frequent pressure or strain thereon; and it consists in the employment of a metal rivet or eyelet at each edge of the pocket-opening, to prevent the ripping of the seam at those points. The rivet or eyelet is so fastened in the seam as to bind the two parts of cloth which the seam unites together, so that it shall prevent the strain or pressure from coming upon the thread with which the seam is sewed.

In order to more fully illustrate and explain my invention, reference is had to the accompanying drawing, in which my invention is represented as applied to the pockets of a pair of pants.

Figure 1 is a view of my invention as applied to pants.

A is the side seam in a pair of pants, drawers, or other article of wearing apparel, which terminates at the pockets; and b b represent the rivets at each edge of the pocket opening. The seams are usually ripped or started by the placing of the hands in the pockets and the consequent pressure or strain upon them. To strengthen this part I employ a rivet, eyelet, or other equivalent metal stud, b, which I pass through a hole at the end of the seam, so as to bind the two parts of cloth together, and then head'it down upon both sides so as to firmly unite the two parts. which already have one head are used, it is only necessary to head the opposite end, and

a washer can be interposed, if desired, in the usual way. By this means I avoid a large amount of trouble in mending portions of seams which are subjected to constant strain.

I am aware that rivets have been used for securing seams in shoes, as shown in the patents to Geo. Houghton, No; 6i,0l5, April 23, 1867, and to L. K. Washburn, No. 123,313,

 

1883

Krakatoa begins to erupt, killing more than 36,000 people three months later

On this day in Victorian history, the volcano "Krakatoa" in the Indonesian province of Lampung begins to erupt.

A series of small eruptions began on May 20, 1883, as the volcano released huge plumes of steam and ash lasting until late August.

Then, on August 27, four huge explosions almost destroyed the island entirely.

So violent were the explosions that they could be heard 3000 miles away on a Pacific island near Mauritius.

The sound was so loud it was said that if anyone was within ten miles of the eruption, they would have gone deaf.

And so much energy was powering this sound wave that it traveled the globe three and a half times.

 

1896

Palais Garnier's seven-ton chandelier falls on the crowd below, killing one, injuring many

On this day in Victorian history, Palais Garnier's seven-ton chandelier falls, killing one, injuring many, and inspiring a famous scene in the Phantom of the Opera.


Auditorium Chandelier. Credit Cristian Bortes

Garnier designed the 7-ton bronze and crystal chandelier at a total cost of 30,000 gold francs.

Arousing some controversy, it was criticized by patrons for obstructing views of the stage in the fourth level boxes and views of the ceiling painted by Eugène Lenepveu.

In his 1871 book Le Théâtre, Garnier defended the chandelier:

What else could fill the theatre with such joyous life? Who else could offer the variety of forms that we have in the pattern of the flames, in these groups and tiers of points of light, these wild hues of gold flecked with bright spots, and these crystalline highlights?

On 20 May 1896, one of the chandelier's counterweights broke free and burst through the ceiling into the auditorium, killing a member of the audience.

Inspired by the incident, Gaston Leroux wrote the famous scene into his classic 1910 gothic novel The Phantom of the Opera.

 

1932

 Amelia Earhart begins the world's first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean by a female pilot

 

On this day in 1932, American aviation pioneer Amelia Mary Earhart begins her famous solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean.


Amelia Earhart.

The red Lockheed Vega 5b flown by en:Amelia Earhart. Vredit Sergio Caltagirone.
Have you flown far?

From America.

It was the morning of May 20, 1932.

Amelia Earhart set off from Harbour Grace, Newfoundland to fly to Paris in her single engine Lockheed Vega 5B to emulate Charles Lindbergh's solo flight.

Her technical advisor for the flight was famed Norwegian American aviator Bernt Balchen who helped prepare her aircraft.

14 hours and 56 minutes later, having overcome strong winds, icy conditions, and mechanical problems, Earhart landed safely in a pasture near Derry in Northern Ireland.

A local Irish farm worker asked her "Have you flown far?" Earhart replied, "From America."

A small museum, the Amelia Earhart Centre, now marks the spot where Amelia Earhart landed in 1932.

David James

David James

I'm an Englishman in Boston. History is a joy—it binds us, it connects us, it guides us. I'm interested in making history more accessible and more fun. Join me on this fantastic voyage through time.