Aug 28 2012
American women won the right to vote in 1920, after nearly seventy-five years of struggle. But in the 1920s, it was still considered a novelty for women to drive automobiles. So when sisters Grace and Ester Robinson were hired by Liberty magazine in 1928 to drive a car – by themselves - from New York to California, it was considered a very big deal.
Liberty was the perfect magazine to manage this stunt. It was a mass-marketed weekly, and went head-to-head with the more well-known Saturday Evening Post. Under the title “Gasoline Gypsies,” Liberty published regular tales of the road from the Robinson sisters, who kept detailed diaries of their adventures.
Levi’s® jeans made an appearance in the November 10, 1928 issue. On August 13, Grace wrote this down in her journal:
“I had curious companions today for the 300 miles between Pueblo, Colorado and Santa Fe, New Mexico. A young woman dressed in blue shirt and levis, and her eight year old daughter, Betty. Levis are blue trousers similar to overalls, but without tops, and in addition to being sewed they are riveted with copper rivets. They are popular among girls in the great Southwest.”
And since the Levi's® brand didn’t create the first jeans for women until 1934, what these “girls” were wearing were men’s 501® jeans: perfectly suited to the rugged life of the West.
Posted By: Lynn Downey, Historian, Levi Strauss & Co.
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