Levis Strauss was born in Germany in 1829. By the age of 16 both his parents had died so he decided to emigrate to the United States. He arrived in New Yorkwhere he joined his two older brothers in the wholesale textile and tailoring business. When Strauss heard about the Gold Rush he left for San Francisco. He planned to manufacture tents for those people arriving in California to work as miners. He discovered there was no demand for this product and instead used this canvas to make waist-high overalls.Later he switched from canvas to a tough cotton fabric from France called Serge de Nimes.