Trivia

Hard

The Small Pocket In Blue Jeans Was Intended to Hold?

A Pen Knife
A Pocket Watch
A Matchbook
Mass Transit Tickets
A pair of Levi's 506 jeans with a watch pocket sewn into the front pocket.
M62/Wikimedia

Answer: A Pocket Watch

Inside the front right-side pocket of nearly every pair of blue jeans manufactured in the last century is a little pocket-within-a-pocket. This pocket, roughly two fingers wide and about a finger-length in depth, has evolved in use over the years, but was originally intended for one purpose.

When blue jeans were invented by Jacob W. Davis in partnership with Levi Strauss in 1871 (patented in 1873), they included the small pocket so that the cowboys and miners who wore their jeans would have a safe spot to stash their pocket watches. (Lest you think that individuals of the late 19th century carried tiny watches, the pocket used to be a bit larger.) Later, as pocket watches fell out of fashion, the watch pocket remained, albeit in smaller form, and took on new uses as wearers stashed everything from pocket knives to loose change in the small pocket.

Ironically, clothing designers are now courting the idea of including an additional pocket for smart phones. We may just see the watch pocket return to its spiritual origin, only in the 21st century everyone will be pulling out their phone to check the time and not a well-oiled mechanical timepiece.

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