Levi’s story is historically interesting because it touches on a lot of important moments in U.S. history. His business was tied to the California Gold Rush, the U.S. Civil War and American clothing culture.
Dr. Leo Baekeland, the inventor of the first synthetic plastic, was a wealthy man at a young age thanks to his innovation in photograph developing. But it was his work with phenol and formaldehyde that would help usher in the age of plastics.
The mechanization of stitching happened by way a series of inventions, several of which finally came together. Though Elias Howe is often credited with inventing the sewing machine, his invention had more to do with the combination of existing ideas.