Blue Jeans, the Ultimate American Icon Essay examples

1458 Words6 Pages
Blue Jeans, the Ultimate American Icon

Gold was discovered in California in 1849. This resulted in more than eighty thousand American’s rushing to California. The pioneering spirit spread and by 1890, the West’s population reached nearly 17 million. The west became the most racially diverse part of the country. All were in search of a better life for themselves and their families, seeking what would become known as the American Dream. During this time innovation and creation were prompting remarkable growth in industry. New products that made life more tolerable were spreading to all classes of people. One popular item of clothing that can trace its roots to the Gold Rush is blue jeans. Blue jeans grew out of necessity but they now
…show more content…
When film spread across the country in the early 1900’s so did romanticized pictures of the west. Western films portrayed the conquest of the frontier in the name of civilization. In these films, the plot was almost always about good versus bad. The films usually showed the cowboy riding into a lawless town and restoring order. Typical elements of western films included breathtaking settings and open landscapes. In all the western films, the cowboys wore the same wardrobe, blue jeans and boots. Americans living in the East became enamored with the West. Easterners began traveling west to places like dude ranches to experience the spirit of the Wild West. Of course, the experience was not complete with out the costume. Thus, blue jeans were purchased for the first time by non-westerners.

Blue jeans were no longer just for the hard working miners. People from the East bought them for trips to the West. They brought them back East with them. In the East, blue jeans were not worn often by all. Schoolchildren, boys in particular were often the only ones wearing them. Parents, especially those of limited means, bought jeans for their children because of their durability. During the 1930’s blue jeans were found all throughout schools. Children grew up wearing blue jeans. Jeans had become a common article of clothing for a new generation. Blue jeans sales rose at a steady pace after the Great Depression.

Get Access