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Levi Strauss Patents Iconic Metal Rivet for Reinforcing Pants Pockets

If you are wearing blue jeans, chances are a version of tailor Jacob Davis's invention is hugging your hips right now. Davis did not invent jeans—that was the more famous Levi Strauss—but he did invent one crucial component: the copper rivets that reinforce the corners of the pockets, now ubiquitous on denim pants. Because Davis did not have the money to file the necessary patent paperwork, he wrote to Strauss—then Davis's fabric supplier—suggesting they apply together. How did Strauss respond?

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Secularism

The term "secularism" was first used by British writer George Holyoake in the mid-19th century to denote the view that religious considerations should be excluded from civil affairs. Though he was agnostic, Holyoake wrote that he did not seek to discredit religion or deny the existence of a higher power; rather, he aimed to promote the notion that secular knowledge offers its own form of guidance rooted in testable life experience. What did he offer as secularism's three essential principles?

Born on a day like today

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Emile Berliner

After apprenticing as a printer in Germany, Berliner immigrated to the US and became interested in the new audio technologies of his day. He patented a series of improvements to Alexander Graham Bell's recently invented telephone before turning his attention to the phonograph. In 1888, he introduced the first flat disc recording, a marked improvement over Thomas Edison's recording cylinders for the phonograph and a precursor of the modern record. What were some of Berliner's other inventions?

Last updated on Tuesday, 21st May 2013

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