When was gold first found in California?
Gold was first found in California in 1849. Within four years, the population increased from 20,000 to just under 225,000 and $220 million in gold was discovered. Many of the population came from China so by 1880, there were 300,000 Chinese in California – some 10% of the population. During the gold rush, Levi Strauss travelled west with a load of canvas (or twill) to make tents but discovered a much greater demand for trousers that would stand up to the wear and tear of life in the mining camps. It wasn’t until 1940s that people were calling jeans made of denium "Levis".