The wreck pants (pictured) are 16 years older than the first jeans officially produced by Levi Strauss & Co. Photo: holabirdamericana.liveauctiongroup.com
The pants made of durable white cloth, found in a chest on the steamer SS Central America that sank in 1857, were auctioned for $114,000 (more than 7.3 million rubles).
Experts continue to debate whether these pants are the forerunners of the iconic jeans. And experts do not agree that the sunken ship pants are 16 years older than the first jeans officially produced by Levi Strauss & Co. However, these pants are supposed to be the first version of the clothing, which later became not only a cult, but also “the most American”.
The pants, believed to be miner’s clothing, were sold at an auction in Nevada in early December. In total, more than 250 antiques raised from the ill-fated “Central America” were put up for auction.
“These mining jeans are like the first flag on the moon, an incredible moment in history,” said Dwight Manley, managing partner of the California Gold Marketing Group, which owns and lists the artifacts.
The steamer SS Central America, which was sailing along the east coast of Central America, was caught in a severe storm and sank off the coast of North Carolina in September 1857. During the wreck, some 400 people of the 477 passengers and 101 crew members of the ship. Also, along with the ship, about 10 tons of gold, mined during the famous California gold rush, went to the bottom of the ocean.
The ship, which is located at a depth of more than 2.2 thousand meters, was discovered in the eighties of the last century by engineer Tommy Thompson, who was engaged in the design of deep-sea equipment. Having organized the Columbus American Discovery Group and won the right to mine marine treasure, Thompson and his partner Bob Evans brought more than three tons of gold to the surface using the deep-sea submersible Nemo in just the first two months of work, and the cost of artifacts sold at auction exceeded $100 million.
Thompson later disappeared; According to the general opinion, he simply ran off with the money he received and worked to extract the cargo from the “golden ship” and its sale continued.