You have probably already wondered what it was used for. If this small pocket, located inside the right front pocket of your jeans, seems a little outdated today, it had, at the time of the creation of these pants, a real utility.
The jeans we know today, in blue denim with five pockets and rivets, were invented in 1873 by Jacob Devis and Levi Strauss, two textile industrialists whose company was based in San Francisco, California. It was particularly appreciated by workers, who found this canvas particularly resistant.
This fifth pocket, smaller than the others, had been designed to store a pocket watch, an essential accessory at the time. These small pocket watches with a chain then fit perfectly inside, and the location of this fifth pocket made it very easy to access.
In the 20th century, watches evolved and began to be worn on the wrist, making this small pocket obsolete. But quickly, another use was found for it: the cigarette having become a consumer product, it was used to store its “Zippo” lighter, a small rectangular box whose dimensions correspond perfectly to those of this small pocket.
Since then, it has found multiple uses, as detailed by Levi’s on its website : “this additional pocket served many functions, as evidenced by its many names: condom pocket, coin pocket, match pocket and money pocket, to name but a few”. Today, you can also store metro tickets, or even a pair of headphones.