The California gold rush of 1853 was too early for the Icelanders to participate. It also was on the wrong side of the North American continent. Passage to and from Iceland was still by sailing ships. It was unreliable, dangerous and expensive. Nearly twenty years were to pass before the wave of Icelandic emigration would bring Icelanders to Canada and, from there, to the United States.
Twenty years earlier than the Icelandic immigration, Levi Strauss, a young German immigrant, crossed from New York to San Francisco . Responding to demand created by miners who needed tough clothing, he first used tough canvas that was supposed to be for tents and wagon covers.
In 1873, while Icelanders were making their way to places like Kinmount, Ontario, Levi Strauss began to use the pocket stitch design and co-patented the process that allowed rivets to be put into Levi pants.