1. Blue Jeans
Jacob W. Davis — a Latvian-Jewish tailor who emigrated to America in 1854 — invented blue jeans in 1871 after partnering with Levi Strauss, who had immigrated from Germany. The two received a patent for their blue jeans design in 1873, and they went on to establish Levi’s jeans.
The first doughnut machine did not come along until 1920, in New York City, when Adolph Levitt, a refugee from czarist Russia, began selling fried doughnuts from his bakery. Fans of the pastry pushed him to make a device that churned out the dessert faster, and he did. After that, doughnuts became a booming business.
4. Budweiser Beer
After his father-in-law bought the Bavarian Brewery, a young German immigrant and beer connoisseur named Adolphus Busch started to tweak the brewery’s go-to recipe. He wanted to make a lager influenced by the Bohemian brews created around the city of Budweis, hence he renamed the beer Budweiser.
8. Hot Dogs
Charles Feltman, inventor of the hot dog, emigrated from Germany to New York in 1856 at the age of 15. A Coney Island resident, Feltman opened a restaurant where he decided to sell sausages in a roll so that he could get around buying silverware and plates for his customers.
James Naismith, a Canada native and physical education teacher, invented modern-day basketball in 1891. While teaching at the International YMCA Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts, he came up with an indoor game that was played originally by students shooting into two fruit baskets nailed to the balcony in the school gym.
Two of the three founders of YouTube are immigrants. Jawed Karim, an immigrant from Germany, moved to the U.S. as a child. After college, he got a job at PayPal, where he met Steve Chen, a computer programmer who had emigrated from Taiwan at age 15, and Chad Hurley, a design specialist. At a dinner party in late 2004, they all talked about a game-changing, video-sharing website. In less than a year, YouTube was born.
Kiss’ iconic bassist — known as “The Demon” — was born in Israel with the name Chaim Witz. Witz and his mother moved to Jackson Heights, Queens when he was eight. Upon entering the music industry, he changed his name to Gene Simmons.
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