Joseph Bancroft & Sons Company / Miss America Collection

About this collection

Joseph Bancroft, an Englishman trained in textile weaving in Lancashire, established his own cotton mill on the Brandywine near Wilmington, Delaware in 1831. The firm was incorporated as the Joseph Bancroft & Sons Company in 1889. The collection consists of general advertising, fashion photography, and product information for "Ban-Lon" and "Everglaze" -- synthetic fibers produced and marketed by Bancroft in the 20th century. In particular, the collection documents the Joseph Bancroft & Sons Company's sponsorship of the Miss America Pageant and the promotion of fabrics by Miss America from the years 1953 to 1967. Click here to view the finding aid for the Joseph Bancroft and Sons Company photographs, or click here to view the finding aid for the Joseph Bancroft and Sons Company, Miss America collection.

    Image: 1961 Ban-Lon fashions. Click to view.

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Railroad tracks and Bancroft mill buildings along Brandywine Creek
Mill buildings are part of either the Rockford or Kentmere departments of Joseph Bancroft & Sons Co.
George Wilde house near Rockford Gate (Wilmington, Del.)
Built 1840 for J. Morton Poole (brother of Sarah Poole Bancroft). Occupied in 1862 by Andrew Wilde
Row of workers' frame houses on St. Helena Road (Wilmington, Del.)
Written on verso: 'Removed to make way for settling tanks. (About 1900).'
Multiple story frame workers' housing on Kentmere Road (Wilmington, Del.)
Located on portion of road known as the Alley. Written on verso: '(Torn down)'
Riddle Avenue at Riddle Chapel (Wilmington, Del.)
Chapel is visible behind the trees on the left side of the image. The chapel was named after James Riddle, who operated cotton mills on the Brandywine at Kentmere from 1838 to 1873. He organized the establishment of the Mount Salem Church for his workers in 1847 and this church for the same community not long after.
Worker housing on Riddle Avenue across from Riddle Chapel (Wilmington, Del.)
The sign posted to a tree in the center of the image is advertising Young's Ice Cream.
Joy Road row of brick workers' housing with street power lines (Wilmington, Del.)
Photograph taken from site of newly constructed Research Boulevard.
Dining room at Rockford Hall, male employees' boarding house (Wilmington, Del.)
Written on verso: '#9 Rockford Road - Now Everfast Mill End Store'
Stone and brick workers' housing on Kentmere Road (Wilmington, Del.)
Written on verso: '(torn down - Brown Bld)'
Worker housing running along east side of Rockford Road (Wilmington, Del.)
Power lines are visible running along the street. Written on verso: '(New Research Bld. built on site below first two houses.)'
Albert Roberts next to the first truck owned by Joseph Bancroft & Sons Co.
Written on verso: 'Albert Roberts - First Auto Truck - JB & SG'