Joseph Bancroft and Sons Company patent infringement case photographs and filmsCreation: 1961-1963
Joseph Bancroft & Sons Company manufactured, bleached, dyed, and finished a variety cotton-made goods. In July of 1958, The Spunize Company of America filed a lawsuit against one of Bancroft's licensees, the Duplan Corporation. The Spunize Company alleged that Duplan Corp. had committed patent infringement of a yarn crimping process that Duplan licensed from Bancroft. This collection consists of photographs and motion picture film depicting the yarn crimping process and the crimped yarn. A majority of the materials were created with the intention of being submitted as evidence in the court case.
- Creation: 1961-1963
- Joseph Bancroft & Sons Co (Organization)
3 Linear Feet
96 polaroids : b&w ; 3 x 4 in. 172 stereoviews : b&w ; 1 x 1 in. 41 reels : si., b&w ; 16mm. 5 reels : si., col. ; 16mm.
Joseph Bancroft & Sons Company manufactured, bleached, dyed, and finished a variety cotton-made goods. After World War I it added synthetics to its production, and these included rayon and nylon fabrics. The company was incorporated in 1889.
The companies namesake, Joseph Bancroft (1803-1874) began manufacturing cotton cloth at a small mill in Rockford, Delaware, just north of Wilmington, on March 25, 1831. The mill was built in order to take advantage of the Brandywine River's water power and Bancroft adopted the traditional British spinning and weaving technology for use in his operation. The firm expanded steadily during the 1830s and 1840s as it began to produce cotton for both the Philadelphia and New York markets. In the late 1840s, Joseph Bancroft brought his two sons, William and Samuel, into the business assuring that the company would remain a family enterprise. During the Civil War, when the American market was largely closed to English imports, the Bancroft firm, like most other U.S. textile companies, prospered. After the war, the company developed a new bleaching process and began to concentrate on finishing cotton cloth.
In 1929, the Bancroft Company merged with the Eddystone Manufacturing Company. In the mid-1930s it began producing a line of rayon goods and a cotton finishing process that were marketed under the trade names of "Ban-Lon" and "Everglaze" respectively. The Banlon and Everglaze processes were widely licensed in Europe and America and by the early 1950s foreign royalties accounted for more than seventy per cent of the firm's total profits.
In July of 1958, The Spunize Company of America filed a lawsuit against one of Bancroft's licensees, the Duplan Corporation. The Spunize Company alleged that Duplan Corp. had committed patent infringement of a yarn crimping process that Duplan licensed from Bancroft. Bancroft moved for an injunction against Spunize to prevent the case from moving forward. Initially Bancrofts' motion was granted, Spunize appealed and the court decided in July of 1959 that Spunize could bring forward its case against Duplan. The discovery period for the case was extended several times and the case was set for a non-jury trial for June 19, 1961, however, in May of 1961 the case was dismissed with prejudice.
In 1961, the Bancroft Company became a division of Indian Head Mills, Inc., of New York City. The Rockford factory closed in 1981.
Scope and Content
This collection consists of photographs and motion picture film depicting the yarn crimping process and the crimped yarn. A majority of the materials were created with the intention of being submitted as evidence in the court case.
The Equipment and yarn samples photographs series contains stereoviews and polaroids of crimped yarn samples under various magnifications. Most of the photographs are undated, some photographs are dated 1962 and 1963 which is after the court case was dismissed and presumably created for reasons unrelated to the lawsuit. There are also a few photographs of the machine used in the crimping process called a Two Element Compactor.
The Yarn crimping process films are technical footage showing details of yarns and equipment. The films were produced by Bergman Associates for the Duplan Corporation in 1961. Several were marked by an unidentified person as being "good" or "bad" footage.
A copy of the court docket from the Spunize v. Duplan case is on file.
No restrictions on access; this collection is open for research.
Film material (Film Cans 1-28) is located in remote storage. Please contact staff 48 hours in advance of research visit at firstname.lastname@example.org
Language of Materials
J. Bancroft and Sons Company records (Accession 1359), Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.
Finding Aid & Administrative Information
- Laurie Sather
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- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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