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Joseph Bancroft & Sons Co. textile mill panoramic photograph

Creation: circa 1930
Accession: 2004-240-1


Joseph Bancroft & Sons Company manufactured, bleached, dyed, and finished a variety cotton-made goods. A panoramic view of Bancroft Mills in Wilmington, Delaware.


  • Creation: circa 1930



1 item(s)

Physical Description

1 photomechanical print : b&w ; 8 x 17 in.

Historical Note

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 (1825-1928) and Samuel (1840-1915), 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 1961, the Bancroft Company became a division of Indian Head Mills, Inc., of New York City. The Rockford factory closed in 1981.

Scope and Contents

A photographic reproductive of a circa 1930 panoramic overview of the Bancroft Mills along the Brandywine Creek near Wilmington, Delaware.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Language of Materials


Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Joseph Bancroft & Sons Co. textile mill panoramic photograph
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Audiovisual Collections Repository

PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA