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Whatever they are, maybe they'd be better in Ban-Lon? This 1955 promotional photograph showcases the one-size undershirt in Ban-Lon textured yarn from the Joseph Bancroft & Sons Company. Text accompanying the image notes that the undershirt fit "all physiques from 34 to 44" and was "made with the new Ban-Lon textured yarn, these garments have high moisture absorption, a soft body comfort, and a snug fit that comes from the controlled stretch characteristic of the yarn".
This item is part of the Hagley Library’s Joseph Bancroft & Sons Co. Miss America photographs (Accession 1972.430) collection. The company, incorporated in 1889, 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.
This image was part of a series of fashion photographs commissioned by the company. In 1929, the Bancroft Company merged with the Eddystone Manufacturing Company and soon after, 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.
In an effort to promote Everglaze, Bancroft became a primary sponsor of the Miss America Pageant from the mid-1940s through the late 1960s. The company helped finance the pageant and provided money towards scholarships awarded to pageant winners. Bancroft was able to promote its products using the image of Miss America.
The collection largely consists of general advertising and product information for "Ban-Lon" and "Everglaze" fashions. 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. More images from this collection can be found online in our Digital Archive by clicking here.