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Jantzen Swimwear Photographs

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: DSA
Date: 11 Jun 2019

Biographical History

Jantzen Knitting Mills (today, Jantzen, Inc.) was founded in 1910 in Portland, Oregon as the Portland Knitting Company. Not initially producing swimwear, the company soon branched out in 1913 when requested to make knit drawstring-free rowing trunks for a member of the Portland Rowing Club. The popularity of this initial design among other members of the club led the company to improve and more widely market their new innovation, and in 1916, began marketing their swimming attire under the brand name Jantzen. Due to changing societal attitudes and technological innovation, Jantzen's swimwear designs innovated tighter-fitting, elastic, and less-cumbersome designs which better allowed their wearers to comfortably swim than earlier fashions of bathing dress. By 1918 the swimwear line had proved so successful that the company itself changed its name to Jantzen Knitting Mills, and in 1920 the long-running "Jantzen Diving Girl" logo made its appearance, with the brand continuing its popularity throughout the 20th Century. [Information adapted from the articles "Jantzen", Oregon Encyclopedia, and "Inc. Jantzen", Encyclopedia of Fashion.]

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Jantzen Swimwear Photographs is a single volume, containing photographs depicting Jantzen Knitting Mills' swimwear line during the World War II era. Containing predominantly adult womens' designs, also includes some teen girls' designs and a few mens' designs as well. The collection also includes a small number of images of womens' sweaters and dresses.

Arrangement of the Collection

Single volume, original order.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings

Corporate Bodies

Jantzen Knitting Mills.
Jantzen, Inc.


Bathing suits -- Design.
Bathing suits -- Photographs.
Fashion -- Photographs.

Genres and Forms

Photograph albums.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Jantzen Swimwear Photographs,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Purchased, 2019.

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