Dr. Eleanor Stow Bancroft with son James Bancroft

Dr. Eleanor Stow Bancroft with son James Bancroft

Eleanor Stow Bancroft: 1874-1961

First receiving her medical degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1896, Bancroft was employed there as early as 1900, where she is listed in the annual University Register as an Assistant Clinician in the Medical Department. Soon she took on the title of Medical Examiner of Women. She eventually became the Lecturer in Hygiene (continuing as Medical Examiner) at Berkeley from at least 1906 until 1911, when she resigned to go east with her husband, the academic research scientist (experimental biology) Frank Watts Bancroft, PhD. (1871-1923) Around 1922, she took the position as head physician at Mills College in Oakland, CA, retiring there in 1939 after 17 years.

As for her son James Stow Bancroft, (1905-1965) whom Eleanor holds here in this pictorialist portrait by the important Berkeley photographer Oscar Maurer, (1870-1965) US Census records record him in 1930 as being a salesman employed by a canning factory and living in Alameda, CA and also a salesman listed in the 1940 census. Based on the period gallery label for Vickery, Atkins & Torrey pasted to the frame verso, this work can be reasonably dated to mid to late 1906, as the temporary address of 1744 California Street in San Francisco is engraved on the label- the known temporary location for this important California gallery after the great earthquake and fire destroyed the city on April 18, 1906.

The earthquake destroyed Maurer’s photographic studio as well, and he moved it to the California Academy of Sciences building at 819 Market Street in San Francisco. He also maintained another new studio in Berkeley:

“Following the destruction of his San Francisco studio, Maurer bought a new Aristo arc light and set up shop in Berkeley-first at Weltevreden, then in his new studio across the street. The studio was literally shoehorned into the narrow space between the Frederick Maurer house and the creek bank, almost touching the former while descending steeply down the latter. The original address was 1724 Le Roy Ave.”

(both sources: Berkeley Landmarks online resource accessed 2018)

print notes recto: signed in black ink by the photographer in lower border: Oscar Maurer; title and dating of work supplied by this archive.

print notes verso: original brass ring hanger affixed at center along with pasted arts & crafts style, original cream-colored label engraved:

Vickery,   Atkins
&   Torrey
Pictures And
Picture Frames
At 1744 California St
San Francisco

additionally signed in graphite in an unknown hand:

Photo by Oscar Maurer

Eleanor Bancroft with Jimmie


Provenance: acquired 2018 from Santa Rosa, California antiques dealer.

Dr. Eleanor Stow Bancroft with son James Bancroft

Image Dimensionssight: circular: 19.1 cm

Support Dimensionsframe: circular: oak: 24.1 cm